So my cousin was visiting me in Paris from the US and with exams done what’s a better reason to travel? We both had never been to Italy and since the Amalfi Coast is on my bucket list and I needed to distress we decided doing an Italian tour would be a great idea before I bundled myself back home to Nigeria and it’d cost an arm and a leg to go.
So in true travel freak fashion I created a detailed itinerary and planned out exactly where to go, flights, trains, hotels, things to see, things I must eat-yes that’s very important. Lol. And this was our road map.
Napoli---> Sorrento ---> Capri ---> Amalfi Coast ---> Ravello ---> Positano ---> Rome ---> Florence ---> Milan
9 cities in 6 days and here’s what we got up to.
We arrived at the airport around 9am. We had only one day to see as much as we could, so we found the left luggage, deposited our bags, bought train tickets to Sorrento which was our next destination and then went off to find the “City Sightseeing Napoli” tour bus. We managed to do 2 out of 3 lines just because we were so tired and very hungry. Don’t bother guessing, yes we did. We shamelessly and cliché-ly had a Neapolitan pizza. There are usually only 2 types of pizza being served: Marinara (variation) and Margarita (original). Of course we had one of each. They were so good that we bought the olive oil and herbs used to make the pizza. The rest of the time in Naples was spent more or less shopping.
We returned well ahead of time for our Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento which was €70 cheaper than the taxi rate and although it wasn’t the most comfy train, the adventure and scenery were well worth the €3.50 we paid for the tickets.
SORRENTO-Day 1, Day 2
Locating our hotel was super easy (s/o to Google maps yet again for coming in clutch). Oh sweet lemony Sorrento. I absolutely loved this place. The people were very friendly and the markets were endless. Most of the stores closed at 10pm so we had a few hours to scan the area, get some gelato and design our sandals. Yes, sandals! This is an absolute Sorrento must do in addition to drinking Limoncello.
Limoncello is a basically lemon liqueur produced in Sorrento and shipped all over the world. They make so many things with lemons here like every other Amalfi Coast town/city from candles to soaps to oils, its endless. If you love seafood, welcome to seafood-heaven.
We got picked up at 10am the next day from our hotel by the host of the “Under 30’s CAPRI TOUR” and off to Sorrento bay we went. First came the booze and then the music and within minutes, we were all besties. On the way, we stopped by the green and white grotto. The blue grotto, which is the most famous one, was unfortunately closed so we only saw it from a distance. We stopped at the green grotto for a little dip. I’m a swimmer but when it comes to the ocean, I need insurance so yes, that life jacket came on!
We also went through the Lovers arch. So here’s the deal with that: If you kiss under the arch, your love will be eternal. Moving on, Capri was just so beautiful, we also took the cable car to Anacapri for a quick gelato with a view and really just to enjoy the scenery. Capri has to be the most romantic city I’ve visited so far. I was saying to my friend “The water be like say them fetch am from Jesus swimming pool” – Absolutely stunning
AMALFI, RAVELLO AND POSITANO-Day 3
The Amalfi coast cities were generally more expensive and as budget travellers, we made the smart decision of making Sorrento our base and just visiting the other cities from there and save a few bucks.
We got off to an early start the next day, because we had 3 cities to cover. We decided to do a private tour for this, as we wanted to explore the cities at our own pace. Ravello was our first stop so we had breakfast there. The city was very beautiful although the people weren’t as welcoming. They also had the most beautiful ceramic work I had ever seen. In Amalfi, we didn’t have time to get our leather sandals custom made so we bought some off the shelf. Visiting the Duomo (Italian Cathedral) here and having gelato from “The gelato bar” are an absolute must.
Positano was again, very beautiful, very little, very artistic and the view of the city from the beach was like “a view from heaven’s balcony.”
We arrived in Naples about 90mins before our train to Rome, so we decided to get ourselves some pizza from “L'antica pizzeria da Michele” which is the pizza place from the movie Eat, Pray, Love. Rumour has it that they have the best pizza in the world and I wholeheartedly believe it.
We arrived Rome around 11pm and found our hotel, which was a 4min walk from the station. My Italian friends who happen to all live in Rome met up with us and we went out for drinks, saw a little bit of the not so tourist areas which is what I usually like doing. My memory of that night is a little fuzzy but all I remember is that we walked for ages! The following day was Vatican museum day. I strongly recommend pre-ordering entry tickets online as well as getting the audio headset. They’re both worth the few extra euros. After this, we did a little “monument hunt”. – Colosseum, Trevi fountain, all of it but the Spanish as they were closed. The day ended with a Spa evening and some amazing Carbonara. Rome was a wrap and Florence was next!
FLORENCE- Day 5
We literally had only a couple of hours in Florence and needed to tick 3 things off our bucket list. Florence is the birthplace of gelato so that had to happen, Michelangelo‘s “David” (just because I adore his works and I’m a sucker for sculptures) and last but not the least, The Duomo. Whilst in Florence, we were told about an outlet mall in Tuscany, which was 40 minutes away so we decided to visit and see what it had to offer.
MILAN-Day 5, Day 6
The last leg of my trip could have ended not so great seeing as my suitcase got stolen from the luggage area on the train from Florence to Milan, but I was determined to make the most of my time in Milan regardless. If you are touring Italy be watchful and keep all your belongings close, the rumours of their petty theft skills are quite true. Oh and pay for insurance.
That said, I didn’t let that ruin my last day in Italy. We accidentally had dinner at an Armani restaurant. Yes Armani, the water even had the Armani logo. We were too hungry and had ordered water before we realized where we were. It was too late to leave and very honestly, the prices were not outrageous. The meal was amazing, I kid you not, even the water tasted like “them carry am from God’s fridge”. We were definitely very underdressed seeing as it was unplanned. I would absolutely recommend this place to anyone visiting Milan but I forget the name now.
We started off the next day, visited the Duomo, went shopping (because of course Milan!) and had some more gelatos. Night came and it was time to kiss Italy goodbye.
The experience was absolutely amazing and having my cousin to share accommodation with, the trip was totally affordable, costing a total of £370 for 3* and 4* hotels, all train tickets, ubers, taxis etc. Flights cost €0 as I redeemed my Emirates miles on EasyJet. I’m all about finding the best deals and I outdid myself on this trip as well and I want to go back already. Can’t wait for the next adventure.
Follow Bisola's journeys on Instagram @indianabass and @bamkoleba. Safe travels :)