Find Out The Cost Of My Trip To Italy: Facts & Figures {Part VI}

With picture perfect views, alfresco dining beneath twinkling stars and whitewashed buildings wedged into the mountainside, it’s no wonder we chose to celebrate Ian’s 40th birthday on the Amalfi Coast. Hiking through woodland and drinking organic lemonade, eating gelato under sunset pink sky and walking through lemon groves. It’s difficult to think of anything more glorious at this moment in time.

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If you’d like to catch up with previous posts, you can visit them below. But this week it’s all about the facts and figures: where we stayed, who we booked with and how much it cost.

Gelato, Evening Walks & Pink Sky {Part I}

Villa Rufolo and Villa Cimbrone {Part II}

Walking Valle Delle Ferriere and Drinking Organic Lemonade {Part III}

Visiting Pompeii, Thunderstorms & Big Hair {Part IV}

24 Hours in Anacapri {Part V}

Hiking Sentiero degli Dei {Part VII}

Accommodation:

Tramonti: £390 (approx. €488)

We booked our main accommodation through Airbnb, although having heard one too many horror stories I did so with a little trepidation. As it happened, we had nothing to worry about. Our host Daniela replied to my enquiry within 20 minutes and I’d booked within the hour! The week before our stay, I contacted her again to check a few last minute details about key collection etc., and I was given clear instructions on when to phone and where to meet her. It took a few days for this reply, and I must admit I started to get a bit twitchy when I had to message for the second time, but it turned out Daniela had just had a baby which was keeping her otherwise engaged! I got £25 off my booking by signing up to Airbnb through Nomadic Matt’s website. I often turn to his site looking for information/reviews and as luck would have it, I discovered this offer. Winner, winner, veggie dinner! It turned out we ended up with a lovely little loft apartment, high in the hills of Tramonti: secluded and peaceful with lush, green, mountain views. The walls were a little thin and the bed was pretty hard, but overall, I really liked it here. We stayed for 7 nights and it only cost us £390.

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Anacapri: £87 (approx. €110)

Anacapri, what can I say? If you’re planning a visit, make sure you stay overnight. When the last of the day-trippers have been ferried back to the mainland, Anacapri becomes the perfect island escape. Feeling safe to walk around, even under the cover of darkness, I wish we could have stayed a few more days. With rooms leading out directly onto a terrace, azure blue dreamy ocean views and the perfect host, we stayed at the Monte Solaro B&B. Part way up Mount Solaro, this welcoming retreat provided a view straight out of a holiday brochure and service that should be mandatory everywhere. Costanzo collected us upon arrival so we didn’t have to carry our luggage up the hill and trust me, you’ll be grateful for this gesture. He stored our bags until our room was ready, provided us with a map and possible itineraries, took photos of us together, warmed up soya milk for my breakfast, stored our bags the next day so we could explore, and then drove them back down the hill to us when we were ready to leave. Always with a smile, nothing was too much trouble. If it wasn’t for the thin walls and sagging mattress, the Monte Solaro would have been damn near perfect. We booked directly with the website and stayed for one night. It cost us €110 (approx. £87) including breakfast – although we did have to provide our own soya milk.

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Naples: £71 (approx. €89)

Naples: Crikey. We stayed in Naples the night before our flight home. The main airport hotels were fully booked, so we ended up across the road at Millenium Gold Hotel. If you’re over 30, you’re probably familiar with Fawlty Towers, but if you’re under 30, you might need to ask your mum and dad. A shower with no shower curtain, a dripping toilet, no duvet, sirens going past our window all through the night, and the National Anthem of Italy – car horns every 4 seconds – give you a pretty good idea of what our stay was like. I’d read reviews on Trip Advisor about the shower and wondered what all the fuss was about – I just wish I’d taken a video clip. Think of a shower along the length of the bath instead of the width, now imagine turning the shower on. Sounds simple, yes? No. As I turned the tap on, water rushed through the pipe and the shower head whipped backwards against the wall. Water sprayed across the room, cascaded down the walls and finally came to rest an inch deep on the floor. As I stood there open mouthed, Ian burst into the bathroom to see what all the noise was about and shot me a ‘what the hell happened?’ look. We covered the entire floor in towels, trying to soak up all the water while we decided how to proceed. In the end, I stood in the bath while Ian held the shower over me and rinsed me down like a child. It wasn’t my finest moment. You probably had to be there, but we were both hysterical with laughter and whenever I think about it, I can’t help but giggle at how ridiculous the whole situation was. It was also the coldest, noisiest night I’ve ever spent in a hotel.

As there was nothing on the menu to suit our diet, the Chef very kindly made us a basic bowl of spaghetti and sauce each. It’s unfortunate this was the only good thing to report about the hotel. The next morning when we had breakfast, the staff were less than helpful and I’ve never been so happy to book out of a hotel. All I can say is, give this place a wide berth. We booked directly with the hotel and including breakfast, it cost €89 (approx. £71).

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Flights: £445.90 (approx. €558)

Flying into Naples, we found our choice of flights was limited, and after comparing prices between Easy Jet and Monarch, we decided to fly with Monarch. I think this was partly related to price and also wanting to fly from Manchester, not Liverpool. Flying at 7 am, with one hold bag weighing 20kg, and 10kg of hand luggage each, flights cost us £445.90. A few weeks before we flew I’d just finished reading John Bishop’s autobiography and when we were queuing up to check in, I turned around to find him standing a few places behind us. All I wanted to do was tell him how much I enjoyed his book, but in the end, I decided to leave him be.

He actually gives Monarch a mention in his book, saying how he always flies with them and how good their service is – it turns out he was right.

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Car Hire: £239.45 (approx. €299)

Staying in Tramonti, and knowing we would be exploring the Amalfi Coast, we booked a car for the 7 days we were there. We really wanted a Fiat 500. With visions of speeding along the coastline in one of Italy’s most famous cars, we romanticised with the idea until reality set in. Much as we loved the notion, we realised space wise, it just wasn’t practical. Deciding to go with a Lancia Y – or similar – we figured we could still have a small nippy car, but with a little more room for luggage. Unfortunately, after waiting over an hour at the Avis pick-up point in Naples Airport, our Lancia Y or similar, ended up being a Fiat Qubo which looked and felt more like we were driving a mini-bus. Yes, it was spacious – but it was the opposite of small and the opposite of nippy. If our Italian had been better, and the workers in the Avis shop actually gave a shit, we would have tried to swap it for something else. It wasn’t ideal, but in the end, I found I quite liked driving our mini-bus around the Amalfi Coast, and as it turned out, it was really easy to park as well. We booked through Rental Cars about a week before we went: including two drivers and full accidental damage cover, it cost £239.45. We collected it in Naples and dropped it off in downtown Sorrento. If you ever decide to do this, the Avis drop off point in Sorrento is a nightmare. There’s one space on the road and if it’s in use, they’ll send you off to circle for a while until they’re ready for you. This is not ideal or fun in Sorrento traffic. On the plus side, there’s a petrol station a couple of minutes down the road, which makes returning your car with a full tank of petrol a breeze. We also took this opportunity to inspect our car and take photos of it. It’s always good to have proof of how a vehicle looks before returning it.

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Ferry: £63 (approx. €79)

Taking the high-speed ferry, the crossing from Sorrento to Capri took 50 minutes. Not realising we had to pay for luggage, we bought our tickets at the kiosk in Sorrento, which cost approx. €20.50 each. But once we boarded the ferry, we then had to pay a surcharge of €2 for our wheelie bag. No biggie, but if we’d realised at the kiosk, we could have paid for everything together, meaning less faffing about. The next day when we travelled from Capri to Naples, we paid for everything together at the kiosk on the harbour, which made boarding the ferry a lot easier. We took the high-speed ferry again, which took approx. 45 minutes and tickets cost approx. €17 each, plus the €2 surcharge for our wheelie bag.

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Miscellaneous:

There was also food, entry to a few places, and other miscellaneous costs. I didn’t keep track of everything – which maybe I should have done, but it’s something to remember for next time. In most restaurants, we found pizza was pretty reasonable at around €6: sometimes less and sometimes a little more. We also made a couple of trips to the supermarket. The most expensive thing for us was parking, and on the Amalfi Coast, it wasn’t particularly cheap. Costing approx. €18 for a full day, it was pretty much on par with prices in Manchester city centre – if you don’t know where to look that is! Entry fees were pretty reasonable, it would cost more than this to visit a National Trust property here in the UK.

Amalfi Cathedral: €3 each

Villa Rufolo: €5 each

Villa Cimbrone: €7 each

Pompeii: €11 each (parking: €5)

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I hope you’ve found this breakdown useful and if you’ve got any questions, or want to add any tips, either shoot me an email or leave a comment below.

All photos were taken with a Canon 5D MKII, apart from the selfie and the car, which were taken with a Samsung Galaxy S4.

All prices correct as of Sept/Oct 2015.

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