Day Two in Italy: Sorrento

Day two in Italy started a little slow. Christine woke up at 6:30am and decided to get some more sleep. She woke up around 9:30, got herself ready for the day and then woke me up around 10. 12 hours of sleep never felt so good.

We decided to make today our Sorrento day. So we left the hotel and went walking. And boy did we walk.

We met a couple from Dallas that bought the same package we bought from Sceptre Tours (found them on Travelzoo) in the main piazza overlooking the windy ass road that goes down to the marina/beach. It was fun meeting them and we promised to have dinner with them in Positano later in the week since we are staying at the same hotels and such.

We relied heavily on Rick Steves’ advice and guides and took his “walking tour” of the city. We started at Fauno Bar. After grabbing a cafe latte and an americano and some small pastries, we took off on our walk.

We saw lots of cool things thanks to Rick Steves. If your coming to Sorrento or Italy in general, I can’t recommend his books enough.

First we saw some steps down into a huge gorge that dated back to 500 BC.

Then we saw a courtyard that serves as an example of an 13th century aristocrat’s courtyard. After that we saw a cathedral with amazing inlaid wood doors and Stations of the Cross. Specifically all of the Stations of the Cross were amazingly intricate. Sorrento is known for it’s inlaid wood furniture and accessories. Local artisans’ families have been producing it for centuries.

We continued out walk back to Piazza Tasso (where the Fauno Bar is located) and then headed towards the Bay of Naples to Piazza San Antonio. St Anthony is the patron saint of Sorrento. We visited the church on the square where his remains are kept in a crypt below the alter. The walls were lined with pewter ornaments bearing the phrase “Per Grazie Resivuto”. We’re not sure what the means, but think it is a offering of thanksgiving for answering prayers of saving or helping a loved one.

We had lunch at L’ Antica Trattoria. We were seated by the owner Aldo and waited on by his son Luca. Aside from the cheesy piped in muzac (think instrumental versions of “Ebony and Ivory”) we were blown away. I think I said “fucking amazing” two Christine two or three times. And it was only a three course meal. It concluded with pumpkin creme brule. Amazing.

The sparkling blush wine we started with was very bright and cheerful. Then we had some local olives (very mild) and local potatos that were fried into chips.

The salad with tempura fried risotto and broccoli was simply amazing. The dressing was basalmic vinegar and honey!

For the main courses, I had a perfectly cooked beef filet than was lean, but not too lean, while Christine had the local white fish. Mmmm. My side were sliced potatoes with grilled onions stacked between the potatoes (think potatoes au gratin but without the cheese, stacked up and just slightly crispy on the edges). We also shared a bottle of red wine from Ischia that while a little rough on the nose initially was fantastic. We also shared a bottle of red wine from Ischia that while a little rough on the nose initially was fantastic. Wonderful lunch. Actually… Fucking Amazing!

After lunch we veered off Rick Steves’ walking tour and found the cathedral of St. Francis and the nunnery that is attached, which happen to be situated right at the top of the cliffs overlooking The Bay of Naples to the north of Sorrento. Christine had the privilege of paying .50 Euro to use their bathroom.

We then walked down the cliffside pathway to the beaches of Sorrento and then around to the marina. What a fun stroll that was. Christine even took her shoes off to play in the water a little (and so she can say she’s been in the Mediterranean Sea).

We took the bus back up the hill (and it was an all electric bus too, btw) and found the Sorrento Circumsuvencia (train and bus station). We bought tickets for the early train the Naples for our trip to Rome tomorrow. And on the way from the train station to the hotel, we stopped in a few shops, lolling for nothing in particular, but finding many beautiful things: cashmere, nativity sets, inlaid wood, shoes, you name it. It was there.

When we got back to the hotel, we rested for a few minutes, and I took a call from a client.

Then we were off again in search of train tickets from Naples to Rome, and some better advice about our travel options. We found the local travel agent’s office and met a wonderful young lady that while originally from Sorrento grew up in Australia, and had a perfectly British accent. She sold us two tickets for the Eurostar from Naples to Rome and gave us good directions about how to change trains, and when to head back from Rome.

We had wine and a light dinner at B_______ where we were served by the owner’s son. We were treated to a lively conversation about the state of the Italian economy, public vs. private schooling in Sorrento and where to eat in Positano and where to shop in Naples. I asked the man what his name was and he answered “Luigi” to which Christine responded “heh, that’s perfect!” The food was good and te conversation was great. Oh, and the wine was really good.

We walked back to the hotel, timing the walk to the train station on the way. After getting into our room, we Skyped with Jack, Steven and Grayson for a few minutes before turning in for the night.

I think I eventually fell asleep around 1am. Not sure if Christine ever did. We were both a little anxious about our day in Rome tomorrow… And getting up at 4am.

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