Monday, August 20, 2012
A Lazy Day in Sorrento
Whenever people think of Italy, images of stucco houses with tiled roofs, beautiful flowers, and cobblestone lanes winding through hilltowns comes to mind. Here in Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast they have all of this and more. In fact, when we gave an armchair travel presentation back home on the Amalfi Coast, we got several invitations from neighboring towns to speak there too. Forget about Rome, Croatia, and Slovenia, it's photos of the Amalfi Coast people came to see.
We started our day with an amazing buffet breakfast that even had a squeeze your own orange juice press with real oranges right off the tree. Everything was so fresh and good that it seemed out of place when the man at the table next to ours plunked a bottle of cod liver oil on his table.
Exploring Sorrento we found some pretty hidden gardens with handpainted tiled benches. Picturesque cafes are everywhere, but you must be careful. If it says "We speak English" and has a poster with colorful photos of the food, beware. There may be no kitchen at all and everything is microwaved.
It's so funny to see cruise ship groups here in town. Some passengers tend to be overdressed for the climate. On a hot day like today, they huddle in the shade. I laughed to myself when I saw one group stocking up on the pretty lemon soaps that smell like cheap cleaning supplies. It's one of those souvenirs that looks great here, but not so great when you get it home.
In the afternoon I decided to take advantage of the lovely hotel swimming pool. It's a great oasis away from the busy town. I met a young woman in the pool who told me she was from Ontario. She asked me if I knew where it was. Ouch! Then she proceeded to say she has been in Italy for several days, but they haven't done a single thing because the pool is so nice. I just smiled politely.
In the evening at the restaurant where we ate, a small band appeared with an accordion player, clarinet, bass, and maracas. They played some fun Italian songs and then passed the hat. I wondered if the restaurant owners minded, but they didn't seem to care at all and it added to the atmosphere. In fact, when people think of Italy, the friendly people and music is just what they might imagine in their mind.