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Italy Italy Attractions

How to survive Sorrento on a budget

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Words by Ellen Corrigan

So you really want to experience the beauty of southern Italy but you haven’t got bundles of cash? As a young couple we wanted to visit the Amalfi Coast but we couldn’t afford it. We’d been putting off travelling around southern Italy because ‘we couldn’t afford to’ but then we decided to make it a priority and to see as much as possible within budget. We set ourselves €100 per day and went for 5 days and 4 nights.

So, here’s how we did it!

1

Getting from Naples to Sorrento:

There’s a great bus service from Naples to Sorrento that costs only €10 per person: it’s very well air-conditioned and clean. It leaves Naples frequently throughout the day and will save you the €100-€120 taxi fare out to Sorrento. It’s a little slower than a taxi but comfortable and great value at €10 per person.

What’s hot: Public transport

What’s not: Expensive taxis

Where to stay:

Accommodation can be expensive in Amalfi so we decided to do a day trip to Amalfi and stay in Sorrento instead. We’d recommend staying a little out of the town as prices are cheaper. The hills of Sorrento are beautiful and the further up the hill you go, the more beautiful your view is so it’s win win!

2

We stayed about 20 minutes from the town of Sorrento in a beautiful family run hotel called ‘Le Terrazze’. They have a great set up for money-conscious visitors. Like a lot of hotels in the Sorrento hills, they offer a free bus transfer service every day on the hour to and from the town. This was a great way of saving cash as taxis from the town are very expensive. The only downfall is that if you want a late night on the town the busses finish at 11:30pm.

What’s hot:  Great Views & free buses

What’s not:  Early nights & FOMO (fear of missing out)

Where to eat/drink:

If you’re looking for authentic cuisine, any of the endless street restaurants are perfect. The bigger hotels often charge a good deal more than the street restaurants and don’t have the same authentic feel that the street ones do. If you’re drinking wine, always always choose the local/house wine… it’s superb and incredibly affordable on any budget.

3

Of course, Sorrento has its very own Irish Bar called Chaplain’s. It’s a little more expensive compared to the local restaurants and bars but if you’re looking for an atmosphere, it can’t be beat!

On your last night if you’re looking for something a little fancier and you’re willing to splash some cash for this one night only, get yourself to the Hotel Excelsior. It is Sorrento’s 5 star luxury hotel where you can take in the finest cocktails, nibbles and views of the Sorrento coast for about €15-€20 a cocktail. We made sure to get the value from our evening arriving just before sunset and capturing some of the best views in Sorrento.

What’s hot: Local cuisine

What’s not: Leaving Italian wine in Italy

What to visit:

As with most tourist destinations there is no shortage of organised trips and excursions in Sorrento. The majority of trips offered around the area have a range of prices you can pay depending on the level of comfort you need or want. Average excursions are about €100 per person, but be careful to watch out for hidden extras (we got caught for that!).

Pompeii & Vesuvius

4

We decided that we would see Pompeii and Vesuvius in comfort and with a guide. We booked a full day trip. We travelled by boat to Castellammare di Stabia where a bus waited to transfer us to Pompeii. At Pompeii we were given an authorised guide who told us all you need to know about the ruins of Pompeii. I would recommend walking with a tour guide, the information our guide gave us was what made the morning memorable.

5

The Path of the Gods

Whether you’re looking for a mountainous hike or a stroll in the hills, the Path of the Gods has something to offer everyone. You can do guided tours but we decided to grab a map and set off on the 12km adventure trail together. We caught the public bus for €1.60 each and headed to Nocelle. The trail begins just north of the picturesque town of Positano and gets more and more breath-taking as you climb.

6

On the way back to Positano make a stop in La Tagilata, a family run restaurant. There is no menu, just Mama in the kitchen. You decide if you want lunch or dinner, and Mama decides the rest. This was a real taste of fresh Italian cuisine. The little restaurant perched high in the hills of Positano offers one of the most unbelievable views of the Amalfi coast and was by far one of our favourite memories!

What’s hot: Luxury excursions

What’s not: Hidden entry fees

 

You really can make any budget stretch on the Amalfi and Sorrento coast with these little adjustments – so go![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Categories
Italy Italy Attractions

Pompeii

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The ruins of Pompeii lie five miles from the foot of Mount Vesuvius in the western region of Campania. This ruined ancient roman city was destroyed on August 24th 79AD when the volcano erupted and brought destruction to the city, killing 3,000 citizens in the process. Today the site offers a throwback of yesteryear and serves as an excavation site encompassing numerous museums and relics and remains one of the most fascinating landmarks in all of Europe. Frozen in time, this ancient city which was reduced to rubble plays host to numerous individual sights including The Basilica, the Temple of Apollo and The Amphitheatre.

If you have some spare time on your hands the nearby town of Herculaneum also offers a fascinating insight into the day Vesuvius brought chaos to this corner of Italy. Herculaneum was also destroyed during the eruption but not to the same extent as Pompeii and to this date it has been rebuilt to resemble the ancient city of old. Pompeii serves as the ruins while Herculaneum shows us how the ancient Romans persevered to overcome the devastation caused by the eruption.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_text_separator title=”Price” title_align=”separator_align_left” border=”yes”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1434014615415{padding-top: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;}”]Prices range from €5.50 to €11 while EU citizens under the age of 18 get free admission upon showing valid identification.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_text_separator title=”How to get there” title_align=”separator_align_left” border=”no”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1434015057095{padding-top: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;}”]The ruins of Pompeii are located 33.5km south of the city of Naples. Drive along the A56 until you reach SS162Dir. Follow this route and E45 to Via Plinio/SS18, where you will take the exit signposted Pompei from E45 to arrive in modern day Pompei (written with single I).[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_text_separator title=”Opening Hours” title_align=”separator_align_left” border=”no”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1434015127245{padding-top: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;}”]From the 1st of April until the 31st of October the site is open every day from 8.30 AM until 7.30 PM. For the rest of the year the site closes at 5.00 PM. Last entrance is always ninety minutes prior to closing time.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Image credit: Flickr[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_raw_html]JTNDZGl2JTIwY2xhc3MlM0QlMjJmYi1jb21tZW50cyUyMiUyMGRhdGEtaHJlZiUzRCUyMiUyMGh0dHAlM0ElMkYlMkZ3d3cudGhlYWEuaWUlMkZ0cmF2ZWxodWIlMkZwb21wZWlpJTJGJTIwJUUyJTgwJThFJTIyJTIwZGF0YS1udW1wb3N0cyUzRCUyMjUlMjIlMjBkYXRhLWNvbG9yc2NoZW1lJTNEJTIybGlnaHQlMjIlMjBkYXRhLXdpZHRoJTNEJTIyMTAwJTI1JTIyJTNFJTNDJTJGZGl2JTNF[/vc_raw_html][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Categories
Italy Italy Attractions

The Colosseum

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_text_separator title=”General info” title_align=”separator_align_left” border=”no”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]The world famous Colosseum (or Coliseum) is one of Italy’s most popular tourist attractions and a must see for anyone visiting Rome. Built of concrete and stone, the Colosseum, or Flavian Amphitheatre as otherwise known, is the largest amphitheatre in the world.

The Colosseum is situated just east of the Roman Forum and was constructed in 72 AD. To This day it is still considered one of the greatest works of architecture and engineering ever to have been produced.

During its prime the Colosseum held crowds of up to 80,000 and served as a fitting setting for the customary ancient roman gladiator contests. This iconic structure ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era but to this date it remains a symbol of ancient Italian history, a timeless and inspiring venue oozing with century old tradition.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_text_separator title=”Price” title_align=”separator_align_left” border=”no”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

Prices range from €7.50 to €12.00.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_text_separator title=”Getting there” title_align=”separator_align_left” border=”no”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]The Colosseum is a 12 minute (3.2km) drive from Rome’s central station or Rome Termini as it is locally known. From Termini, take Via Marsala, making a right turn onto Via Giovanni Giolitti. Turn left onto Via Cavour; follow the road as far as Via degli Annibaldi. Continue on this street until it merges with Piazza del Colosseo, where this iconic symbol of ancient roman history will present itself before you.

You can also get the Line B Metro and get off at the Colosseo stop; get Bus 75, 81, 175, 204, 673; or get the Line 3 Tram.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_text_separator title=”Opening hours ” title_align=”separator_align_left” border=”no”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]The Colosseum is open every day of the year from 8.30 am, excluding Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

The closing times vary from 7.15 pm between the last Sunday of March and the end of August to 4.30 pm during the winter months (last Sunday of October to February 15th).

Additional closing times apply for September (7pm), February 16th-March 15th (5 pm) and March 16th– last Saturday of March (5.30pm).

The Colosseum also closes early on Easter Friday (about 2 PM) and closes in the morning of the Festa della Repubblica (2nd June).[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]