Lots of people including my Mother and Kate's Father had said I should visit Sorrento as I was already this far south. As you can see, we didn't disappoint. Kate had done her research and discovered that if we stayed on the outskirts, there were bargains to be had on the accommodation front so that's what we did. Currently then our residence for the short terms is the commune known as 'Piano di Sorrento' which was close enough to Sorrento meaning we should be able to catch public transport in. Anything to avoid taking the out the car unless absolutely necessary.
We shortly discovered the bus schedule appeared to be somewhat relaxed (like Italy in general) and so after waiting for over 20 minutes we had enough and were none-the-wiser what was happening so we thought 's0d !t' - let's just just walk! Over an hour and 4 kilometres later we made it into the centre! (Our reception lady would later tell us it was this distance after she recoiled a little when she heard we walked there). Walking such a distance would have never been something I would have even contemplated back home.
It might not look it from this photo but the place was really bustling with people - and this is still considered low season don't forget.
My immediate reaction was how strange it was to have suddenly been immersed into a thriving town! Only because we saw very few people for the last hour and now, all of a sudden, we were surrounded by many English speaking tourists. The last time I remembered feeling this was in Vatican City. If this was to be Sorrento I had better get used to it.
As we were back in tourist land we did tourist things like take the official tour on this thing: (Photo from the Internet).
In addition to its beauty and its prime location on the coast, Sorrento (and the Sorrentine peninsular in general) is well famed for its production of Limoncello and almost every market stool and shop was selling it. There's no doubting it's a charming place but you could easily accomplish it in a day I thought.
What did those of you that have been think?
It's also true that many of the people that come here very much try to make their holiday about seeing the many other places close by too; places like Pompei, Positano , Ravello and of course, the Amalfi Coast. Despite only needing a day here, there's no doubting the city's appeal and popularity backed up by the amount of tourists here. Also I saw very little poverty here which was a welcomed sight and was quietly surprised just how pleasant the locals were despite all being in competition with each other from a business perspective. It's also when you remember that Naples is just one hour away do you further appreciate the contrast in both cities and their people. Actually a waitress said this to us and I remember thinking I couldn't agree more.
Being here also has allowed me to reset my manners as I had started to become a little more accustomed to the Naples way, Y'know brushing against people in the crowded streets and almost ignoring it and walking on. Something that would have been alien to me weeks ago but proof that eventually we really can and do adapt to our surroundings. It was amusing to watch the tourists at what we call Zebra crossings as it's fair to say I've definitely toughened thanks to Naples.
As for the prices here they are what you would expect but they weren't stupidly high. Water a couple of euros, a coffee between 2 and 4 and a meal around 10 to 12 for a main course of fish or some similar delight. Look a little harder though and you can find yourself a basic pasta and pizza (as if over-baked, Mozzarella can be 'basic') for less than 15 euros - combined!
After we walked about for it a bit and just embraced being here, Kate had made it clear she would really appreciate some dedicated sunshine time so we headed down to one of the several marina areas. Annoyingly there was a charge to use their facilities and I wasn't prepared to pay it but Madam kindly paid for us and there we sat for a couple of hours, me largely in the shade, she largely in the Sun! (I still didn't approve but I was thankful of her gesture all the same).
Here is she is sipping back the Cola before joining me in participation of 'the good life':
By now the rays of the Sun were thankfully a little less strong and so we moved on to the main marina, the Marina Grande - clue is in the name. Here we sat by the edge and watched local fisherman return with the day's catch, or should that be catches? That was great as I'd never really seen fresh food come in like this before and to think that a lot of this fish would then be cooked that evening for the hungry punters...
Before we ate though we couldn't resist the opportunity to treat ourselves to our first drink of the day. Madam picked a bargain with a glass of Prosecco at just 4 euros as she said it can be double that back in the UK. I chose an Italian beer...obviously.
A toast to good friendship.
We sat for nearly an hour in utter peace and tranquillity before moving on for some food. Here is what I was saying about Pizza and Pasta and I have to admit it, this was thoroughly enjoyable and another comparable bargain for 15 euros! I enjoyed this pizza more than I did in that single place in Napoli.
Somewhat crazily, we decided to walk back as it was still light. Besides we could walk off all the food we had eaten. Admittedly we felt refreshed after that decent sit down and so we were ready for the challenge! It would be accurate to say then that we accomplished an easy 10 kilometres walking today having set off around 9am to have returned nearly 12 hours later! Needless to say it wasn't long before we hit the pillows but again managed to capture this on our way home.