09.10.2017 - 12.10.2017 80 °F
This was our first time going south of Rome and we were both very excited to explore this part of Italy. Trains do not go directly to Sorrento - you must stop in Naples and continue to Sorrento via the local train, bus, ferry, taxi, or private car. The Italian Freccia Rossa train whisked us to Naples in less than 3 hrs.
I decided against taking the local circumvesuviana train which runs between Naples and Sorrento and any other mode that required loading & unloading more than once! I managed to find a reasonable private car service which met us on the platform and drove us to our hotel.
Our first glimpse of Vesuvius and Piano di Sorrento.
We arrived at our hotel and were pleasantly surprised that we'd been upgraded to a room with a better view! We enjoyed some wine & nibbles on our balcony before heading to dinner.
We headed out to dinner there was a cruise ship (the first of many) moored on the harbor.
We found a place for dinner and had our first of many lovely meals and our first taste of the wonderful local Aglianico wine.
Walking home we enjoyed the beautifully lit coastline of Naples across the bay.
A Lazy Day
Our hotel's breakfast room has a lovely terrace with incredible views of Vesuvius & Naples - what a way to start the day!
We spent the rest of the morning planning what we would do the next couple of days and eventually wandered out to eat again! The hotel next door had a great terrace in their restaurant - I really love being able to eat outdoors and the weather was perfect. We enjoyed the view, lunch, a lovely rose, and shared dessert.
We walked around Sorrento a bit, visited a wonderful wine store and enjoyed a beautiful sunset!
Touring the Amalfi Coast
We booked a small bus tour of the Amalfi Coast for today and were picked up near our hotel - the bus even though small was too big to fit down our street! The minivan that drove us there the first day had to fold in his mirrors to make it! Another cruise ship in the harbor today!
Our first stop was a scenic overlook
Some places have been around hundreds of years
The cable in the photo is to pull a basket up and down the hill - that's how the folks who live up there transport things rather than carry them.
Positano from above
We carried on along Amalfi Drive to Posotano. We stopped there for a look around, some shopping, and a glass of wine.
Everyone back in the bus we continued and drove past the town of Praiano
The model village is called a Presepe - a Nativity that includes the whole town - and are a tradition in Naples. If you go to the photos section of the blog and zoom in on this photo you can see the manger built back in the rock. These are all wired and illuminated at night.
Next we arrived in the town of Amalfi. We decided to take a boat tour part way down the coast for about an hour. Different views from water and a beautiful day!
After the boat ride we went to the square in Amalfi, people watched, and enjoyed a glass of Aglianico.
The Cathedral dates back to the 9th Century
Back in the bus we head for our last stop of the day - Ravello. We stopped at the Chiesa Santa Maria A Gradillo, an 11th century church. Our guide, Gus, showed us where the original floor mosaic could be seen through plexi-glass panels in the floor. It is made of small grey & white stones and depicts a tree of life.
We walked down the passage to the square and walked around a bit. We learned about Villa Rufolo a 13th century villa belonging to the the powerful Rufolo family. We saw the beautiful views and sat and chatted with our tour guide, Gus. He was born & raised in Sorrento and knew everyone everywhere we stopped! He has been a tour guide for 30+ plus years and has worked on 6 continents. The man knows a lot about a lot of places. He really made the day enjoyable.
On the ride home I was able to catch a few good shots
Back in Sorrento the cruise ship all lit up
A Day in and All Around Capri
We woke up to yet another gorgeous day in Sorrento. We planned to go to Capri for the day and thanks to a generous benefactor we were able to splurge on a small boat cruise all around the island rather than taking the ferry. The weather was perfect for a day on the water! The views from our hotel this morning
We were picked up at our hotel and transported to the marina in Piano di Sorrento.
Off we go to the island of Capri. Our first stop - the famous "Blue Grotto". The queue to go in was over an hour - we decided to not wait and our captain told us he would show us some other grottos just as beautiful!
This is the Mesola Fort, there were two cannons here at one time and along with two other forts guarded the western approach to the island.
The Punta Carena Lighthouse sits at the southwestern tip of Capri and is the 2nd tallest in Italy (Genoa is the tallest), It has been in operation since 1867.
Continuing around the south side of the island we come to the Grotta Verde - Green Grotto
Next our captain dropped us off at the Marina Piccola to spend a few hours on the island. We took the bus up the hill to the town of Capri and found the best view in town for lunch.
After a wonderful pizza, a couple of glasses of wine, and lovely chats with several other travellers we opted for a taxi back down to the marina to meet our boat.
It was a nice enough day to have many swimmers at the small beach.
Back on the boat we headed towards I Faraglioni. The rocks have each been given a name: the first, still attached to the land, is called Stella, the second, separated from the first block by a stretch of sea; Faraglione di Mezzo and the third, Faraglione di Fuori or Scopolo, meaning the head or promontory stretching into the sea.
The center one has an arch - the legend is if you kiss your love under the arch it will last forever!
We continued around to the Grotta Bianca. This cave is full of white stalactites & stalagmites. If you look closely there is a stalagmite on the right side that looks like a silhouette of Mary.
Having completely circled the island it was time to head back to Sorrento. We did make a couple of stops along the way,
a little green grotto
Our hotel - it is the building on the right
driving up from the marina - yes that diagonal line is a road!
Our hotel has a lovely rooftop lounge with spectacular views
We met "hopalong" as we named him. Based on his adept cracker catching he spends a lot of time getting sympathy on this roof. When another gull tried to horn in on the goodies hopalong chased him away!
This quickly became our favorite restaurant in Sorrento - it sits on a quiet alley - the food was fantastic and had two hard working waitresses who were always happy & friendly. Their house wine was fantastic!
We will definitely return to Sorrento!
In the morning - train day to to Nice then on to Paris!