I don’t think I’ve ever visited a place and it’s been exactly, to-the-point, how I imagined it to be. I mean I’ve liked a lot of cities and countries – I’ve really really like some of them (Barcelona I’m looking at you). But I think Sorrento is the first place I’ve been to that was exactly how I imagined it would be.
The journey to actually get to Sorrento was stressful. From Rome to Naples we were on a nice, cool, air conditioned high speed train. Not so stressful you must be thinking? Well, due to a closure on the Naples metro system, we then had to trek through the city centre and down to the port, in the midday heat, with our backpacks. I’ve never missed my wheel-y suitcase so much! But eventually we got there and, although my face said a different story, getting the boat across to Sorrento was the perfect way to arrive.
Sorrento itself was a beautiful little Italian town. We were on the very cusp of the summer season so things were getting pretty busy, but that didn’t stop us from wandering the tiny lanes, popping in and out of shops, and trying the towns famous Limoncello. Compared to our much busier previous days in Rome, then Sorrento was just the perfect chill time.
Although not the cheapest of day trips, I can recommend getting the boat across to Capri. Like Sorrento it was an equally beautiful Italian coastal town, although slightly more favoured by the rich and famous and judging by the yachts floating around the harbour they were all out sunning themselves! A trip back to Sorrento and the surrounding areas is definitely needed – we didn’t get a chance to visit Pompei or Almalfi or Postiano, which as pinterest tells me, is the most beautiful of all.
If you caught my previous post about Rome, you’ll know that I spent a lot of the time moving slowly in a desperate attempt not to sweat all too much. It may be TMI to tell you all about my sweating habits but it’s due to the heat that I’ve formulated a fairly fool-proof plan for holiday beauty.
I’ve mentioned before that my usual routine is not too complicated and I tend to keep things fairly natural. Whilst in Rome I managed to strip things back even further, despite taking a bursting make-up bag away with me – it’s always over-packing central in my house! But anyway, here are a few tips if you need to save a bit of space in your suitcase. One plus point is that you’ll always have more space for any Duty Free purchases…
I should probably point out here that prior to this step I of course, moisturised and covered myself in SPF. But what happened next is something that I’ve only recently got fully into, and that’s primer. I’ve currently only tried the Rimmel Fix and Perfect Pro primer, as I wanted to keep the price down on the first trial. I’d only been using it for a few weeks before heading to Rome, but I am so glad I had it with me. Since I completely abandoned foundation for the vast majority of this trip, having a primer really helped in smoothing my concealer over the places I needed it (mainly under the eyes and around my nose) and also gave a bit more staying power. I brought along two concealers, my Collection Lasting Perfection and the Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer, just in case the Collection one was a bit too light. I also gave up on powder altogether. I’m not sure whether it would have helped with the shine that I ended everyday with, but I was going for a more ‘dewy’ look anyway! The final step to the base was just a touch of The Body Shop Radiant Highlight across the tops of my cheeks and brow bone. Obviously you can chose to add more or take away another product, but this was basically my quick and easy staple routine whilst battling the heat.
This is where things get even simpler. After sorting my base I quite literally just tamed my brows using the L’Oreal Brow Artist Plumper to keep them in place throughout the day. Then curled my lashes and used a bit of Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara, which is perfect if you want thicker longer lashes using only one coat. How freakin’ simple. Once again, this is just what I found works, and I got a bit lazy on holiday sometimes just stopping at the curling stage and not bothering with mascara. If you feel you need a bit more, then by all means pop it on yo face.
Lips and Cheeks
Apart from my faithful Carmex lip balm that I apply multiple times a day regardless of whether I’m on holiday, these are just a few additional items that I popped on if I felt like it. Most days, particularly at the start when I was as pale as you can get, I swept a bit of Topshop Mohawk bronzer across the top of my forehead and cheeks in an attempt at looking as golden as the locals. And on a few occasions I popped some blush on the apples of my cheeks, even though one sweaty trip on the metro was enough to get my looking pink cheeked. Of course I took my L’Oreal Privee lipstick away with me. There was no other lipstick to take.
Top photo from Dom John
Compared to last week I’m currently feeling about ten times cooler than I did in a few of these photos. I’m talking heat wise anyway. For the last week or so Italy has been having a heatwave and oh lordy I was hot. Despite re-wearing my loosest dress for most of the week, I still ended most days as a bit of a sweaty mess (ew…)
But despite the slight distraction of squinting against the sun (I promise I’m not complaining, it was far nicer than the weather I came home to!) it’s safe to say that Rome is one of the most beautiful European cities I’ve been to. Its status as one of the oldest cities in the world is reflected in the architecture and the tiny bumpy cobbled streets. I did seem to spend most of my time falling over the cobbles, too busy looking at the beautiful buildings and statues around me. I spent a lot of time walking around and muttering ‘how did they build that?!’ – Which is of course the age old question when it comes to anything built before the times of cranes and power tools. But still, the Romans took it to another level with buildings like the Colosseum and the Pantheon.
Not wanting to do the same thing as every other tourist, we tried to hit a balance of looking at the most important historical sites, and then just generally exploring the city. This was also due to the melting heat and the fact this is my only trip this summer (so far anyway!) and we wanted to just take it easy. Rome is a very easy city to do that in. If you don’t include the hordes of tourists then it’s got a very laid back vibe, perfect for wandering at your own leisure.
First off I’d like to say that I am in no way an expert on this topic, but in recent months I’ve been doing slightly more in the way of planning than I have done before and I think I might have a few pointers that any beginner travellers out there could fine useful. These are mainly budget orientated, since my life is currently ruled by my ever decreasing bank balance, but I’ve still managed a good few adventures on my minimal amount of dollar.
I guess the first thing to say is to expect a little bit (read: a whole lot) of compromise. Sure, I would love to travel in style and would make full use of British Airways and their complimentary on-board snacks if I had the budget for it. But it’s always good to have something to aspire towards and until that day there are always alternatives.
Coach travel is the one thing to consider. It’s a much slower option but it’s not particularly strenuous, there’s none of that trying to squeeze your liquids in a tiny clear bag, you just hop on and enjoy the ride. Price wise it can often be a fair amount cheaper than trains and planes, probably due to the slower travel pace, but you can’t enjoy the countryside views from the aisle seat of a plane, can you? I took an overnight coach from London to Paris and as expected it was not the most comfortable night of my life – but a little lack of sleep never hurt nobody and the price included the ferry fare too.
Another tip I’ve learned is that when you can, don’t bother with hold luggage. On most of the budget airlines they whack an expensive extra charge on for baggage, which is probably why the ticket was so cheap in the first place. But depending on how long you’re travelling for and how much of an over packer you are (guilty!), there is usually enough space in a cabin bag for all your belongings. This also cuts down your time at your destination airport, when you glide on through to passport control and leave all the losers behind while they wait forever for their bags to come through. So long suckers!
Accommodation can often rack up the cost of your trip if you’re not too careful and there are a lot of options out there, offering a much more low cost alternative to hotels. I’m a huge fan of AirBnB, so much so that I might even dedicate a whole post to it sometime. But having used it twice now and had really great experiences both times I can’t really recommend it enough. I love something that’s a bit quirky, and I promise you it’s not as weird as you might think to stay in someone else’s house for a few days. Often the whole apartment is available for you to stay in, which is possibly even more convenient and private than a hotel. You can grab yourself something from a local shop or deli for breakfast and make yourself a little picnic too – it’ll be far more cost effective than multiple restaurants for three meals a day. And yeah, maybe I’m just a bit nosey and enjoy having a little look around!
Right now, I’m out and about in Italy. I cannot say how much I’ve been looking forward to this trip – I’m in desperate need of some warmth and some vitamin D and I plan on eating all the pasta and all the pizza. Watch out for some food envy posts!