Built on the ruins of the Emperor Augustus’ villa, with sweeping views over the Bay of Naples and out to Vesuvius, the hotel is set in wonderful gardens filled with lemon trees and was a favourite of Sophia Loren and Marilyn Monroe as well as visitors on the Grand Tour. Perched on the cliff, it’s in the heart of Sorrento – a pretty town with winding Roman streets, artisanal shops and great restaurants – and the hotel even has an art deco lift through the cliff to the fishing port below where the nets lie drying in the sun.
There is just so much to in Sorrento: the seas are warm still in November, there are islands to hop to, astonishing food to enjoy, magnificent countryside and views and living history in every direction. In the cooler weather there are no crowds: the best and most stylish time to travel.
There are 5 UNESCO World Heritage sites within striking distance, including Pompeii, Herculaneum, the Palace of Caserta and Paestum with its finest Doric temple in the world. With Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria as your base, it is also possible to walk along the winding footpaths, through tiny villages with authentic cafes and glorious churches – along the Path of the Gods. The Amalfi Coast is where Ulysses is said to have resisted the sirens… The Path of the Gods – Possibly the most famous (and hardest) hiking route in the region. The reason for its fame is due to its sheer vertical drops and lands cultivated in terraces – a hike not suitable for the faint hearted. The final point of the hike takes you to Punta Campanella, where you can look out to the stunning island of Capri.
Other famous walking routes include:
* Punta della Campanella – The most ancient path in Sorrento, follow the pilgrim pathway that takes you as high as Mount San Constanzo and as far as Punta Campanella. Take a break at San Constanzo rocks, where you can enjoy a 360° view over rocks with visible fossils.
* Faito Mountain – Faito Mountain, also known as, ‘mountain on the sea’, is a real treasure of biodiversity protected by the Lattari Mountains Regional Park. This challenging hike takes you along mule tracks and dirt paths.
* The Valley of the Mills – A slightly easier hike, The Valley of the Mills will take you along the forest path, past the Cathedral of Amalfi, tower of Ziro, Church of San Eustachio, ancient forge and many paper mills.
* Fabulous Food – the world’s best lemons for limoncello, and tomatoes as well as fritto misto in the small coastal cafes, limoncello, Michelin-starred dining in the hotel and the strong flavours and culinary pride of the Campania wherever you venture.
* Hop to the islands of Capri or Ischia
* Enjoy driving the twisting coastal roads to Positano and Ravello – so little traffic at this time of year
* Drive to the top of Vesuvius
* Then, kick back and drink in the dolce vita poolside or on the terrace overlooking the Bay of Naples
There are direct flights to Naples of course from heaps of UK regional airports, and here are some brief ideas of things really worth considering for any agenda:
A three-night stay during November on a B&B basis is offered by Citalia (01293 765066, www.citalia.com<http://www.citalia.com/>) from £853 per person – saving up to £445 per couple. The offer includes one free night, private transfers, return flights from London Gatwick with BA. Based on departures 3 November 2017.
Find out more about Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria here | www.exvitt.it