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We had an amazing trip and you helped us a lot!

I'm back from a wonderful two weeks trip that I enjoyed so much! This was a great way to celebrate our 20th wedding celebration, one of the main goals we had was not wanting to feel rushed, I think we acomplished this. ( except for the first night )
We flew Los Angeles -Paris-LA ( I know, open jaw is better but we found a fare that we couldn"t resist! ) It was our first time flying non -stop , ( fifth time to Europe) Oh my! I loved it! We arrived so well rested .It's gonna be difficult to take connections again! 😉. We flew Air France, only positive comments about them.
We divided our trip like this:
* 1 Night Paris
* 6 nights Sorrento
3 nights Florence
4 nights Paris again
* Paris: We arrived early morning so we felt confident to take the RER and metro to our hotel Diana in the Latin Quarter. I found about this hotel here and it was great! Thank you! A little bit above our programmed budget, so we only booked for this one night stay. ( budget €100 , this hotel €125 no breakfast included) This neighborhood is so lively , full of young people, restaurants and things to do, we really liked it!
We walked through the area, went to Luxemburg Gardens for the first time , went to Notre Dame that was surrounded by blossom trees , beautiful!!! One street next to Notre Dame we found this restaurant that claims to be the oldest in Paris , it was so beautiful on the outside, full of flowers, picturesque lilac chairs, great picture shots!
We walked and had a beer in the Marais, and called it off for the day.
We had a flight to catch in the morning .
Things that I want to highlight:
* Great turist information service at Charles de Gaulle for first timers (or for everyone!) They sell metro tickets if you don't want to deal with machines yet, although they're not difficult to use.
* We found Parisians so kind and helpful! Always willing to help when they notice you need it.

We flew Easy-Jet , Orly -Nap , airline good as always. From Naples we took the Curreri bus ( €10 each) to Sorrento. Scenic drive, 90 min aprox , easy to catch just outside the airport . Being this our second time in the area I just loved the feeling of "knowing" the airport, knowing that the Curreri bus was on the left side of the airport and the buses to the train station on the right. Feeling some how "familiar" with the area was great! I just couldn't erase the smile of my face!
We arrived at 6:00 pm aprox to Sorrento , one of my happy places in this world, It just makes me happier!
Three years ago we went there for the first time and we fell in love!
That time we found this b&b Villa Monica ( don't forget the name,you will thank me later! 😉) We loved everything about it! The view, the rooms, the cleanliness, the price and especially the way Pasquale, the owner made us feel , we liked it so much that all this trip was planned around being able to stay at least six nights at Villa Monica and now, I loved it even more!
We stopped to have dinner at Il Leone Rosso, ( Pasquale picked us Up there, after dinner.) The restaurant is right next to the train station, It was good, but I expected more , nothing to complain but not a meal that we'll remember and rave about it. ( €48.50 per two wine included) Excellent service.
And there we went to one of my favorite spots in this world!!! My room in Villa Monica!
But , I' ll continue later... 😃 Thanks for reading me .

Posted by
11450 posts

Waiting for more !! Glad to hear it went so well so far !

Posted by
7705 posts

Sounds like a fantastic trip. Eager to hear the rest as you get time.

Posted by
8421 posts

Paris is my #1 happy place, and Sorrento my second so I can imagine how wonderful it must have been! So agree about non-stop. Glad you had a good trip and look forward to hearing more!

Posted by
137 posts

Cont... Thanks for your comments! This is the way to do it, right? Or should I start another thread?
After saying hello to our hosts while enjoying a glass of wine, we decided that the following day we would visit Pompei. Warm, sunny day , perfect weather. We found out that there was a strike on the Circumvesubiana for some hours, we got an offer for a tour but we weren' sure, we were trying to decide when a couple from Bulgary approached us offering to share a taxi to Pompei with a family of four, them and us. We hesitated , was it safe? We saw what seemed a very harmless American family ( they were! 😃) and there we went! A very fun drive sharing traveling experiences and tips. Before arriving, the American lady very kindly told me that she didn't want to say good bye with out telling me that not every American thinks as poorly about us, Mexicans as the president of her country. We had a nice, polite and respectful chat about it . I thought it was very kind of her.
I didn't know how I was going to like Pompei, was I going to enjoy it? Was I going to think that it was just old rocks, not making me feel anything? Oh boy!!! I was wrong!! I enjoyed Pompei very much!!! It was easy to imagine how people lived sooo many years ago! We used the audiophones , they helped us. We would prefer a guide but even though we understand English , my husband thought he would enjoy more a tour in Spanish but we had to wait for too long for that tour to start , that's the reason we chose the audioguides. Spent around 3 hours there because the CV strike was going to continue again. But, to my surprise, I could have spent at least two more hours there! I felt very touched by all I saw. Amazing place, great experience!
We went back to Sorrento, stopped for a drink and snack enjoying a beautiful view at the Foreigner's Club ( at the lobby there is a Tourist information and a free, clean restroom ) . We walked through beautiful Sorrento just enjoying it. We had dinner at La Lanterna , lovely ambience, ok food. I think we got spoiled on our previous trip and these restaurants picks just didn't meet the expectations. Not bad, just not amazing!
Next day : Capri! ...Oh my! How much I loved it!!!
Marvelous views!!

Just arriving we looked for Gardens of Augustus ( € 1!) Beautiful views!,
Took the bus to Ana Capri, loved this little town! Took the chair lift to
Mount Solaro, wow! What kind of views!!! So glad we did it in that order as this view is more dramatic than Gardens of Augustus. We enjoyed both very much. Had some drinks in Mount Solaro and after a couple of hours we went down to Ana Capri , walked, enjoying it!
Took the bus back to Capri and look for the Natural Arch, beautiful!!! About 30 min walk uphill (not a walk in the park for this not in perfect shape woman! 😉 But, fun and so worthy! ) Some people ( beautiful people!) watching at la piazza and it was about time to catch the 6:45 boat to Sorrento. Not wanting this day to end!!!
Back in Sorrento we had dinner with our hosts ( and now, friends!) at Lo Stuzzichino . Wonderful dinner , finally!!! Recommended 100 %
Got to go!... I think I will need to be less detailed or I 'll never finish this report! 😃

Posted by
2054 posts

Happy (belated) Anniversary and I'm so happy to hear your trip went so well. It sounds as if you and your husband had quite an adventurous and amazing trip. Wanting to hear more! PS-Details are GOOD!!

Posted by
8180 posts

Great detailed report. Please continue like this and on this thread (don't start a new one). We enjoy reading about the details and your trip sounds like you had a lovely time.

Posted by
137 posts

Hello! After busy, busy days at work I'm back to continue writing about the wonderful time we had in Italy and Paris last month.
On our fourth day of vacation we visited for the first time Amalfi and Ravello , beautiful towns!
We took the cita bus ( not that early, at 11:00 am) we let one bus go as it was almost full and we only could go standing . I really think it was worthy to wait 30 min , and being able to go comfortably sitting ( seated?) having the opportunity to enjoy those wonderful views! ( opposite side from the driver, don't forget it!)
We spent like two hours in Amalfi, cute, little town . We had a delicious gelato ( the first one of the trip! ) and enjoyed the beaitiful church of Amalfi.
We took the bus to Ravello , loved this little town! Following tips from this forum we went to Villa Cimbrone oh wow! Beautiful gardens and views! I went craaaazy taking pictures.
There was a music event that night that unfortunately we didn't know about before ( even though I checked for musical events in the area , during the planning stage) . It seemed like the whole town was excited about it. Too bad we couldn't attend it. I wish one day I could be there for the summer festival, It must be magical!
We went back to Sorrento and we had dinner at Il Leone Rosso , again.

The following day it was planned to be a relaxed day, laundry and enjoy Sorrento. On our way to doing laundry we told Pasquale ( our host and who now I consider my friend in Italy 😃)that we were thinking on the chance of not going to Naples the following day ( and last one in the area) because we hadn't had time to go to Positano ( and I loooove Positano , from our previous trip) as we had ran out of time the previous day.
To not make the story too long I'll tell you that they convinced us to go to Naples , So we changed the plan , we did laundry, gave them our clean clothes to take back to Villa Monica ( our b&b) and there we went to Positano like at 3:00 pm!!!
Not with the clothes that I had carefully chosen to use in "my" beloved town, my husband wearing a black sweater because "we're just doing laundry" ( it was a WARM day at Positano , lots of people in bikini! haha ) , not with the good camera, because " we don't need it to do laundry, right?" ;)
Anyhow it was a WONDERFUL day/ afternoon that I will forever cherish! To me, being in Positano is being living a dream . It' so pretty, so cozy!
One of the highlights of this day ( although I feel that the whole day was a highlight) was having a drink ( well, two beers each) at Le Sirenuse . It's SO beautiful! We watched sunset over there, it was simply magical to me!
Priceless, priceless moments! ( actually it was €12 a beer but TOTALLY worthy!!! 😉)
A day that I will always remember and cherish!

Next day Naples by boat, a great way to arrive to Naples . We took the hop on hop off bus as we thought it was the best way to maximise the hours we had there. I'm glad we did it!
Oh but let me tell you that on the boat I realise that it was Tuesday and the Arqueological museum was closed!!! My first big mistake, months and months of reading this forum and RS books and not have planned the day in Naples better, my bad... Well, another reason to come back! ;)
Once we went off the bus and were on our own, I don't know, Naples started to stress me a little bit, all those motorcicles, all those cars mmm ... I thought I was going to enjoy it more.
I liked the energy of the city but... I think I need to give it another chance, witmore time and I'm sure it will grow on me.
We ate at Brandi that we found by chance, the pizza was delicious!
Back to our last night in Sorrento, mixed emotions I never want to leave Sorrento!

We ate in the restaurant with the best food we have ever tried in Italy, Da Filippo, we loved it there! We had eaten there two of the three nights we stayed there three years ago, we loved it then and we loved it now! Everything we tried was DELICIOUS!

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137 posts

Da FILIPPO , ( write it down, hopefully when you're in Sorrento you give it a try and love it as much as we do!)
Next morning Pasquale and Monica, his wife invited us to have a coffee before taking us to the train station . It's a great feeling having people there that you consider not only your hosts but your friends. Villa Monica ( and Pasquale and Monica) means so much to us . I had never stayed in any place that made me feel like it was my home too . The rooms are wonderful, the views to Mount Vesuvius and the sea are spectacular but the way they make their guests feel is, just unvaluable. ♡
We had a train to Florence to catch, at 1:00 pm we left Naples , excited and a little bit sad.

Originally I wanted to go to Prague after Sorrento ( it has been on my bucket list for a while ) but at the same time I didn't want a lot of airports, I wanted this trip to be more relaxed . Fortunately I followed your wonderful advice and although during the planning stages, going to Florence didn't make me feel super excited, this city really surprised me!
We arrived around 4:30 pm , got lost looking for our b&b ( part of the adventure , I guess! ) we finally found it ( not that it was difficult to find, just followed well intended but wrong instructions from random people) thanks to great people always willing to help strangers. ( That was my overall impression during the trip, this world of ours is full of good people!)
We didn't do much that evening, have dinner , walked to Ponte Vecchio , strolled through a small part of the city and fell in love with its beauty ... nothing else 😃.
Next morning we had reserved tickets to L' Accademia (Sp? ) glad we had tickets , loong line for those with out them!
The David? Impressive! We are not huge museum's lovers but we're so glad we saw this one. We really enjoyed seeing all the instrumentos in the museum of Music ( not sure if that's the name but it's part of the museum)
Also here, in this forum someone posted an article about Florence ( thank you! ) where a tuk -tuk tour was recommended. I thought it could be a good idea as I didn't want to "get bored" in Florence! ( What was I thinking???)
Well, we enjoyed the three hours tour VERY much!
Brando, the guide is a great young man , who proudly shares his city . He took us to beautiful parts /nooks that we had never found by our own with only three nights in the city. By the way, THANKS ROBERTO di Firenzi for your great tips and especially for convincing me to spend the whole time within Florence, one of the best advice I got for this trip!
After the almost four hours spent on the tuk -tuk tour ( even though we paid for three) we strolled through the beautiful streets, the beautiful piazzas, had some wine by the duomo listening to talented street musicians and continuing falling in love with this wonderful city!
Next day, we chose to visit the Pitti Palace. It was a long line, almost two hours wait. I remembered reading on the Florence and Tuscany RS book that you can go directly to the ticket booth and ask to pay the reservation fee the same day you want to get in , that way you can skip the line. That's what we did and Voila! Five min later we were in!
We really enjoyed touring this palace! We also visited the Bobolli Gardens. I had read here that someone recommended the view from Bardini Gardens ( I'm all for beautiful views!) Not super easy to find, but totally worthy!

Wonderful views of Florence!
We went to Santa Croce to see Miguel Angel's and Galilei's tombs, very interesting. Walked through the city, stopping for a glass of wine or beer, people watch , marveling we were there ... sigh... ♡
We had dinner at a restaurant recommended by our hosts at the b&b, Trattoria De Anita. .. delicious!!! Near Palazzo Vechio .
We really enjoyed staying at our b&b Dimora Bandinelli. Beautiful room, great hosts, very good breakfast. A little bit away from the center, 15 min walking. Not bad after all that eating!

Posted by
137 posts

Thank you, Thank you to all of you who takes the time to read me . 😃

Posted by
11450 posts

Wow.. I am really enjoying your trip report.. I would love to see Pompei one day too.. and Capri and Naples and all the places you went.

Posted by
137 posts

You should go Pat! They are WONDERFUL places. ..yes, Naples included. 😉
Thanks for your comments!

Posted by
137 posts

... Time to leave Florence. Not having the opportunity to do any side trips this time, gives me the perfect excuse to go back to this part of Italy!
When am I going to see other parts of this world if Italy keeps me captivated the way it does?? 😉
We flew Vueling very early in the morning, airport very close to the city center, small and easy to navigate... Good bye Italy ♡
Well, going to Paris it's nothing to complain about !
For this four nights we chose to stay on the 9th , George Astotel . We loved it!! First time in this hotel chain, it was great! Do you know that this chain offers its guests beverages ( non alcoholic) and snacks for free from 1:00 pm to 2:00 am ? I thought it was great! Not quaint but nice and very clean bedrooms , a very pretty breakfast area , complimemtary and delicious breakfast and the most attentive, helpful and kind staff!

I need to say that this is the time we have used the metro the most as the hotel is not near to most of the famous tourist attractions
( Notredame, Louvre, Eiffel tower, etc.) but it has two metro stops very, very close. It is walking distance to the Opera Garnier and on the opposite way , very close to Sacre Cour . We liked the area very much, plenty of restaurants options, boulangeries, super and mini markets, laundrymats , everything we could need !
First day we walked to Opera Garnier, ( it was too late to get in, we thought of returning the following day, but never made it) , Galeries LaFayette ( georgeus building!) . On our way to the hotel we stopped to eat some gyros and that was it for the day. ..We were tired from waking up very early.
Next day, Sunday. This was a VERY special day. We had tickets to attend a concert at Sainte -Chapelle!
First thing in the morning my dear husband did some laundry ( He's obsessed with having everything clean! 😃) while I did some exploring through the neighborhood, took pics and did just some " Oh I'm so happy I'm here" time.
We walked to Montmartre that was packed! ( Sunday around 2:00pm, not the best idea if you don't like crowds) beautiful but crewded!
We took the metro, went off at a beautiful bird and flower market in the Sainte Chapelle area ( love to find thhese kind of places when I'm not looking for them) , had some paninis and quiches at a random restaurant . After that, we sat at a very popular cafe near Notredame to do one of my favorite activities in Paris , See life and people pass bye ...
Time to go to the concert! Oh Wow! What a wonderful experience! The place, the music, the ambience. ..a moment in time that will remain as one of my favorites in life!

Vivaldi, Four Seasons. .. Just MAGICAL!

The following day we tried to wake up as early as we could to being able to fully enjoy Montmartre without all the people, it was great!
We walked through beautiful little streets full of blooming trees, took some BEAUTIFUL ( in my opinion, at least ) pictures, we sat to have coffee, watching the painters start their worling day... It was a lovely morning.
I didn't want this visit to be full of museums ( although I wanted to see D' Orsay but we didn't make it ...Next time!), I wanted to do some things different from previous trips. We chose to go to this park I had read about a lot "Des Buttes Chamount" , BEAUTIFUL park!
So happy we went! ... If you have been to Paris before , you like nature and want to go away from the more touristic attractions, give this park on the 19th, a try . Easy metro ride.

I got another park recommentation from the concergie of our hotel for next time!
We took a well needed nap and there we went to do a Cruise ride on the Sena, that was something I wanted to repeat!
We took the 9:00 pm ride and it was perfect ! Tower twinkling, night falling over Paris , the amazing buildings lighting up! Oh, I couldn't be happier!!!
... I almost finish!

Posted by
8421 posts

Yes, I'm reading and enjoying it! I love Paris (can never get enough of Paris) / France and Italy too... especially Sorrento. So glad you had such a great time! Waiting for the next chapter please... : )

Posted by
7705 posts

Veronica, it sounds like you had a wonderful time, and your enthusiasm leaps off the page. It's so great that your Sorrento hosts are friends to you now. I love how you let the bus go by because there was another one in 30 minutes -- and then you got the seats and the views that you wanted. And then realizing you got to Naples on the very day of the week that the Archeological museum was closed -- we can all identify!!

Thanks for sharing so much about your trip. I hope you got lots and lots of good pictures too.

Posted by
961 posts

Veronica - YES - I read all of it and enjoyed it very much! Thank you for posting about your trip. Not only did I get to travel through your eyes but now there is a record I can refer to for my own travels.

Posted by
2283 posts

Great report, Veronica! Glad you had such a fun trip.

Posted by
1164 posts

I, too, have read every word!
Wonderful! Thanks for sharing your experiences with us!

Posted by
11292 posts

I'm reading too! And don't worry - plenty of people read what you write, even if they don't reply in this thread or in private messages. Your work in writing about your trip is much appreciated!