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Sorrento, Italy: In the tower of the Saracins, luxury travel

Sorrento, Italy: In the tower of the Saracins, luxury travel

Over cocktails Lionello -- who owns a luxury hotel in Sorrento -- insists we go to his friend Gennaro’s restaurant. “He is a master, he has a gift,” he says enthusiastically, advising us away from his own dining room which had, the previous night, offered food that redefined the word sublime. “But is he...

Naples, Italy: You have been warned

Naples, Italy: You have been warned

"The thing with Napoli," said Alfonso leaving a pause for effect, "is the tourist people they love it or they do not. But I understand why they do not. The city, she is . . . " To be honest I can't remember exactly what he said next about his birthplace, but it could have been something like this: that Naples is noisy and...

Alberobello, Italy: Toytown in late summer

Alberobello, Italy: Toytown in late summer

The undistinguished slice of autostrada is almost deserted. Just us, and a gun-metal grey Mercedes -- a minute ago but a dot in the rear-view mirror -- disappearing into the distance ahead. We're in no such hurry so pull off to the Adriatic Coast which has been somewhere to our right this past hour as we have driven up this east coast of...

Sorrento, Italy: Where life takes a holiday

Sorrento, Italy: Where life takes a holiday

Giuseppe the concierge welcomes us with a slight bow and a broad smile, then waves us towards the front desk. I am flattered and surprised that he knows our names, but the reason becomes apparent as we sign in. We are the only two guests in the 50-room Grand Hotel Cocumella which occupies a balcony seat in the pretty town of Sorrento across the...

Pompeii, Italy: New days in the old place

Pompeii, Italy: New days in the old place

Alfonso lives in the hills behind Sorrento and is Neopolitan by birth. "But the two places are very different, you know. I don't want to say anything against the Spanish . . ." he says, but the pause is the giveaway. "But when that pope, you know the one maybe 400 years ago, when he came to be pope he appoint a Spanish king...

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