With Lonzo at the wheel of the bus, we left Tuscany (sigh) and set our sights on Sorrento. There was little of great interest to see out the windows. We were on a four-lane divided highway with lots of trucks, and boring fields growing something or other on each side. Only once did I see something that caught my attention. Atop a high cliff, looking over a wide flat valley with several small towns at the bottom, was what seemed to be a remarkably beautiful building. I asked the tour leader about it, and she said we’d be stopping there on the way to Rome for our return flights. Wouldn’t tell me what it was.
Late that afternoon, we arrived in Sorrento, dropped our luggage at the hotel where we’d stay for a week, and on request, the bus took some of us us to the nearest super market for wine, soft drinks, fruit, and snacks. Mostly for wine. I hadn’t yet become addicted to limoncello. Sorrento dates from before the Roman era. It overlooks the Bay of Naples and is protected in several places by deep gorges. We were based there because of easy access to Naples, Pompeii, and the Amalfi Coast.
But first, we did a walking tour of Sorrento. There are lots of hotels, because this is a tourist destination for most of the year, and lots of tacky souvenirs to be had in small, open-air shops. There is also a lovely store that sells only limoncello in many charming glass containers. Alas, my suitcase would not accommodate or survive an effort to bring some home with me.
For all our walking around, I managed to get lost in Sorrento several times. For the tourists, the town posts maps on tube-shaped metal pillars for loons like me. What it fails to do is tell you where you are. There’s a logo that says You Are Here, but it’s on the smooth top of the tubed map. Well, yes, I was there at the tube and the map, but I never found out where on the map the tube and I actually were. Traveling without Pat is tough. She’s the one with the sense of direction.
Sorrento is also noted for woodwork, especially inlaid furniture. Many members of our group broke away to check out the street where those shops could be found. I went looking for aspects of normal life in Sorrento, and found exactly what Pat would have been happy to see: someone petting a dog.
All in all, I liked the town. In every shop, the merchants were friendly and helpful. No rain. Comfortable hotel rooms and good breakfasts. Italians mostly eat fruit, cereals, rolls, and pastries. For us Americans, they provided scrambled eggs and bacon. Undercooked bacon left to lie in the grease, and overcooked scrambled eggs left to get cold. But they tried. And the croissants were delicious and feathery.