The photo below is taken from our bed this morning. That’s what we awakened to! It’s Mt. Vesuvius across the Bay of Naples and seeing it first thing this morning made us feel like we were still in the midst of a wonderful dream. We are loving our time together in Italy!
In that same picture, at the bottom of it is a glass-roofed cafe, Rucci’s Ristorante. Our landlord provides us breakfast with our apartment at Rucci’s and we soon found ourselves seated waterside with beautiful, warm, and sunny weather present. Fresh squeezed orange juice began our meal followed by a delicious breakfast, a nice way to start our day here in Sorrento.
Following breakfast, we left our home on the waterfront in Marina Piccolo and climbed 143 steps up to Sorrento proper. So, see, we kept to our plans not to cheat and take the elevator! Sorrento is a vibrant, active, city and feels larger than its population. The locals and tourists blend nicely and there is a constant hum to the town. We spent several hours walking around the main portions of Sorrento taking in whatever interested us.
Sorrento is known especially for its lemons. You see them everywhere and many of them are huge! Limoncello was developed in this area and is ubiquitous in the shops you pass by.
One stop we made was to a men’s clothing store. Some hot looking mannequins drew us in and the friendly shopkeeper was extremely helpful as I tried on some shorts and shirts. Who knew that over here I’m a size 48! Guess, I can’t be eating all the pizza and pasta I want. I’ve never had real Italian-made clothing and it does seem well-made and well-fitted. I left there with a sharp pair of aqua shorts and the shirt you can see lying on the counter even though, somehow, I didn’t quite look as nice as the mannequins who had first caught our attention!
Scooters seem to be a primary mode of transportation here and on the narrow roads they are much easier to maneuver. Streets devote lots of space for parking them and we assumed these in the photo are mostly from commuters who work in town.
We stumbled across a small shop where the storekeepers were two sisters who were the friendliest people you can imagine. The store has been in their family for 55 years and they specialize in art made with inlaid wood. Apparently, this is also a hallmark of an art developed in Sorrento. You can see some examples on the wall behind them. Those may look like painted pictures but each little thing in each picture is made from a piece of inlaid wood. It’s quite incredible to see up close. We chose a smaller one to put in our home back in the States that depicted a scene of the waterfront marinas in Sorrento. It will not only remind us of where we stayed but of two people who made our trip that much more interesting with their friendly conversation. In fact, we met a number of really friendly people today. The first was a couple from Tehran, Iran who are vacationing here. They asked us to take their picture and then offered to take ours. The husband was very talkative and had worked in Atlanta back in the ’80s. Another interesting encounter was with a good looking young man we passed on a street who was wearing a Gonzaga t-shirt. Some of you may know that is a university in Spokane, Washington where Ryan is from. We couldn’t believe we’d run into someone else from Spokane here in Sorrento. He actually lives in Dallas now but he was from Washington state and had gone to Gonzaga.
Mmmmmmm! This was one of the things that I had visualized over and over again when we knew we were coming to Italy. There is nothing like the gelato here. I had stracchiatella and Ryan had pistachio-almond. It even surpassed my expectations! Surprising to us, in the shop you put your money into slots in a box-shaped machine by the counter. It will make change for you if needed. The woman running the shop said that is so she doesn’t have to touch germ infested coins and bills and can easily keep her hands clean for serving the yummy treats. It worked flawlessly!
After walking all across Sorrento proper, we walked down to the waterfront in a different area, this known as Marina Grande. It is beautiful as you approach from above walking down winding, narrow, cobblestone streets. Many cafes and restaurants dot the area once you’re at the sea. This particular restaurant where we had lunch had some very friendly servers who turned the experience into a mutual language lesson. They taught us helpful Italian phrases and vocabulary and we did the same for them with English. Another interesting encounter with the locals and a beautiful spot to east as well.
The restaurant where we ate lunch is just out of the photo to the right at the end of the pier jutting out into the Mediterranean.
Another view from the restaurant pier where we ate lunch. Ryan had octopus by the way! I played it safe with a Caprese sandwich.
Still another view from that same restaurant pier in Marina Grande.
When we returned to the apartment mid-afternoon, I took some time to relax and read. I’m reading a fun novel on my Kindle which mixes romance and travel and is set here in the Amalfi coast area. Ryan, in the vein of past great Italian Masters, used some of his down time to sit on one of our balconies and paint a picture with water colors he brought along. Look closely at the photo on the left and you’ll see him on the balcony. He didn’t know I was taking these pictures! There’s no lack of inspiration wherever we look on this Italian segment of our vacation and Ryan created his own hand-made souvenir – just another of the many memories we will have of this very special part of the world.