Travel Italy: Assisi to Sorrento with Insight Vacations

Travel Italy: Assisi to Sorrento with Insight Vacations

Travel Italy: Assisi to Sorrento with Insight Vacations

Travel Italy: Assisi to Sorrento with Insight Vacations

WJ Tested: Insight Vacations Italian Escapade Tour: Day 10 – From Assisi we drive south past Naples and Mount Vesuvius. Our destination today is Sorrento, a small town in Campania on the Amalfi Coast.

The driving distance between Assisi and Sorrento, in the region of Campania in the south of Italy, is roughly 413 km/257 miles.

We start the day with another early wake up call (6:15 am), bags out (by 6:45 am) and then straight to breakfast. The buffet breakfast at the Ròseo Hotel Assisi provided a reasonable selection of pastries, yogurt, cold meats and cheeses, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, coffee and tea.

By 7:45 am we were in our seats on the coach and immediately departed for Sorrento, with Tour Director Mark giving us an anticipated arrival time of 4:30 pm.

AutoGrill on highway between Assisi and Rome

AutoGrill on highway between Assisi and Rome

Along the route towards Rome we had a 30-minute comfort stop at an AutoGrill, which was perfect timing for our morning cappuccino and pastry. We really enjoyed these stops as it was an opportunity to observe the locals and purchase souvenirs of regional products.

Regional products are available for purchase at Italy's AutoGrills

Regional products are available for purchase at Italy’s AutoGrills

Tour Director Mark continued to provide excellent narration and explanation throughout the journey – discussing the regions, scenery, excursions, and local customs.

By 11:35 am it was time for a 40-minute lunch stop at another AutoGrill – this time the cafeteria-style restaurant was just off the highway and run by a local family.

Montecassino Abbey (Abbazia di Montecassino) in Monte Cassino

Montecassino Abbey (Abbazia di Montecassino) in Monte Cassino

Interesting Facts: Did You Know?

  • Prego means: “I pray for you” and “You’re welcome”
  • Tipping – It is customary to leave a euro or two in Sorrento if you are happy with service received at restaurants
  • Apennine Mountains run 1,200 km/800 miles north to south on the Italian peninsula
  • Montecassino Abbey (Abbazia di Montecassino) in Monte Cassino, is situated high up on a hill. The 1500 year old abbey was bombed to smithereens during WWII and has been completely rebuilt.
  • Mount Vesuvius last eruption was in 1944
  • Naples means “New Town” for Greeks. Naples was founded in the 8th century BC and is the oldest town in Europe.

By 1:20 pm we were driving along the highway, bypassing Naples but still able to see the slums and poverty of the people living in the outskirts of the city (Naples is our least favorite place in Italy so we were quite happy it wasn’t part of this tour).

Jill with Insight Vacations driver Alberto

Jill with Insight Vacations driver Alberto

Mount Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples

Mount Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples

After a photo stop with spectacular views of the Bay of Naples, Mount Vesuvius and Sorrento we continued on the narrow road into the city center and by 2:30 pm had arrived at a local wood work factory, Notturno. Here we watched a demo for about 10 minutes, explaining the intricate process for making the famous inlaid wood products the area is renowned for.

Sorrentine Marquetry Demo at Notturno

Sorrentine Marquetry Demo at Notturno

Fun Facts: Sorrentine Marquetry

  • Notturno has been making the famous inlaid wood products in Sorrento for 200 years
  • Woods used are ebony, birch, mahogany, olive, ash and oak
  • The dye used in the process is a natural substance
  • Natural bees wax is used in the finishing process
  • Small jewelry boxes takes 3-5 days to make by hand
  • Certificate of authenticity is very important as there are many knock-offs all over Italy

    Sorrentine Marquetry at Notturno - Inlaid wood products from Sorrento

    Sorrentine Marquetry at Notturno – Inlaid wood products from Sorrento

Then we had about 45 minutes in the showroom to look at the finished pieces and shop – a number of people in our group bought beautiful pieces to ship home – before taking a 20-minute stroll through the center of Sorrento and to our accommodations for 2 nights, the lovely 4-star, boutique Hotel Regina.

Sorrento, Italy

Sorrento, Italy

By 4 pm we were checked into our room – Hotel Regina was definitely our favorite hotel on the trip, with clean and modern lines, bright colors, and wonderful staff that couldn’t do enough to assist guests.

Hotel Regina in Sorrento, Italy

Hotel Regina in Sorrento, Italy

For those not taking the optional excursion for dinner at a local farm in the hills above Sorrento, the remainder of the evening was free.

Optional Excursion: Sorrento Evening at Agriturismo La Sorgente

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Previous: Insight Vacations Italian Escapade Tour –  Tour Overview | Meet and Greet in Rome! | Rome with Local Historian | Skip the Lines – Vatican Museums | Siena | Florence & Michelangelo’s David | Florence to Pisa | Exploring Baveno and Stresa on Lake Maggiore | Prosecco at Fratelli Berlucchi Vineyard | Visiting the Medieval City of Verona | Venice and Hotel Carlton on the Grand Canal | Murano Glass and Venice Gondola Ride | Classe and Assisi |

If You Go:

 

Note: WAVEJourney were guests of Insight Vacations for their April 30 – May 12, 2013 Italian Escapade tour. Read our full disclosure statement to see that this has no effect on our reviews.

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