Sunday night Sorrento, a cacophony of church bells, local brass band, excited waiters, more bells, an accordion player, enthusiastic locals and tourists, Italian, small children brandishing their latest toy, sundry Brits, an occasional American, it’s all a feast for the eyes and ears. The narrow alleys are jammed with people and, of course, it’s dark 9.30. It’s even cool er then last night in Naples, which was actually oppressive, I was oppressed, so hot, even at 2am, 3am and all through the night until I gave up and cranked up the air conditioning, something I rarely do, can’t stand the noise, convinced self that it was the sound of a gentle breeze, it worked. Probably achieved a total of five hours sleep, funny condition, jet lag, looking forward to getting over it. There is one good side effect, I am constantly hungry, so I get to eat, frequently, Italian food, in Italy.
Sorry to jump about a bit but this paragraph is from downtown Amalfi. Lovely old church dominates the square, hugely wide steps up, probably fifty or so, dominated by tourists of course, but again mainly Italian, some mad dogs and Englishmen, out in the mid day sun, a smattering of Americans, met a Canadian couple, nice as always. Taking refuge from the sun at an awninged cafe with a lemon soda while taking a ninety minute break from a mini cruise down the famed Amalfi Coast from Sorrento. It very much lives up to its reputation, high craggy cliffs with villages perched precariously low down or impossibly high up. What do they do if they forget the milk? We left Sorrento reasonably at ten, headed out to Capri, saw Tibirius’s Palace high on a crag, stopped at a famous grotto for the swimming and then to Positano for a photo op’, and on down here. My waitress just blessed the Queen when I left her a tip, gotta love these Italians. Ok, back to the boat and Sorrento.
Made a decision to not go back to Naples tomorrow, Sorrento suits me, very calm and good natured, breezy on account of the height so not sweltering. It is also the first town I have ever been to where, upon arrival at the port, one takes a lift/elevator up into downtown. I actually did like Naples in a way, you just have to watch your back, it being the pickpocket, random theft capital of Italy. So, not having anyone to watch my back, I’ll stay here in Sorrento and get the ferry back to Naples for the train to Rome on Wednesday and thence to Pisa, leaning tower and all.
I am somewhat pleased to have an Italian phone number, at last. There is a problem with arriving in Italy late on a Saturday night, everything is closed until Monday, so the first twenty four hours were a tad frustrating, and of course the hotel’s internet connection was unreliable, to say the least. Very friendly cell phone shop, fluent English, of course, and my carrier is TIM, most gratifying. Unlimited Internet use for the first month, a SIM card and cheap international calling, all for twenty Euros, about fifteen dollars.
Let’s see if I can back this up with some photographs:
Vesuvius looms over the Bay of Naples
The Isle of Capri in our wake.