Traveling to Italy Sorrento & the Amalfi Coast
I Love Sorrento
It was my dream vacation, in June of 2012, I found myself traveling with 4 awesome ladies, through southern Italy. After a 2 day stay in Rome (another story), we found ourselves in Sorrento, the most beautiful place I've ever been.
We stayed at the Corallo, a cliff side hotel overlooking the Bay of Naples. Our room had a large terrace balcony which we thoroughly enjoyed, especially in the evening when we could see the twinkling lights of hundreds of boats, as well as cruise ships, all over the water. We were surrounded by lemon groves and beautiful gardens. The town is set on the side of a cliff, kind of like theatre seating, you can see everything.
The awesome balcony of our room overlooked the terrace restaurant. The second night of our stay, they were hosting a wedding reception on the terrace. We were able to hear the music and watch them dancing. It was a great opportunity to witness some of their culture.
Lemon Grove Trip
Sorrento is well known for it's lemons, some of which are up to 4 times the size of the lemons we grow here in America. Our group was given a tour of a farm and lemon grove, where they grow these wonderful lemons. They make a liqueur with them called Limoncello, which we were given samples of after our dinner. It's a refreshing light liqueur, yet stronger than it seems, which we discovered after indulging in several glasses. Apparently we were very entertaining on the bus ride back to our hotel, and for the rest of our trip, we were dubbed the "Limoncello Girls".
They also made mozzarella cheese and wood fired pizza. I've never had mozzarella cheese that good. It was so soft and flavorful, not hard like ours. The cheese was actually one of my favorite things that I had to eat in Italy. They were very gracious and entertaining. But then, so were we.
Tour of Sorrento
Piazza Tasso Sorrento
In Italy they do not have malls like we do in America. Instead they have what they call a Piazza, an open public square, surrounded by buildings such as restaurants, bars and shops.
There are many vendors set up in the square selling fresh fruits, vegetables and many other products. There are tables and benches all around for public use. The Italian piazza is the center of public life.
We had a great time strolling through the Piazza in Sorrento, browsing the local wares, purchasing little momento's of our trip, eating Gelato and just taking in the ambiance of the local scenery and the gracious people. It is very different than the shopping we are accustomed to in America. The people are not hurrying to get through and get out, they are there to spend the day and enjoy the experience.
The Limoncello Girls
On the second day of our stay in Sorrento we took a day trip to Positano, a picturesque town perched on the side of a hill along the Amalfi Coast, 29 miles from Sorrento. You will be doing a lot of walking, as the only way down to the water is to walk through the winding streets down to the beach. Along the way are hundreds of boutiques, with unique clothing and gifts. The beach is very clean and the water is clear and beautiful.
On the beach were several vendor's, one of which was selling paintings he had done of the beautiful town, along with other nearby sites. There was a small band playing music and singing beautiful Italian songs. It was very enchanting, like something out of a movie, which by the way Positano was featured in the movie "Under the Tuscan Sun".
Collegiata di Santa Maria Assunta Church
The Collegiata di Santa Maria Assunta Church, sits right in the center of Positano is one of the most famous attractions they have to offer. This beautiful church with it's majolica tiled dome can be seen from anywhere in the town.The Madonna di Positano, a famous 13th century Byzantine icon, known as the Black Madonna resides in the church.
The ancient legend tells that the icon was stolen by the Saraceni (pirates of the time), but when the pirates tried to leave Positano's shores with the panel, a terrible sea storm suddenly arose, and prevented their passage. During the storm, the pirates heard a cry from heaven saying: "posa, posa" (put it back). The fearful pirates set the decorated panel back on Positano's shores, and miraculously, the storm ceased giving them the opportunity to flee the Coast.
The history and architecture in these ancient towns is so interesting, unlike anything I've seen here in America.
My stay in Sorrento was one of the best trips I have ever taken. I enjoyed the scenery, the gracious people and the layed-back lifestyle (fyi, they close everything down for one hour at lunch time, for a siesta, called a riposo in Italy.) The only thing I would change, would be to have spent more time there, 2 days was not enough. We were kind of rushed from one thing to the next. If I am ever lucky enough to travel to Sorrento again I would make Sorrento my home base, and just take day trips to the many interesting sites within driving distance.
I highly recommend Sorrento, and all the surrounding towns.