We spent the second week of our Italian holiday on the Amalfi coast, but if you've ever read this post, perhaps you'll not be surprised to hear that the near disaster, that likes to strike once in a blue holiday moon, returned.
The 'charming, typically Italian riviera villa, filled with antiques in a desirable location called Meta, a couple of kilometres outside Sorrento' was in fact an exhausted dump of a place in a rather uninspiring town a short but traffic jam-busy journey away. With a filthy oven and kitchen contents of chipped crockery and particles of previous inhabitants' food, stained and less than springy mattresses which would have surprised me if there weren't any bed bugs, lumpy pillows, broken windows, not to mention some kind of mouldy life form growing it really wasn't the place for us.
But what unnerved me the most was the condition of the three boilers which looked antiquated, eroded in parts and so badly fitted I would put money on them having never been maintained. There are too many news stories about families who never make it back from their holidays because of carbon monoxide poisoning and there was no way I was going to have our family bump up the statistics. So, we took our bags and decamped to the nearest hotel!
We lost a day and a half of our holiday, negotiating a refund and finding somewhere else to stay, which is not easy in high season, believe you me. It even crossed my mind I'd rather go home but air miles and flexibility don't go together! However, we are if not tenacious and eventually got our money back. As risky as the internet is when it comes to portraying holiday rentals, it is without doubt a useful tool for threatening to post unsightly photos!
Things have a habit of working out for the best and we found ourselves a wooden cabin, beautifully peaceful and nestled amongst lemon trees, and a mere 500 meters from Sorrento town centre in Villagio Verde. Run by a family, it was extremely friendly, basic but nice and clean and the children were ecstatic to have a pool once again. And being so close meant we were able to meander down to promenade, dine out and watch the evening street entertainment, which was all incredible and oh, how I LOVE Sorrento!
We were much more active this second week, visiting a thronged Sorrento market which was mostly tat apart from a lady selling lace .. I can sniff that out from a mile off now. And visits along the coastline to Amalfi and Positano were picturesque and glamorous beyond belief.
I'll have to leave the highlights for another time but till then, enjoy the sunshine. We've been soaking up some Olympic atmosphere this week and there's yet more to be done ..