The presstrip for Villa Massa limoncello was also an introduction to the fabulous Amalfi coast in the Campania region, and we can say we have seen quite some sights in three days. Well, at least three of the Southern Italian jewels; Sorrento, Capri and Positano.
We stayed at the Impérial Hotel Tramontano in Sorrento, settled in an immense garden and overlooking the sea all beyond to the Mount Vesuvius and the bay of Naples (unfortunately the meteorological circumstances didn’t quite agree with the sea view) and with the centro storico at walking distance.
As a touristic destination, there are more than enough hotels in the Sorrentine peninsula. It counts many villas and pallazos which have been transformed into hospitality venues, such as the renowned Grand Excelsior Vittoria hotel, run by the Fiorentino family since 1834.
You’ll find most places exuding baroque and art deco style. Not everyone’s taste, but part of the classic Italian charm. If you’d rather look for a more modern -yet very luxe- venue for your Sorrentine sleepover, here are some suggestions:
Hotel Meditteraneo Sorrento
Villa dei D’Armiento
Maison La Minervetta
Capo da Gala
We had both dinner and lunch in the Sorrento surroundings. Our first Italian food feast was at Donna Sofia. Imagine icon Sofia Loren observing your every bite, as the restaurant is wall-filled with images of the actress. A bumpy taxi ride leads to this litteraly ‘hidden’ gem serving typical Napolitan cuisine, prepared and served by Mario, who, with his deep voice and sturdy allure made us feel as if we’d ended up in a movie ourselves.
Lunch is not something to take lightly either in Italy. So after our visit to the Villa Massa Plant and before heading to Capri the next day, we landed at Camera & Cucina for a copious lunch. Sofia Loren wasn’t the only lady staring at us like the night before. At this restaurant/bar/gallery, the tables are overlooked by different muses; from Monica Bellucci to Brigitte Bardot, and the guys sure don’t mind. The lunch was a total delight of antipasti, pizza, melanzane al parmigiana and a sweet dessert.
One needs a solid stomach to survive the 20 minutes ferry trip to Capri after a meal like this, but the legendary island of beauty and hedonism is a must visit. When arriving at the port, we took the funicular upwards the hills and the old town. We strolled in direction of the Gardens of Augustus for a panoramic view of the island; the Faraglioni (the three spurs of rock that come out of the sea and a familiar sight for those who have taken a closer look at Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue commercial), the Charterhouse of San Giacomo and Via Krupp – a series of hairpin bends carved in the rocks to create a path from the Marina Piccola to Hotel Quisisana.
The gardens also provide the herbs and flowers for the artisinal Carthusia fragrances, which, of course we couldn’t leave the island without. And there’s more shopping to do at the Via Camerelle where you’ll find shops of the biggest names in the fashion industry, just keep in mind you’ll need a full wallet… We ended our Capri afternoon at the Piazzetta, the island’s main square.
Back in Sorrento that evening, we had dinner at the earlier mentioned Relais Blu (read our report here). Highly recommended for the food and the amazing sunset view over the peninsula.
On our last day we took the coastal ride to picturesque Positano, and with that specific scene of the movie ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ (from the Frances Mayes book) in mind -where she goes and have an ice cream with a sexy Italian on the beach of Positano- I had to have my gelato with that backdrop as well. And what a gelato it was! We had ours from the ice cream shop of restaurant La Pergola. The best pistachio and tiramisu on a cornetto ever…Even without ‘Marcello’.