2 weeks-Positano & Sicily Trip Report

Jun 29th, 2007, 05:39 AM
  #1  
lb3
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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2 weeks-Positano & Sicily Trip Report

Hi, We were scheduled to depart on 6/8 and return on 6/22, with the first week spent in Positano and the second week in Sicily. My husband and I are from MA and were meeting friends from CT and FL at JFK for our non-stop flight to Naples on Eurofly. As I said we were scheduled to leave on 6/8, but because our flight was cancelled after our scheduled takeoff time, we did not depart until 6/9. Eurofly personnel at JFK were unhelpful, rude and unpleasant. This all in contrast to the onboard personnel which were friendly, hardworking and kind. The return flight was late departing, but made the time up in the air. Therefore I have no hard and fast recommendation on Eurofly-it seems a roll of the dice, the experience you will have.

Naples is a small airport and we quickly got our luggage and went to meet the driver. Bless his heart, this was the second day he came to pick us up, as Eurofly had told him that we were landing ontime the day before. His name is Giancarlo Gargiulo, www.tourofitaly.com and he charged a very reasonable 95 Euros each way. He drives an immaculate Mercedes van. We had rented a 3 bedroom, 4 bath villa in Positano for the week from RentTuscany and it was perfect in every way. The large balcony overlooked the town, duomo and beach, the furnishings were beautiful and it was extremely well equipped. We really enjoyed staying here. Excursions and food to follow.
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Jun 29th, 2007, 05:42 AM
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Thanks for posting the info about the driver. That price appears to be lower than others mentioned here so I will mark it down for my own trip..

Eagerly awaiting the rest of the report..
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jun 30th, 2007, 06:16 AM
  #3  
lb3
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Excursions: We did three formal (with guides) excursions and can highly recommend each. The first one was a full day exploration of Naples with Dr.Annamaria Esposito, [email protected] . She has a PHD in Greco-Roman Archaeology,speaks fluent English and is fun. It was an amazing day walking around Naples and seeing the sites with her. We used Rosario Somma,mobile# 39 333 739 70 44 as our driver and he was delightful--another hearty recommendation. (Can you tell we had a terrific vacation?)
We took a full day tour of Capri with Capritime Tours, www.capritime.com and again had a fantastic time. We took the ferry to Capri and met Rebecca of Capritime at the port. She introduced us to our guide who spent the morning givving us a walking tour of the island, the important sites, streets and museums. Following lunch we boarded our private "gozzo" or boat and circumnavigated the island, stopping to enter the Blue Grotto, Green Grotto and White Grotto. There was time for a refreshing swim in the beautiful water of Capri. The Captain was wonderful and we enjoyed his company. Our last organized tour was in Sorrento and was a combination Olive grove tour, olive oil factory tour and olive oil tasting, a visit to an artisan Lemoncello maker with tasting, and a rustic lunch and wine tasting. Our guide, Alberio, was a delight! This was organized through www.cooking-vacations.com.
Our one "dis-organized" tour was the walk of the gods, which was beautiful, fun and clearly for the very fit--my calves burnt for two days. Food to follow.
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Jul 1st, 2007, 05:01 AM
  #4  
lb3
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topping for Beth
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Jul 1st, 2007, 05:36 AM
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Hello lb3 - thank you for your report, we are off to Amalfi Coast in 2 weeks and getting very excited indeed. I like the look of the Sorrento food tour. Can you tell me how long the tour lasted and where you were picked up from? How many were on the tour? I would like to convince my husband to sign up! thank you
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Jul 1st, 2007, 06:05 AM
  #6  
lb3
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Hi Endlessummer, The tour really was alot of fun. We were picked up and returned to Positano by the guide and our tour lasted approximately 5 hours. Our group consisted of five people and we had the opportunity to purchase products we sampled,if we wished to do so, absolutely no pressure to buy. Enjoy your trip!
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Jul 2nd, 2007, 01:03 AM
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Thank you! 5 hours sounds just about right. I will try and book us...
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Jul 2nd, 2007, 03:30 AM
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lb3: This is an interesting report. Thanks for posting the name of the Naples guide. Do you remember the price for the day-long walking tour?

About the driver, Rosario Somma: Did you mean you used this driver within Naples? Or to get to the Capri ferry?

I can't wait to read the food part of the report!
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Jul 3rd, 2007, 07:16 AM
  #9  
lb3
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Good Morning ekscrunchy, I'm sorry it took awhile to reply, but I am getting ready for company to join us for the July 4th celebration. But to answer your questions, Dr. Esposito charges 290 Euros for a 7 hour tour for a group up to 5 or 6 people. Rosario picked us up in Positano and drove us to Naples and drove us within Naples whenever the sites were not within walking distance and he drove us back to Positano. Food report to follow. Good Luck!
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Jul 3rd, 2007, 07:30 AM
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Count me in as someone else very interested in your report -- I am in the process of checking out Positano villa rentals for next June and would appreciate any info on yours.
Am also making note of your guides/drivers. Thanks.
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Jul 3rd, 2007, 08:31 AM
  #11  
lb3
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Oh no--my entire restaurant review just disappeared. My son (our expert) said there is nothing to do about it, if it was not in Word. Any suggestions?
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Jul 3rd, 2007, 10:40 AM
  #12  
lb3
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I guess there is nothing to do but try to re-create it.

Greater Positano Food

We had the luxury of an extremely well-equipped kitchen and a balcony with an awesome view, so we had "happy hour" every evening on our balcony overlooking the town and beach. We feasted on local olives, cheeses and wine (a local white wine we found we liked alot is Greco di Tufo). The shops had many choices of local products and we found that the hundreds of steps and all of the walking allowed us to feast everyday and not gain weight.

Our first evening, we dined at La Cambusa,Piazza Vespucci. It overlooks the beach and is pretty. The restaurant was very accommodating in changing our reservations, as we had lost an entire day when our flight was canceled at JFK. We all had seafood and it was very fresh and well prepared. Naples had won a soccer match earlier in the day and thus moved up to Class 1 and we were treated to a victory parade and celebratory music. It was fun to be included in the general happiness of the moment.The service and food at the restaurant were fine and only suffered in comparison to some of the exceptional food and service we were treated to on other evenings.

The next two dinners were in restaurants in Montepertuso. Both restaurants sent a van to pick us up. Il Tagliata is a casual place with grilled food, fresh pasta and very friendly service. The kitchen is open and frequently the people cooking will talk to the patrons and enliven the evening. We were treated to a homemade digestive that was wonderful. The welcoming atmosphere really made this a fun evening. The next evening we ate at Il Ritovo and it was fantastic from start to finish. The view looking down on Positano is breathtaking. The service was welcoming, but not overwhelming. Chef Barba is very talented and showcased the fresh local products. He sent us three different complimentary appetizers to try (in addition to the many we had ordered) and also sent us a sparking red dessert wine that was yummy! His food was delicious and very well presented. We really enjoyed meeting him and had a great time at his restaurant.

The next evening we went to Ristorante Quattro Passi in Nerano. Again the restaurant sent a car to pick us up. This entire evening was magical. The drive through the twilight on the winding roads was beautiful. The restaurant is equisite with hand painted ceramic benches, candlelight, white linen tablecloths, sparking crystal and silver and fresh flowers. Chef Mellino came out to meet us and find out what we wanted to eat and let us know what was freshest today. His food was a gift for the eye as well as the mouth. Everything was delicious!! He even sent us home with bags of goodies to enjoy on another day. Quattro Passi is more expensive than the other restaurants we had eaten in, but it is truly value for the money.

The only restaurant we would not return to is La Sponda in the Hotel Sirenuse. We were not staying at the hotel, but joined friends for dinner that were current guests. The night was beautiful and the outdoor dining room is also beautiful. Our table overlooked the beach where there were fireworks celebrating the feast day of the patron saint of Positano. It was spectacular! Alas, our dinner was not. The food was bland, the service slow (although there were many servers assigned to our table) and the kitchen refused to accomadate a special request for shrimp without sauce. I would suggest having a drink here and eating elsewhere.

We also ate at several small resaurants and found the food fresh, well cooked and well presented.

Next- our trip to Sicily
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