Friday, November 7, 2014

Sorrento Italy

I can't believe we are back. That was honestly the longest trip of my life! Let me start off by saying, I love Italy. The people are friendly the food is good and it is absolutely beautiful. We started off our Europe trip on the coast (down in Sorrento) and it was sunny and warm and perfect. We had a huge double decker plane which was really cool and after 6-7 hours (basically forever) we arrived in Europe. The 6 hour time change and jet lag really got to me so I'm glad our first stop was a relaxing destination. Sorrento was a beautiful town. We loved how it was on a cliff because the views were stunning. I would suggest staying maybe in Positano, Ravello or Amalfi which make up the Amalfi Coast though because that is the most picturesque area but you can always take a train over to them from Sorrento. We ate Margherita pizza for the entire first week of our trip, no joke. I'm in shock that we didn't gain any weight because Italian food is amazing.
T I P S:
Service Fee. If you are trying to save money while traveling around, I know eating food is part of the experience but eating out at restaurants every day will break the bank. Pretty much everywhere we went throughout Europe charged a service fee to eat. If you get "take away" you don't have to pay that fee and you can easily find a quaint place to eat your meal (we did this a lot and the views were always better). A lot of the cute cafes are fun to sit in but just know it usually comes with a hefty price tag. A lot of places don't tell you about it until you get the bill btw. We got screwed most on this and with drinks. In Paris we paid 18 euros on 2 tiny cokes alone. Stop. We seriously died. Thats like $25 or more in dollars. You pay just as much for water out there as sodas so we figured we would have cokes but make sure you ask for the prices of the soda (a lot of menus didn't put them) because we found reasonable ones and ones that were absolutely ridiculous. If you can go without drinks or bring your own (not classy but whatevs) I would.We asked for one soda to split and our server brought us two and I am pretty sure he understood us...

Shop around for food before you buy. I would not suggest waiting until you are starving to finally eat because you will pick the first place you see, but the prices for food range widely. We found pizza for 4-5 euros and then 20 euros. The best pizza we had the whole trip was from a little place in Sorrento for 5 euros and it was fast, so more expensive doesn't mean better. 

Check Tipping. Some of the countries you didn't have to tip. We were told by a local in Venice that in Italy you don't have to, its optional and not expected. In some cases it is already included in the bill...but when we asked one of our servers he said it wasn't so you can't always trust them to tell you the truth. Or in some of the countries its just different. In the states a good tip is 15%-20% but in some of the countries 10% was the norm. 

Must See. we saw around 7 different cities in Italy?! but if you want my opinion on the must sees of Italy out of what we saw it would be Rome, Venice and Florence.

Day Trips. If you are down on the coast I highly suggest doing a day trip to Capri and Pompeii. Lyle thought Pompeii was one of the coolest things we saw. We didn't use a tour guide, just purchased an audio guide and it was really cool. 
I think this was called valley of the mills and it was kinda scary because there was a sidewalk with a gate and you just looked down and saw this. 
 We got to do a cooking class in Sorrento! I highly suggest doing one of those! But next time I would love to do one where we make homemade noodles-make sure you do your research beforehand.
The view from the top of our hotel. 
The pool on the top of our hotel
 A lot of the elevators throughout Europe were pretty small, they would only hold 4 people, while some of them only held 2 so we got to do a LOT of stairs.
Love, Cait

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