Ten days in Sorrento is good for the soul – at least it was good for us. To have a break after so much travelling and touring was timely – and the addition of a swimming pool in the sticky heat meant that the boys had reached a state of nirvana. It didn’t take us long to get settled into the sprawling Villa Giuliapina (named after the two sisters who owned it) in a small village called San Agata.
The friendly agent Carmine (his catch phrase was ‘Hey… it’s no problem’) soon made himself indispensable – which was good, because when we plugged the brand new kettle in we blew the electrics in one of the kitchens (there were two, one with a professional oven, another with both a built in BBQ and a pizza oven). 3 random visiting men later, all of whom sucked their teeth and gabbled madly into their mobiles, it was all ‘fixed’ – but we were given strict instructions not to use the toaster and the kettle at the same time… It may have been coincidence, but at the same time as the kettle incident the wifi went down, and for 5 days Carmine kept us updated as to how it was all proceeding, it had something to do with the bad weather and a tree – resulting in a man in a van who managed to set up two wifi addresses (one worked upstairs and the other downstairs). Only in Italy…
|view of the villa from the top terrace|
|view of Vesuvius from the top terrace|
|Top of Vesuvius, swathed in cloud|
|scooters - the sensible way to travel on the narrow Amalfi roads|
|stunning views of the coastline from Ravello|
We drove along the Amalfi Coast taking in the sights of Positano, Amalfi and our new favourite, Ravello, with its absolutely stunning scenery and mixture of Moorish architecture, big bossy flowers and faux Renaissance courtyards coupled with the hippy atmosphere so beloved of the Bloomsbury set in days gone by. Grandma and I escaped for a few hours one day for some girlie shopping in Sorrento, and we had a fabulous family day in Capri – a private boat trip with a friendly (if not entirely intelligible) driver Mario (yes, the boys had fun with that one) over to the island, then a hair raising bus ride up to the main piazza, and window shopping in the designer stores before jumping back on the boat for swims in the azure sea and in little coral caves. Bliss.
It all ended in a final joint birthday meal for Grandma and Eldest Son, who have one day between them and has been celebrated as such in the UK for a number of years, as well as Spain and the States. Our private chef turned up (yes, it was Carmine … ‘No Problem’) and he cooked up an amazing selection of local dishes and wines, complete with Tiramisu cake, disco lights and a full sound system to which with the help of some locally made limoncello, even the grandparents were shaking their booty.
We were all sad to wave goodbye to Carmine and the villa as he took the keys and zoomed off on his scooter. The car wheezed as we settled into our seats and Garmin fizzed back into life again with some wildly coloured routes from which we could choose.
The journey back to England had begun. Next stop, a 7 hour drive to Pisa, with its eponymous tower.