Sorrento, Sant'Agnello and Pompeii: A Travel Photo Diary (Part 1)

Thursday, August 06, 2015

A couple of weeks ago I jetted off to Southern Italy to stay in one of my dream holiday bucket list destinations - Sorrento. I was invited back on the family holiday (yass) and couldn't wait to soak up the sun and explore the penisula and the bay of Naples. I wanted to sum up this holiday in one post but alas, Sorrento was way too Instagrammable and therefore I've had to split it in two, you won't mind will you? So this first post focuses on the Sorrento, Sant'Agnello and Pompeii then next time we'll head over to stunning Capri.
First off I better warn you, if you do head off to Italy you're going to be seeing a whole lotta oranges and lemons on your travels. The Italians love the stuff - and well it takes a pretty picture huh? They're also MAMMOTH compared to the puny little lemony todgers we stock in supermarkets at home and why's that? Because they have the sun. God damn British 'summers'.

We actually didn't stay in Sorrento but in a little town next to it called Sant'Agnello. It's a little quieter than the bustling Sorrento and allowed us to stay in the lovely quiet Esperidi Resort. Esperidi is a resort made up of lots of little private apartments set in a little lemon grove. It's very serene and a great escape when you've spent a long day sightseeing. It also has a beautiful pool area which we loved lounging at after long hot days.
To get to Sorrento you can either do a 25 minute walk if you're feeling spritely (best to do this in the morning or late afternoon when the sun isn't too high) or you can jump on the train. The train takes about 2 minutes and only costs just over a Euro so definitely worth it to avoid the sweaty look the walk gives you! Though the journey is definitely not as picturesque. If you do decide to walk you'll come across some beautiful hotels like the Hotel Purple below and some wonderful views across the Bay of Naples to Mount Vesuvius.


Unfortunately Sorrento is sans sandy beaches but it certainly makes up for it in with lidos. Since we had the pool at the resort we only headed down to the beach one day but I absolutely love the freedom of swimming in the sea. To get the beaches however it's a bit of a mission. Sorrento is perched right on top of a cliff and therefore you have to make your way down there via a series of passages through the cliffside. It's quite atmospheric though I'd recommend bring a torch as the Italian's like to live dangerously and don't put any lights in the tunnels. Once you've survived the adventure to the beach it really is stunning. The beaches are quite pricey so we went to La Marinella in Sant'Agnello rather than Sorrento. There's nothing quite like swimming about the ocean looking for fish (I am actually 22 I promise) with the sun shining down on you and Mount Vesuvius looming over you in the background.



The trains are perfect for getting anywhere - they are cheap and quick and sometimes you even get a little entertainment on them from the local buskers. For going to Pompeii we opted to go by train rather than go on one of the organised tours as they hike the price up massively. We got the train to Pompeii Scavi and set about going up the ominous Mount Vesuvius first.


You get taken up the mountain first in a bus then once you get to the national park you switch on to what I affectionately name, the monster trucks. They are these huge army vehicles which take you right up the dirt tracks before you then hop off and walk the final half an hour. Half an hour doesn't sound long but in 37 degree temperature walking uphill wasn't a piece of cake. However it was totally worth it once you got to the top and was definitely an experience I won't forget. Although I was slightly disappointed not to see the small plume of smoke from the volcano that all the guidebooks seem to mention - what a reuse. 

We were so hot after our trip up Vesuvius that we decided to call it a day and head home to the pool and explore the Pompeii ruins another day. Top tip for seeing Pompeii number 1; go at about 2 or 3pm - there will be no gigantic queue for entry and less people milling about the ruins. Top tip number 2; get a guide or audio guide. We didn't get one expecting there to be loads of signs around the ruins telling you about what things were but there were very little so the experience would have been a lot better had we known a little more about what we were seeing. The place itself however is just mind-blowing. The fact that these buildings are still standing there after all these years and the trauma of the volcanic eruption is just incredible. It really makes you think and is a really amazing must do if you're in the area.


Another great thing to do in Sorrento is just wander the streets. I loved the windy little shopping streets as there was so much to see and so many smells and colour. The leather shops are also amazing and such good value and I got myself a lovely little leather rucksack which you can see a glimpse of over on my Instagram.

Now onto eating in Sant'Agnello. As we were staying there it made more sense to eat closer to our apartment. Our top 3 restaurant were Ristorante Moonlight (it's a bit out the way but has amazing steaks), La Terrazza at Piazzetta Marinella (amazing cocktails and the best view ever) and Ristorante Pizzeria Il Pendolo (smashing cheap pizzas and foccaccias and great sides). A place called Da Peppino also did the most amazing takeaway rotisserie chickens and was such a hit with the locals. It would be amazing if you wanted to do a wee self-catering meal one night. I liked to get dressed up for dinner and my favourite outfit for the week was this little floral number for the H&M sale! 
Have any of you been to Sorrento before or would you like to go? What were your favourite things to do?

Stay tuned for part 2!


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7 comments

  1. Wow, it's so beautiful there... And your photographs are sublime, they should be in a travel book ;)

    besos,
    M
    The Flower Duet

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know right?! It's such a stunning place! Oh thank you that's such a big compliment!! Would love to continue improving my photos!

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  2. Wow, it's so beautiful there... And your photographs are sublime, they should be in a travel book ;)

    besos,
    M
    The Flower Duet

    ReplyDelete
  3. that place looks beautiful!! I went to italy and I had the opportunity to go to pompeii but I decided to stay on the bed that day, in my defense I had been traveling for the last two weeks haha. Glad you had fun!
    x,Abril

    The Color Palette

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    Replies
    1. Hi Abril! Haha that's fair enough! Shame you missed it though but hopefully you'll get another chance to go! x

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  4. I'm going to have to add Sorrento to my bucket list! It looks amazing <3

    Gisforgingers xx

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    Replies
    1. Hey Claire! Yes yes yes do! It's so lovely and loads to do! xx

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I read, love and reply every single one of your comments! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave one - Laura x

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