Sorrento, Part 2

Disclosure: I am breaking the Sorrento portion of our Italy trip into parts simply because I so dread coming to the end. I’ve been home a month now and still can’t get used to the fact that I’m not in Italy. Hence, foot-dragging.

Although I would prefer four thousand nights in Sorrento to the four we actually had, that’s not how my life has unfolded. I tell myself I would hate the tourist-clogged summer months anyway. But even just four nights in May made a perfect, relaxing ending for our first trip to Italy.

We stayed at a cliffside hotel on the edge of town. The Hotel Corallo, the oldest section of which was once a private home, is very pretty and magnificently situated, but unfortunately noisy because all its floors are stone of one type or another. Someone dragging a chair across a room down the hall could wake you out of a sound sleep. I feel terrible saying this because the staff people of the Corallo were wonderful and the location magnificent. We obviously could have changed hotels, but salt air makes me lazy and we just loved the staff. So we stayed. In our room with a view:

Off the lobby, this sunroom looks out over the bay.

All around the hotel, as in the white marble squares on the floor, this design appears.

I don’t even want to tell you how long it took me to put two and two together about the word “Corallo.”

Outside that sunroom is a deck where we would sit between our afternoon adventures and our evening adventures. Gennaro the delightful bartender brought me a drink of his own invention, one that naturally features the local limoncello.

The blue was a bit of a surprise, but it’s the perfect color for a view like this:
See that tiny seagull against the clouds? This guy in the next picture is his slacker brother, who basically makes his living off pretzels and other snacks from the tables on the deck. One morning we watched him pull half a dozen packets of sweetener out of the jar on the outdoor breakfast table, rejecting each quickly with an annoyed jerk of his head. He must have been wondering how humans survive on junk like Splenda. I was wondering what possesses a seagull to give up fish and go vegetarian.
A pest, but a very handsome pest.

Not being slackers ourselves, several times a day we walked into town. This is Sorrento’s main square, Piazza Tasso, named after a poet – Torquato Tasso, with whose work I am completely unfamiliar. I just looked him up on poemhunter.com and the first poem that showed up was posted on my birthday a few years ago. Coincidence? I think not.

The statue is S. Antonio Abbate, who must be the patron saint of pedestrians walking amid vehicles being driven by distracted tourists. If you stood here and turned to your right you would see La Marina Piccola, a bit of a downhill hike:

It was not encouraging to encounter this sign the moment we headed down:
It’s asking whether you’re feeling tired after climbing those hundred stairs. By this time in our vacation, my knees were beginning to protest. It was harder for me to get down these hundred stairs than it was going back up. (On a subsequent ascent I did count. And there were. Exactly.)

All over Sorrento, traces of the ancient city.

La Marina Piccola is the place to catch the ferry to Capri, which we would be doing later in our stay. For now, we just walked around with that touristy, “wonder where this goes” attitude. We decided to walk back up to town by a different route from our descent, because we were aiming for lunch at La Marina Grande – located just out of sight to the far right of this photo. Where is a kayak when you need one?

It was a risky business in my opinion, to walk up, up, up a new and unfamiliar route with no clue as to when we might encounter a dead end. I had only just so much vertical travel left in me. But the views!

Vesuvius, politely quiescent.

The hike turned out to be worth it, as La Marina Grande was one of my favorite places in a trip that consisted of favorite places. I think I shall give it a post of its own.

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