AMALFI COAST & BAY OF NAPLES

What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

The cookery demonstrations were also entertaining and a highlight for me. Our visit to Pompeii, Herculaneum and Oplontis were wonderful and gave a real feel of Roman Italy.

What did you think of your group leader?

Our group leader was Eduardo who had lots of patients and was very knowledgeable.

Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

There are mosquitos so take creams, repellent etc. Things are more expensive than you think e.g. €3 for a can of soft drink so take more money than you had planned to avoid being caught short or having to hunt down an ATM. We went the second week in September and were lucky enough to be there during the festival of the Santa Maria which mean we were treated to the parade through the village with the statue of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus, marching band and fireworks. It did also however mean we had to put up with the Fair ground in the vacant lot next to the hotel in the run up to the festival which blasted dance music until midnight every night, so ear plugs are essential if you want an early night.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Ok small negatives, the website says that “the hotel overlooks the Agerola plain” not from any of the rooms our group stayed in, we all had views of either the neighbouring buildings or the other part of the hotel. To get to the view of the Agerola plains it’s a short walk through the village which our guide took us on. If you like a savoury breakfasts your only options are buttered toast and a boiled egg. There are cereals, pastrys, fruit and various jams to choose from but if you dont have a sweet tooth your out of luck. You might want to pack some marmite. I felt the extra expenses section in the Trip notes needed a bit more detail for those of us wishing to plan/ budget properly. For example; If you are a teacher or an OAP you can get in free/ discounted to some of the sites so don’t forget your ID. The packed lunches we took on a number of days from the local bakery and added to our hotel bill were €5 each, for this you got a sandwich with your choice of filling and a small cake (which I don’t think was made at the bakery given its packaging). Going into the Crypt at the Amalfi Cathedral will cost you €3 each and is well worth it for the beautiful paintings in the Crypt alone never mind the small museum of church artefacts. You will need to cover up for the Cathedral and you can’t use flash photography. There is also the option of the paper mill museum which was also €3 each. In Revello going to the Villa Cimbrone will cost you €6 each and is also worth a look around and has some lovely views and gardens. For our guide at Mt Vesuvius we had to pay €10 each (We were a group of 16) I personally didn’t think this was worth it as she spent about 15 mins 20 at most with us and didn’t say anything I hadn’t already read in a guide book or heard from our guide. On our free day we all opted to go to Pompeii and then the Villa Poppea in Oplontis in the afternoon.The transfer was €25 each, our ticket into Pompeii was €8 each, the cost of the Pompeii guide was €11 each and the ticket for Oplontis was €5.50 each. Oplontis was very beautiful and is a world heritage site, it has some of the most well preserved wall paintings in Italy as it was more recently excavated (60’s), it well worth a visit. For our free time in Naples the optional activities were the National Museum of Archaeology, entrance is €8 each and an audio guide is €5 each or you can explore the tunnels under the city for €9.30 each. In the hotel a glass of wine at dinner is €2 unless you have more than one in which case its €5 so if you are having more than one glass it pays to have three. A glass of Prosecco is €4 each, but it is lovely. On your free night you can go and eat your evening meal outside the hotel, but there aren’t that many options to choose from and when the food was so amazing in the hotel you don’t want to go anywhere else. The food is also reasonable priced.