Nancy, Catherine and Emily visit Southern Italy

I have just returned from a 6 night whirlwind trip of Southern Italy.  It was a wonderful adventure with my mom and sister that renewed our mutual love of all things Italian.  On this, our fourth trip to Italy, we were anxious to explore the Amalfi Coast and Naples, both in the Campania region along the western coast of Italy.  The birthplace of pizza, Neapolitan ice cream and Limoncello... our taste buds were excited!

We flew roundtrip Philadelphia-Rome on USAir.  We managed to use miles for envoy class tickets, well worth it, considering the 9 hour overnight flight and the full day we planned on arrival.  Determined to travel economically, we decided to skip the private car and driver and upon landing in Rome, we took three trains and a car to reach our first destination and home base for three nights, the beautiful Hilton Sorrento Palace.  Hauling luggage up and down flights of stairs, negotiating the Naples train station and our connection to the local train aside, it was a good way to save money and keep us awake that first day in Italy.  The Hilton is a modern oasis in the midst of one of the oldest civilizations in the world.  We stayed on the Executive floor with large rooms opening up to a view of the Bay of Napoli and the lights in the city of Naples twinkling on the other side.

Our first full day was spent exploring the town of Sorrento. Charming and compact, one day is all you really need to feel like you have seen it all.  We started with a 2 hour guided walking tour to get the lay of the land and spent the rest of the day wandering on our own.  While there are no super high end designer shops here like you will find in the larger cities, more affordable local designers like Max Mara and Marina Rinaldi do have stores here and you can certainly do some damage if you are so inclined.   This time of year, there is also a Christmas market set up with local shops and artists displaying their wares. 

We had two meals at our new favorite local pizzeria, Aurora.  Aurora’s location on the main square made it an easy stop for lunch or a casual dinner.  In addition to an extensive pizza menu, they serve an amazing homemade vegetable soup, perfect for warming up after a morning of shopping.  We also enjoyed fine dining experiences at two of the only restaurants that stay open year round, the L’ Antica Trattoria and the Ristorante Museo Caruso.  Both offer reasonably priced tasting menus that allow you to enjoy multiple courses suggested by the chef.  Because of the close proximity to the water, seafood is featured prominently on local menus. EDV

Emily Dunn Verheyen is a Group Travel and Meeting Planner. She joined Aladdin in 2004 and her favorite destinations are Africa, Italy, anywhere in the Caribbean and Costa Rica. Emily loves to travel with her family. Emily has extensive international travel experience and is passionate about helping others explore the world. Helping people get out of their comfort zones and exposing them to new and unique experiences is the most fulfilling part of her job. She gives 100% to every client and expects to build long term relationships with each of them.

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