A day in Positano, Italy

I’ve been dreaming about a holiday to the Amalfi coast for years. It all started with some typical Facebook-envy; girls I knew from way back when were uploading photo after photo of dreamy Italian coastline, and I was all a flutter with trying to plan a trip. I collated Pinterest boards, bought calendars with AMALFI written all over it, and set about drawing up a perfect itinerary.

Obviously, as so many travel plans do, things got waylaid and it wasn’t until a few years later, when I received some mega compensation from EasyJet (my story here), that I actually got around to booking this trip. It was a long time coming, and had a lot of built up expectation to meet.


And guess what? Positano beat those expectations. For years I had been idly wondering how the breeze would feel on those precipitous coastal roads, how the colours of little houses built up a rockface would pop against the blue sky, and of course, of how much pasta I would eat. Positano fulfilled all of those little daydreams- most importantly the one about pasta.


We were staying in nearby Sorrento, so woke up early to grab the coach. The coach is an entire experience in itself, so instead of feeling sleepy or bored from the hour long winding journey, we were buzzed and giddy like two kids who knew exactly how much gelato was waiting for them on the other side.


Positano is not built for the weak kneed. Everything is up or down a hill, with long winding roads to connect you, or monstrous flights of stairs. We spent all of our exploring time puffing and panting, stopping to rest our weary legs or pick up a congratulations cocktail after a particularly steep flight. Round every corner is a little gem, pastel painted houses, coffe bars, sweet pottery stores or private gardens you can just about peer into.

Positano village

After several hours of lounging around on the beach and working up an appetite by scaling every flight of stairs we came across, Jonathan consulted TripAdvisor and we wound our way to probably the best restaurant in Positano: Saraceno d’Oro. We loaded up on linguini con vongole, and homemade pasta with fresh-off-the-boat seafood.




The service was fabulous, and we sat in a glorious little bit of sunshine. I honestly think that this was one of the best meals of my life- maybe because the carafe of wine was so delicious, the waiter was singing loudly to Italian music, because we’d spent so long hunting down the perfect restaurant, or just because the food was so damn good. It might even have something to do with the shot of limoncello we rounded up the meal with. Who cares- if I could spend every lunchtime here, I would.


In a happy, light mood, we tottered off down the hill to lie on the beach and treat ourselves to some more gelato and vino, still professing how great Italian food was. Seriously guys, I don’t know if you knew already, but the Italians, they got this food thing down.

As we were there in early April, people-watching was especially rewarding as Positano prepared for tourist high season. Crates of lemons were ferried between stores, flowers ready to bloom being planted along roadsides, signs and hotel walls being painted anew.


Positano in April was just stirring up to life, with a handful of places closed (most notably none of the pools were open for business), but the quiet and the charm of watching the town get ready, as though for a big party, makes visiting slightly pre-season all the more worthwhile.


Once the sun had started to set, we packed up our books and made the ascent to the bus stop. Tip for you- it’s almost completely unmarked, so take note of where you hop off the bus when you arrive.

I fell in love with Positano, and I’ll definitely be back for round two. Though it’s small enough to feel satisfied you’ve ‘done’ it in a single day, it’s got that Italian habit of leaving you wanting more.


My Airport Horror Story

Let me start this off with a disclaimer. I love Easyjet. I think budget airlines are a wonderful thing, especially for broke guys like me, and I already have another three flights with them booked- they’re my go-to airline and this story aside, I think the service is on point. (I even have the Easyjet app. The love is real). I love Monica’s post on flying with lowcost airlines, so this is not, I repeat, not, a tirade. If you want one of those, go somewhere else.

I think I’m finally ready to talk about my Easyjet horror story.

Airport Horror Story

I’d had an amazing week in Split, Croatia with my girl Jai. We’d waded through waterfalls, watched epic sunsets from clocktowers of tiny islands, and drank every mojito we could. The holiday had been a roaring success, and we congratulated ourself for a fabulous trip as we rolled our suitcases up to Split airport, ready for our nice and simple two hour flight back to Gatwick.

We checked in, passed through security, and pottered around the scant shops Split airport had to offer. I logged onto the free wifi and kept myself busy playing the then astronomically popular Kim Kardashian app (I was a C-Lister, and wanted to get to at least a B list spot before we touched down in London).

The closer we got to our departure time, the more flights we noticed had been delayed. Ours was put back by about forty minutes. There was a signal problem with the airport, an announcement gurgled out, but should all be sorted soon. Cracking, back to Kim K and those gold stars.

After an hour or two, the airport had emptied out. The flight had been pushed back by a couple of hours, and other planes were steadily leaving in a single file fashion. We’d huffed and puffed about how annoying this was, how we’d have to rebook our pick up taxi on the other end. We were getting itchy, watching other passengers leave, having not heard a single thing about our own flight. Even most of the staff had gone home. It was around 11pm.

Then, it arrived. With a bang. Of the bird variety. After a long delay, when our plane finally hit the ground in Split, it also hit a seagull. Gruesomely, we were told this was a common occurrence when descending, but this time the bird had- welp- gotten stuck in the jet, and they needed a specialist to give the plane a once over before they could legally lift off.

As it turns out, 11pm on a Sunday doesn’t fall within the office hours of people whose job it is to scrape dead seagull out of engines. It looked like we were stuck here overnight. No biggie right? If anything, a cheeky night in a hotel would probably feel quite fancy and if nothing else it meant I had a great excuse to not go to work the next day.

As an apology, the kind folk at Easyjet told us we were legally entitled to a refreshment after any three hour delay. We queued up for the only remaining staff member in the airport to dole out – wait for it- a drink or sandwich. The only drink available was water. The only sandwich available was a ham sandwich, which went down famously with the vegetarians and Halal eaters. I dropped my sandwich after one bite.

Jai airport

Come midnight, the airport staff had all gone. Information was funnelled through select passengers who had enough battery life to check their EasyJet apps for updates, solemnly delivering bad news with measured outrage. We were riotous, trapped in an empty airport with fuck all to do and no signs of hometime.

After another hour or so of hearing zilch, the captain of our Easyjet flight appeared, delivering an impassioned speech on how he was going get you home no matter what it takes. From the reception, you’d think he was MLK or someone equally as inspiring, because we lost our minds with optimism. He’ll get us home, we thought jubilantly. We love you, Mr Captain Man!

Well turns out Mr Captain Man can suck it, because he immediately disappeared off into the night never to be seen again. Presumably, they headed off to a nearby hotel, thus snapping up the only remaining rooms in Croatia that evening. After another while of hearing nothing, a lone woman in a high viz vest nervously walked into the completely desolate departure lounge, anxiously eyeing up the hundred pissed off Brits like I imagine a lamb heading into slaughter does.

“Your flight is cancelled” she meeped. “There are no hotels“, she whimpered. “You have to sleep here” she mewed. “We don’t have any more food or any blankets” she breathed. “We can’t get your suitcases to you” she winced. “Bye” she croaked, fleeing into the night before she became responsible for a full blown riot.

We were delirious with disbelief. By this point, we’d been trapped inside the airport for about six hours, and there was no sign of being allowed to leave. The smokers were practically crawling up the walls. Everyone needed to charge their phones, and we had two plugs between the lot of us. We resorted to unplugging all vending machines, congregating round them like hobos round a burning bin. We shared scraps of encouragement and tried to find somewhere to fall asleep under the glaring lights. I reached A List Celeb status on the Kim K app, but it was no consolation.


After a shitty night sleep, using handbags for pillows and duty free shopping bags as duvets, the airport started to fill up with passengers- who, begger’s belief- got onto flights before us. We cleaned ourselves using the free samples from the now open duty free shop, and got into a fight with an airport cleaner who was pissed because we’d unplugged a freezer and her icecreams had melted.

Weak with annoyance, we sat in clusters around the departure doors. Easyjet wisely brought in a new team- if we’d seen the Judas Mr Captain Man again we might not have been able to control ourselves- who expressed their disbelief and their pity with wide eyes and a palpable nervousness that we’d transfer the blame to them. They gave us everything for free- all the yoghurt pots and coffees our poor hearts desired, as we sulked our way to 30,000 feet and back to London, a mere twelve hours later than we should’ve been.

*Deep breaths*

Anyway so we got a whole bunch of compensation and a voucher for an EasyJet flight. I used this to book a trip to Italy, and honestly if you’d asked me in advance would I choose to spend the locked in a jumped up shed in return for a huge contribution to my next holiday, I probably woulda said hell yeah and buckled down for the night. So it’s sort of a happy story really. Either way- shout out to Jaime for staying relatvely sane throughout the ordeal, and for supporting me on my way to overcoming my Kim K addiction. You’re the best.


Sirmione, Lake Garda.

The last time I looked at visiting Lake Garda, having seen brochures filled with stunning vistas, and jaw dropping price tags, I nearly choked on my Ribena and decided to park that idea for a time where I was earning approximately three times as much as I am now. I would have to wait a long time before I could afford a trip like that…

And then my lovely boyfriend and I set off for Verona. I’d read somewhere that Lake Garda was spitting distance from the Veronese centre, so I made it our collective mission to see this place- and on a tight budget.

Deciding which town surrounding the enormous lake to visit was our first task. After deliberating over the pros of each location, we couldn’t decide and ended up dip-dip-do-ing our way to Sirmione. A small town on the end of a peninsula, it seemed as good a place as any to get to know the lago, so first thing in the morning we hopped on a bus and sped on over.

The bus dropped us off at the very bottom of the town, leaving us with a twenty minute walk before we actually saw any sign of the lake. The streets before the tip of the peninsula are your bog-standard gated-hotel affair, which, only on reflection, made arriving at the Sirmione drawbridge all the quainter.


To enter the town, you must cross a hand-pulled drawbridge. This means there are no cars- just concessional obligatory Italian Vespa, whipping round the cobbled streets. The town is guarded by the Rocca Scaligera, which for the low low price of 2 euros, will give you a stunning overview of the Sirmione town’s rooftops, complete with world famous mountain/lake combo backdrop for added jaw-drops. If you’re in Sirmione, go up it. That’s an order.

We poked around Grotte di Calutto, the gorgeous Roman ruins named after a local poet, which was pretty cheap and gave amazing views of the Garda mountains. We spent a good portion of the day slowly wandering around and trying to guess what all the room ruins would have been once and resisting the temptation to make poppy-daisy-chains. We nosed out the best gelato in the area (seriously, I think about the pistachio cone every couple of days still), and spent the majority of the day at the bottom of the Sirmione cliff paddling about in the water.

I’d read that restaurants tended to be pricey, so we packed a picnic to save on costs here. I’d strongly recommend this- there are loads of beautiful places to eat alfresco in Sirmione. We had ours on the marbled rocks on the lake edge- picking through olives and tearing up bits of cured ham. I’m sure the restaurants are fantastic, but this was a budget day out and nothing beats having your lunch while dipping your tootsies into one of the most famous lakes in the world…


The most noticeable and beautiful thing about Sirmione (and Italy all over, really) is the colour. Little splashes of orange and rose pinks in the flowers and on the houses, the glaring blue of the lake, and, of course, the deep red of the glasses of Bardolino to bring it all together (well, it wouldn’t be Italy without the wine). I loved Sirmione, and the whole day had barely cost anything. Mission accomplished.