Pictured left to right outside the new store are: Paul Hardwick, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents Director of Retail; Emma Bailey, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents; Tutti Taylor, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents; Councillor Candy Vaughan, Mayor of Eastbourne; Trevor Ridler, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents Business Development Manager; and Shirley Waters, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents..
Kerry Sabberton works in our travel store inside Thorpe Travel and recently visited the stunning islands of Ischia and Capri. Here is what she got up to on her trip…
Destination: Ischia & Capri, Italy
Operator/Host: Classic Collection
(Hotel names/Ship name): Hotel Termi Manzi – Ischia – 3 nights, Hotel Caesar Augustus – Capri – 1 night
Duration: 4 Nights
The outbound flight was great as it was fairly empty and we all had 3 seats each. After a very early start, this was very welcome indeed.
Return flight was full so not quite so comfortable.
Wow! The Terme Manzi was an amazing hotel. We were met by Beatrix, who looked after us for our entire stay. Our room was spacious and the small balcony overlooked the interior garden/fountain, which was lovely. The bathroom had a large rainforest shower, but no bath, and was well decorated with hand-painted tiles. We had some free time on the afternoon we arrived, so we headed down to the spa to receive a bit of pampering. The spa is built over the grounds of ancient thermal waters and after a relaxing swim, you can definitely feel the benefits. We also tried the different hydro-showers, which were a bit of a shock but definitely woke you up!
Our first evening meal was hosted by Beatrix at the Manzi in their 2* Michelin restaurant, Il Mosaico. Words cannot do justice to the meal and experience, which consisted of 19 courses; the first course was eaten in the kitchen and alone had 6 mini courses to it. Each course was vastly different from the previous one and the food varied from bread to risotto, tuna, lamb and 3 deserts.
The Hotel Caesar Augustus in Capri has to have some of the best sea views in the world. Perched on the edge of the cliff, the views over the Bay of Naples are breath-taking. We were lucky enough to have a suite at the hotel, which was very spacious and had a separate lounge area with sofa, chairs and table as well as a large furnished terrace. Again, the bathroom was large with his and hers sinks and a hydro massage bath and shower.
We had a tour of Ischia, which is a beautiful Island and has a lot to offer, including beautiful beaches, culture and history. We were also taken to Aragonese castle and told of its history, which is very interesting and a little bit creepy too!
We had several hotel visits whilst in Ischia and Capri, which were all quite short as none of the hotels were actually open for the season, and the parts that were open for us to view were limited. We were treated to a lovely lunch at the Pietratorcia winery in Ischia which has been run by the same family for many years. Along with a lovely lunch, we were told the differences between the wines and how to properly appreciate them.
I loved the whole trip (apart from the weather and a couple of the ferry/hydrofoil crossings) and the highlights all involved food and drink. The meal in Il Mosaico was an amazing experience and we also had an amazing farewell meal at the Capri Palace which, again, was beyond words.
On our trip around Ischia, we went up to the highest point and had amazing views through the clouds below of the island and all she has to offer.
The people on the trip also made it special. We had a very small but lovely group and I would like to thank them all for a lovely time.
The whole experience was lovely; the weather could’ve been better, but there is not much that anyone could do about that. The only other thing would be if the hotels had been open, which again was out of ours and Classic Collections’ control. It would’ve been nice to spend some time in Capri as, with the bad weather causing ferry cancellations, we only spent half a day there and didn’t get to see any of the Island.
I would and already have recommended this trip to anyone wanting to see a different side of Italy. Ischia is a lovely Island and would be great as a 4/5 day add-on to the Amalfi Coast or for a 7-night break. Capri is very easily done as a day trip, but it would be lovely to spend time there. However, it is very pricey compared to Ischia.
I would like to thank Sophie from Classic Collection and Fred. Olsen for allowing me to have this wonderful trip.
Must see? Ischia Island and Castle
Must do? Trip for lunch at Pietratorcia Winery
Must try? A meal in Il Mosaico
If you like the sound of this Italian island escape then we look forward to seeing you at one of our shops soon. We have travel agents in Colchester, Bury st Edmunds and many more locations across East Anglia.