Sorrento and Capri

Sorrento was next on our tour and while it as quite a journey to get there and the roads were terrifying (narrow along cliffs) along the Amalfi Drive, we finally made it to Sorrento, a place I was very excited to visit! 

The town overlooks the Bay of Naples and you can see Capri and Vesuvius from the coast. The coastal views are stunning and show the elevation, and the beautiful water below. We even climbed the hundreds of stairs back up after our ferry from Capri.

Views from a restaurant in Sorrento:


The pasta in Sorrento was some of the best I tasted in Italy. The people were lovely and the town felt small, intimate and unique. 

Sorrento is known for growing lemons, and we visited a lemon garden and of course the area is famous for the Limoncello liquor, which can be sampled in many shops, as well as varieties such as melon and coconut. 
The highlight of these couple of days was absolutely the visit to Capri and a cruise around the Isle. The views are amazing and the water is simply breathtaking. We got to see the incredible Blue and Green grottos. 

Photos from our cruise around the Isle of Capri: 

Capri itself was a lovely Italian island complete with beaches, sea side restaurants, plenty of shops and panoramic views. It was an absolute dream of a day to spend it here.

Photo from the beach in Capri:


While Sorrento and the area may be a bit out of the way on a typical trip to Italy, it is truly beautiful. While it was known as a tourist area, it seemed much less crowded than most places, even at the end of May. I will definitely go back and could spend so much more time enjoying the areas natural beauty, delicious food, limoncello, and lovely people!

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Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre was absolutely worth all of the hype it gets and truly looks even more amazing in real life than on instagram. It’s a group of five brightly coloured villages along the Italian Riviera. The villages were historically small fishing villages that are now famous for their beauty and a popular spot for tourists. The area is remote and wasn’t always accessible to visit, and visiting by train will connect you easily to all 5 villages, but it can also be done on foot. Be ready to walk, climb stairs and be sure to pack a bathing suit because you won’t be able to resist the amazing seaside. The higher parts of the villages are full of unique walking trails with picturesque views. It’s easy to see why it’s a UNESCO heritage site. 

Vernazza offered a lovely mix of local Italian seaside town and beautiful tourist destination. Here we enjoyed our weight in gelato and enjoyed lovely coastal views stunning architecture. 

The area is very rugged and has various terrains. The swimming spot in Manarola makes for an incredible day:

The incredibly bright colours of the buildings is unique. 

The absolutely picturesque village of Manarola, where we sipped sangria from a cliff side spot: 

The water in the area is spectacularly blue. 

Monteresso offers the best strip of true beach out of the five villages: 

The villages are full of friendly locals and endless amounts of places to enjoy wine, gelato and Italian cuisine. The area is specifically known for pesto, and while it is different than the pesto you are likely used to it is delicious and a must try. The area is also well known for seafood, not surprising based on its location! 

An all day train pass is the best way to see the area quickly, and it’s very affordable. Most train rides between the towns are 5-10 minutes

For me, of the 5 key areas of Italy I visited, Cinque Terre wowed me the most and would absolutely be on the top of my list of places to return to in the future. 

Oxford

Imagine a beautiful English city mixed with the Harry Potter movie set and loads of college campuses and students and you get Oxford. 

I was lucky enough to call this beautiful city home for 3 weeks while I was taking a course at Oxford Brooke’s University. 


Our first day there was May Day, where the tradition is to participate in May Morning. Complete with a 6:00 am start, singers on the church towers and Morse dancers, it was a neat experience. Al the students and locals were out, there were thousands of people in total. 

The best part of Oxford in my opinion is the mix of beautiful buildings and gardens and nature. Everywhere you look, buildings have unique features and amazing details. The narrow streets and loads of pedestrians and cyclists, mixed with gardens and green spaces make the town very picturesque. 

The Radcliffe camera is one of the most significant buildings to see in Oxford:


The Oxford Brooke’s Headington campus where I studied was very modern compared to many of the Oxford schools and campuses. The facilities were excellent and the campus was just a short walk away. 

Punting was one of the many popular activities in Oxford. It involved a group of people taking a long wooden boat out on the river with a large pole to push the boat along in the shallow water. Sounds crazy, and it’s definitely more challenging than it looks but it’s also a lot of fun! You can pack a picnic and some champagne and have a great afternoon. 

The Botanic Gardens are located right along High street near the river. These gardens are absolutely beautiful and offer a lovely area to spend time next to the water.

Oxford Botanic Gardens:


The Oxford High street offered lots of shops and restaurants. The best part of the city is that with all of the students, many places are very affordable or offer student discounts.

View of High Street:


Going for a tea was a classic English affair that we did in Oxford. Cream tea and scones became a favourite! My favourite spot was The Vault, which was right across from the Radcliffe Camera. 

A typical afternoon tea and scones:


Overall, Oxford was a lovely city and I was very lucky to spend three weeks here. I will definitely go back to visit!