Tag Archives: Sorrento

Capri

Yikes, I’m a little behind.  I blame it on the wine.  By the time I’ve had a glass, I’m not much up for sorting photos and writing a blog.  So, sorry for the delay!

On Sept. 24th, we went to Capri for the day.  We caught a taxi to the port . . . and it finally happened; we were in a car accident.  It was supper minor, the two cars just scraped their rear ends together as they passed, but it sure ticked off the cab driver! It happened in a spot where the road (only about 10 feet wide) made a hairpin turn — and I mean a sharp U.  Even little cars, if they don’t approach just right, will have to back up to properly complete the turn. Did I also mention the road is two-way and only one car can pass through the bend at a time?  In our case, the taxi passed through the U but the oncoming car didn’t wait for us to clear and he wedged himself into the U and started to turn which made the back bumpers of the two cars scrape together.  Given crazy Italian traffic, I’m surprised it hasn’t happened sooner.

Anyway, our trip to Capri was a little shaky because it was pouring rain.  It wasn’t a big deal on the boat, but it was a different story on the bus we boarded to take us from the port to Anacapri.  Unfortunately, the bus had many holes — the skylights, the windows, the door, everything leaked.  It was bad that our tour guide, who was standing in the stairwell by the door, had water up to his ankles!  By the time we got to Anacapri, no one was dry.  Another thing, the busses are designed to move as many people as possible as quickly as possible.  They literally have 7 inches between the seats.  Everyone had to sit with their knees slanted into the minuscule aisle, or up by their ears.  I’m not even sure children would fit well on that bus. It’s a good thing we were with a cheery group!  Luckily, by the time we were ready to explore Anacapri the rain stopped and the rest of the day was sunny and beautiful.

When I think of Capri, I think “beautiful island” and “shopping.”  Well, both are true.  However, the shopping wasn’t very interesting because most of the shops are also common in the States.  I checked a couple of places and found the prices weren’t very different, either.  So, we stuck to wandering around and enjoying the views.  We definitely can’t get those at home!

While doing this, we met some really interesting people.  Actually, we’ve met many people on this trip so far.  Most have been from London or Boston — probably because Bob wears his BU hat everywhere so people stop him on the street to ask if he’s from Boston.  The Capri trip was no different.  For some reason, it is often the case that the people we meet have kids around Abby’s age.  I’ve really enjoyed hearing people from all over talk about their everyday lives and finding they are absolutely no different than our experiences in the US.  People are people no matter their religion or nationality. Of course, I knew this, but it is an absolute delight to see the evidence first hand. My favorite example is the couple we met from Glasgow.  They left their 16 year old son home for the weekend and they were absolutely gleeful about the fact they arranged for grandma to stay with him, sort of against his will.  They had lots of stories of wild parties and stupid teenage behavior, all to familiar to parents the world over.

So, back to Capri.  It’s a small island with rugged shorelines, amazingly blue waters, a couple of old towns (Anacapri and Capri Town), and lots of history.  It’s not easy to get around; the roads are very narrow and they climb steeply up the craggy slopes of the island.  You can walk around quite a bit of it, but that involves literally hundreds of stairs, so wear comfortable shoes!

Here are some pictures to help you imagine.  : )

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Okay, I’m starting with breakfast.  Have I told you about the breakfasts we’ve had on this trip so far?  All of our hotels have breakfast included and the one in Sorrento was exceptional.  It started with fresh-squeezed orange juice (sometimes complete with a seed or two), then fruit, a small Caprese salad, and a selection of cheeses and smoked/cured meets.  After that is a frittata or omelet of the day and a beautiful selection of pastries.  We had to leave early for the trip to Capri so we only had 10 minutes to eat. I grabbed the pastries and brought them with us to enjoy in leisure.  They were still warm and absolutely divine.

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Finally, a view of Capri from Anacapri.  The land in the distance is the Sorrento peninsula, with Sorrento on the left side and the beginning of the Amalfi Coast on the right.

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Some views of what the cities are like.  Like the Amalfi Coast, they are built on a steep hillside, so stairs and steeply sloping walkways are the best way to get around.  It was also very crowded in places.

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At first, I thought this might be a new-fangled Italian fashion (some of them are really weird!) but then I realized it was an art gallery.  : )

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We found lots of beautiful spots walking around the shopping districts.

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These photos were taken from the Gardens of Caesar Augustus.  The shoreline was breathtaking, but the path leading to the next little village along the coast was also spectacular.  The village is just around the first cliff and tucked into the cove. In these pictures, you  can see how the curve in the road in the first picture is the same as the one in the second picture. Together, they fit together to give you a picture of the whole coastline.

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This is more of the same shoreline as the pictures above, but it shows more detail.  If you look closely, you will see a little hut, a stairway hewed out of the rocks, and the roof of a small round structure.  Can you see the two structures and the stairs in the first picture?  If not, I zoomed in for you.

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Another view from Caesar’s Garden. Once the rain stopped, it was a beautiful day!

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I got a kick out of this necklace. I also love jellyfish, so it was tempting. : )

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This is an ad on the back of the bus, but these watches, known as Capri watches, were everywhere in the stores.  They’re kind of whimsical.

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Another view of the marketplace. Just lovely.

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Hot dog and apple pie: American dinner, Italian style.

Sorrento

This morning we caught the train from Rome to Naples, then we hired a car to take us to Sorrento.  What a beautiful area of Italy.  We walked the streets, had lunch at a cafe where we could watch people come and go, and we explored the cliffs.  It’s a magical place!

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I took this on the train because if made me smile.  The equivalent of flight attendants went through the train offering snacks and drinks, just like on a plane, but this cart was set up to make espresso on demand.  Only in Italy!

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This was the view of Sorrento along the road from Naples. What a beautiful coast! Here you actually see four little towns; Sorrento is all the way out on the end of the peninsula. It is all completely charming.

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This is the view of the square from our table at lunch.  It was beautiful.  We even saw and bride and groom stroll by with a film crew following them.  They could have been locals getting good shots for their wedding video or maybe they were a crew filming a segment about a romantic Italian wedding for Say Yes to the Dress.  Who can say?

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A real, honest to goodness, original Caprese salad.  Yum!

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After lunch, we decided to wander the shopping district in Sorrento.  No cars allowed; these alleys are too narrow for even motorbikes.  Above are a couple of different alleys, and a little square we stumbled on by accident.

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This is an entrance to a private residence.  I liked the little statue of the Virgin Mary watching over it.

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We found some artists!

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This is a grocery store for the locals.  Apparently, this region is known for its incredible produce, so there was plenty of it for sale.

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This is one of the walkways we found back at our hotel.  It’s an old monastery that sits on the cliff.  It’s incredibly beautiful.

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This is the pool at our hotel.  When we arrived we startled a cat that was sitting by the pool admiring its reflection.  We’ve seen a few stray animals in Rome and Sorrento, but not a lot.  None of them were neutered.

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A view of the cliffs from the walkway behind our hotel.

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Here we are with the Sorrento Bay behind us.

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This series of pictures shows the staircase that leads down the cliff face from our hotel to the landing below.  It is ancient.  You can see in places where it was once decorated with beautiful tiles and paint, but it is long gone.  At one point, the staircase cut into the cliff face like a cave.  Thank goodness Bob had a flashlight app on his phone or we would have killed ourselves in the pitch black.  At the bottom, everything was closed and we couldn’t get out onto the docks.  Luckily, we didn’t have to climb up — we found an elevator that worked!  What a relief!

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Of course, once we were finally back on top safe and sound, we noticed the candles that were kindly provided for anyone who wanted to venture down.

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More of the cliffs by our hotel