Capo San Martino Lugano – Switzerland

Restaurant with a nice view of Lugano lake

Restaurant with a nice view of Lugano lake

Let’s talk about Italy. I know, I know, the headline looks like a Lugano trip. However, this trip we re-did a couple of years ago was a part of an Italy tour of “Lago Maggiore”, “Lago Como” and “Lago Lugano”. Inevitably, our car took us to Switzerland on a rainy day of end-April.

Remember we did a a long weekend in Lugano when our son was just 5 years old. It was the good old days of last trip with a pushchair, where we could enjoy walking, while he could enjoy to sit and relax. 5 years later, with a more crowded group of a cousin, aunt, grandma and grandpa, our son wanted to show his 3-year-old cousin the Mini Swiss. Once more in a spring day, once more on a rainy day.

Mini Swiss

5 years before

5 years after

5 years after

After a long drive from our hotel Villa Borghi, in Italy and a tiring visit to mini Swiss with some on and off rains, we headed to Lugano with the hope of coming across a nice restaurant with a nice view.

Well, be careful what you wish for. Capo San Martino, was just the exact restaurant we would wish to have lunch, with the nice view and the nice fish.

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Nice fish

Served gently

Served gently

Just a few minutes drive from Mini Swiss towards Lugano, settled on a high cliff of Lake Lugano, overlooking the Lugano city and sail boats on the lake.

Next: We are now very excited about our next trip to UK. Yes, we will not be able to rent a car as they drive from the wrong side. However, we are sure UK has lots of things to offer to travelers with children. Our stops are: Leicester, Cardiff and London.

Exploring the ancient times in Pompeii, Italy

Pompei

Pompeii

Here I’ve written about, how we like visiting the ancient cities and play the “Pretend to be” game, like the picture above, pretending to cross a pedestrian road in a busy Pompeii street. After the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Ad 79, everything and everybody remained still, under soil and it was not discovered until 17th century. That’s why, everything is very well kept and a whole city remained untouched in Pompeii, and that’s what makes this cite more interesting.

Our visit to Pompeii started with scanning a map we had and deciding, how our route should be. We (me and my husband) did not have a plan to go trough all streets, but skip many and visit some important points. However, with an 8-year-old, you never have your own plans, because our son did want to visit every bid of the streets, houses. So in the end that’s what we did. The best part was, finding an ancient house, sit on a fine stone and guess how they must be living in there, play the game of “pretend to be”.

It took us more than 3 hours to walk all around, including some breaks in some buildings or open areas, relaxing. Good part was, the weather was so nice, calm, sunny with winter coolness.

We were already very tired and hungry, when we got out of Pompeii, so we decided to visit a tiny town of Sorrento Coast: Vico Equense which was about half an hour drive from Pompeii. Finding Vico Equense was not so hard but it was harder to find a parking place. But, it was much more harder to find the famous Pizza a Metro restaurant. So it was late afternoon, when we finally reached there and ordered our meals.

Starters at Pizza a Metro

Starters at Pizza a Metro

Unfortunately, I do not have the photo of the Pizza, as we must be so hungry to eat as soon as we got it.

Narrow lanes at Vico Equense

Narrow lanes at Vico Equense

After lunch we took time to wander around the lanes and streets of Vico Equense. The streets were full of surprising views. That is, at the end of a narrow road, you would come across to a wonderful view of Mediterranean sea, with some banks to sit on and watch the old Italian ladies feeding the birds. A pale red painted green window blinded house in the back and a lonely pine tree escorting the old lady to enjoy the view.

Mediterranean smell cooling the narrow lanes

Mediterranean smell cooling the narrow lanes

Next: Climbing the Visuv

Let’s talk about Italy

Sorrento and Amalfi Coasts

Sorrento and Amalfi Coasts

Reading trough my previous posts, I’ve realized that I had written so little about Italy. Italy is the country we visited the most with our son. So I think it is time to talk about Italy, right?

A tour to Sorrento and around was another adventure of us about 3 years ago: On a cold winter term holiday at a restaurant for dinner, we decided that we should go somewhere. Somewhere warmer, somewhere convenient, somewhere easy, somewhere we have not been before. So we checked the airlines for the next morning. Yes, NEXT MORNING. Basel; too cold. Paris; too cold. Malta; flight inconvenient. Tunus; might be hard to drive. Rome; we’ve been. Dubai, requires a visa. Napoli; … ok Napoli, let’s go. With the help of booking.com for hotel and airport rentals for the car and the Eyewitness book we bought from the airport, next morning at around 11:00 am we were in a flight to Napoli.

Our hotel was easy to choose, as at this time of the year there weren’t much alternatives. However, even if we had, I would most probably prefer to choose the very same hotel: Hotel Francischiello Bellavista.

View from our room

View from our room

It was among the best hotel room views we have ever stayed, just across Capri island, in between many lemon tree lands, fresh air, convenient parking and 10 minutes drive from Sorrento center.

We ate every evening of our 4 nights stay at the hotel restaurant, as they did have a wonderful Italian menu, with tasty various starters and some local very good vines. You would not want to risk the “drink and drive” issue while driving in Sorrento coast, would you?

In front of our hotel

In front of our hotel

One bad thing about the hotel was, there was not much to do in the evenings, however, one evening in the lobby area we found the photo albums of the family running the hotel and whole evening we looked at the albums. Seeing the guy in the reception as a little boy, grew up over there, the old “waiter” grandma was actually the bride of the family and trying to run the hotel, after her husband’s death together with her son (we do not know the story, but this is what we perceived from the photos), the restaurant had a veranda in front, in the old times, the pine tree (photo above) was much smaller. We also did think that, it is amazing to share these memories with their guests, so touchy and valuable and makes a family run local business more valuable than a chain hotel.

More to come in my next posts about the area.

Next: A day out to Pompei and mount Visuv.

Which was your best hotel room?

I’ve been to more than 200 cities in more than 20 countries, and stayed in more than a 100 hotels. I suppose my dear followers, you too like to travel. Here is the question: Which was the best hotel room you have ever stayed? Probably, like me, very many hotels come to your mind, right?

I think all three of us in my family would answer this question differently. my husband’s answer was straight: Polonia Palace Hotel. Why? Because the best sleeping quality is his only concern.

Polonia Palace Hotel

Polonia Palace Hotel

The room was very ordinary at the first sight. One double bed, a bathroom, a sofa turned into a child’s bed, and a little free space. That’s it. But my husband has a saying: Never decide about a hotel before 24 hours. So after 24 hours, his decision is “the best”.

For my son, I guess would be Hilton, Las Vegas. (I can not ask him now, he is out with his friends, but I’ll ask and let you know if I am right) Why? Because there were 3 televisions in the room, one of which was just in front of his bed, with a wall-to-wall screen of barcovision. Of course he spent hours watching Formula 1 and some other staff. Plus a good hotel for our son means a high hotel, preferably some floors over 20th is the best for him.

My answer to a best room would be, Pullman Cove Hotel in Cairns, Australia. I will probably write another post, sometime later about the hotel, but just to give you some hints, here are two photos.

Living room and kitchen

Living room and kitchen

Terrace and private pool

Terrace and private pool

Yes, our room was a 2 bedroom flat, with a big kitchen, living room, a laundry room, two bathrooms, a terrace and a private pool and the sound of ocean waves. A room you wouldn’t want to go out.

On the other hand, when we think of a “best room” we also tend to think of a room with the “best view”. What if I asked the best view room you have ever stayed? All the answers would change and the only answer would be Francischiello Hotel & Spa Bellavista near Sorrento, Italy. A view of Italian farmlands, the Mediterranean sea and the Capri island beyond.

Our room view in Sorrento

Our room view in Sorrento

And the view in the evening
And the view in the evening

 

Now I understand that, I have been to very few hotel room with a “best view” other than the sea views.  I think a hotel would not have much chance in terms of “best view”, if it was not by the sea. Maybe some mountain views in the Alpines of Switzerland, some of the Golf Hotel views, maybe a desert view, or some room overlooking the city lights, or a view of unlimited wine yards in France, or a Christmas market in Austria, or a medieval Piazza in Toscana,  or a castle in Germany, or… whatever, I should note to make sure some stays in “best view” hotels next time.

PS. Please share your best hotel experiences with a link to my post.