Customer Sales Manager Melissa Garland took advantage of some time out of the office and visited Italy with her son this summer. They joined our In the Shadow of Vesuvius holiday and here Melissa shares their highlights.
"Armed with my five year old son and a mountain of super hero t-shirts (mostly his!) I set off on Explore’s family adventure ‘In the Shadow of Vesuvius’.
The week promised a real live volcano, amazing food, sunshine, Italian culture and most importantly, fun – and we weren’t disappointed.
We met our crew at Naples airport and headed straight off on our adventure. The trip is a comprehensive, twin centre highlights holiday, flying into and out of Naples, staying in both Sorrento and Scala. Sorrento is a busy and charming Italian costal town - our hotel had a great swimming pool; perfect for cooling down in the evenings before dinner - while Scala offered a cool, tranquil mountain retreat from the bustling Amalfi Coast below; a perfect combination.
My highlights were Pompeii and Vesuvius; they are such iconic, historic sites and they don't disappoint close up. Our local guide in Pompeii was superb and the kids coped well in the sweltering, summer heat. The ruins really are fantastic and lived up to my expectations. Vesuvius is very popular, there’s no escaping this, but it’s a great sense of achievement to climb to the crater - especially for the little ones.
My next highlight was the Agriturismo. We only had a short visit, but it was beautiful, peaceful, and educational. The owner gave a wonderful explanation of the organic farming process, simplified for the kids (which meant the adults got it too!). Her beautiful golden retriever, Tex, gave us a tour around the farm and introduced us to their most recent calf. Afterwards we had a lovely, Italian farmhouse lunch; beef, tomatoes, mozzarella, corn on the cob, bread and squash. It was delicious and all consumed under a shady canopy at the back of the farmhouse listening to the crickets chirping away - bliss.
My son’s highlights were, first and foremost, the other children. They all got on really well and were like a ready-made group of friends which was great! He also loved jumping into the swimming pool at the end of days where he had great fun pizza making, ice cream tasting, orange granita slurping and fresh buffalo mozzarella sampling.
In summary, this trip offered a 'super' (those t-shirts were perfect for this trip!) family experience, delicious food, in a beautiful country with a great bunch of people When can we go again...?"
Melissa and her son travelled on In the Shadow of Vesuvius.