7/12/17

Travel | South Of Italy

It already feels like too long ago since I set foot on a plane to Naples with my best pal for an Italian, pizza-filled adventure. This was actually my first EVER time to set foot on the boot-shaped country and I was feeling prrretty excited about it. We booked a 5 night stay in the city centre with Emanuela's humble abode via Air b'n'b.  We could have paid cheaper but other places seemed to lack the character that Emanuela's home promised from its photos. However, it was really reasonable pricing for the room and the home felt so authentically Italian with beautiful high ceilings, art deco floored tiling and grand pieces of furniture. You can check out her place here.

Here are some of my top things to do, places to eat, places to relax and some what to and not to do when in Italy!


C H I L L   V I B E S


Naples is the perfect port of call to reach some of the most beautiful beaches in Italy. Either a ferry or metro ride away and you can be on the sandiest coast and blue-iest of seas. Our first beach stop was at Bagno Elena (pictured above), about 3 stops on the metro from Naples centre. Bagno Elena is lively especially on the sunniest of days but it's perfect for getting both a swim and few hours on the sun lounger. Bearing in mind, this beach had an entry fee of 12 euros and most beaches we went to in Italy had a similar fee. However, we both felt like paying this was worth it as you get a sun lounger with attached visor and if you're spending all day there you get your moneys worth. There's also a bar and outdoor showers too. The beach was truly stunning with views looking onto colourful townhouses and an ancient watch tower.


On the day of our graduation results, we celebrated on the coast of Sorrento which was TBH one of the most beautiful places i've seen. I couldn't stop saying " WOW, look how clear that water is". The mersey in Liverpool looks nothing like it, i'll have you know, so it was pretty excitinnnn. We paid a fee for our sun loungers and entry to the beach but dang was it worth it! This time our loungers were out on a pier and you could dive into the beautiful water from the rocks. Oh and to top that off, nice Italian men at your beck and call for cocktails and food. Yup. Belissimo. Sorrento also had plenty of cute winding streets lined with restaurants. We went for pizza and I had ferrero rocher gelato too, naturally. The best places are Gelateria David and Bougainvella. We were told it also has amazing nightlife for al fresco dining too.






On our last day we were treated as a graduation present with tickets to Capri! Just when I thought it couldn't get more beautiful than Sorrento, it did. Capri is a stu-nning island just a 45 minute ferry ride away from Naples. The destination for towering cliffs, the blue grotto, even clearer blue water, pebbly beaches and pastel coloured Italian villas. And fyi, it was where the Dior perfume ad was filmed so, yeah it is that pretty. Luckily the beach on this island was free and it was blimmin' beautiful with again the clearest of waters and little rock pools. We took my little donut inflatable for a spin and I honestly could have stayed there forever.


We went for some lunch then tried to get some vespas to discover the island however, bear in mind for vespas not only do you need a license but you need some experience on a scooter too. Boat tours are also pretty expensive and you need to book these in advance as they sell out quite quickly. We settled on a boat trip out to the famous blue grotto which was such an amazing thing to experience. After a while waiting we were escorted onto little paddle boats by a wee Italian man. The duration of the tour inside the blue grotto felt like the shortest ten minutes of my life but it was a pretty special 10 minutes at that. The man told us about the history behind the grotto and how the water is so blue (like, electric cobalt blue) and then went on to serenade us in Italian opera - truly atmospheric, and also made me lol. I'll put up a short vlog on Youtube soon where you can see just how blue the water was...

S U M M E R   W A R D R O B E



On the wardrobe front, I packed pretty light and aimed for versatile pieces that I could mix and match. I brought along some denim skirts, a denim dress (above), light crop tops, sandles and one pair of trainers. In all honesty though I probably wouldn't wear sandles again because my feet were so wrecked by blisters (legit). The majority of the time we were in our bikinis. I managed to nab some amazing two pieces and one pieces from Primark that could be mixed and matched (pictured below). It was about 31c+ so shorts, skirts and tees were a must!

Naples is a pretty cool city to discover in itself and has both an archeology museum and a contemporary art museum, Museo Madre. As for the city, it's a bit crazy, busy and messy...but at the same time it's what is most amusing about the city. There is plenty to see if you like people watching, taking photos or wandering through markets. Pointer: bring a bumbag. Naples is notorious for pickpocketers (as is any other big city) but we had absolutely no problem, but bumbags are always handy. Naples was also pretty good for shopping and we discovered a cute vintage fashion shop crossed with a record shop called Oblomova.


T H E   N I G H T L I F E

The nightlife in Naples is quite spread out and the Italian's prefer to sit in a bar or terrace over a few drinks, or just get drunk in the streets in the local 'plaza's', than go clubbing like us lot in Liverpool so if you're planning to go clubbing then you need to venture out a little further. We found a free event going on at nearby 'Riva club' which overall was a pretty amusing and fun night... the whole club had the vibe of the big brother house and everyone looked like they were from n dubz. The drinks were expensive (10 euros for a g&t anyone?) and the music eventually got better and we had a fun night dodging touchy feely Italian boys and dancing. However, from Naples you'll need a taxi to get here or you need to hitchhike with strangers...*cough* didn't do that or anything *cough*.

P I Z Z A!!!

Whilst you might be spending a lot of your dolla on stupidly priced drinks (thanks riva club), you won't need much dolla to enjoy the delicacy of Naples that is... PIZZA. Afterall, Naples is the birthplace of the beautiful doughy/cheesy/tomatoe-y goodness. We ate pizza every single night - except our last night where we had pasta, just because it was getting a bit out of hand...top pizza places are without a doubt L'antica pizzeria da michele which have two pizzas on the menu and four drinks because, they don't need anything else to prove how good they are. A pizza at 4€ and without a doubt the best tasting pizza i've had (pictured above). It's a huge hit with tourists so get there earlier to avoid waiting - they give you a ticket number and call you when there's a table free - and Julia Roberts ate there too, fo real. Other places to hit up are La Campagnola who honestly pretty much trumped L'antica with their crushed pistachio and pesto pizza, and complimentary doughnuts, ugh. La Margherita was also amazing and the waiters were super nice and gave us a few too many shots of melonchello afterwards.

My 10 top tips for surviving Naples:

1. Bring plasters, if like me, your feet turn into a giant blister
2. Be prepared to travel on public transport, unless you're Beyoncé
3. Forget the stereotypes and the bad reputation because we felt perfectly safe and didn't witness any crime!
4. Learn some basic Italian because some Italian guys might approach you on the beach and you will then sit in awkward silence for 5 minutes trying to use sign language (this happened)
5. Explore the cuisine and try different things other than margherita pizza (but try that too, obviously)
6. When your mum says watch out for the Italian boys, she meant it
7. Always leave in plenty of time for the ferry's, or you arrive extra sweaty and that's just not fun
8. Ask for a 'espresso con panna' and thank me later
9. Buy metro tickets in advance at local newsagents because you can't buy them at the metro station for some weird reason (get it sorted, Naples)
10. Watch out for those vespas because they literally come out of nowhere around every street corner and I feared for my life

Hope you enjoyed this travel guide,
Ciao!

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