June 23, 2017

Sorrento and Amafi Coast Italy

Back on the rickety Circumvesuviana train from Pompeii, Sorrento was next up and our home base for the next two nights. Sorrento is a lovely coastal town with great food, shops, and is the birthplace of limoncello! Has me thinking I need to experiment with my lime tree at home. Limecello anyone?! Anyway, this was a nice break from the big city life with a smaller bustle of food and views. One of the nicest owners of a shop we visited gave us so many tastes of limoncello that I thought by the end of the night I may be fluent in Italian!

Not only did we find great limoncello in Sorrento, we enjoyed great Italian food and wine. At one restaurant, we declined the €3 water, the waiter laughed and said "Water is for showering!" Wise words! The weather while we were there was perfect, we enjoyed walking, wandering, and eating outside. At another restaurant, there was one point where all the Italians left and we were the only ones left. They took delight in playing Knocking on Heaven's Door (Bob Dylan's version, not Guns and Roses) and Freak by Radiohead. Very pretty and random which made it all the more fun!

Sorrento was also a great base to take a day trip to the Amalfi Coast. Staying on the Amalfi Coast is beautiful, but it can be pricey. We saved money and had an amazing time staying in Sorrento. From Sorrento, there is a road. Well, road is a generous description. It is a narrow, windy, and precariously high path on the coastal cliffs. There are large buses (we took the SITA bus) that drive like mad and leave only centimeters between each other when passing!  I would recommend the buses because you must be an thrill seeker if you want to drive yourself on it!

We stopped at the picturesque town of Positano first. This was a beautiful town where the Italian families all know each other and even know some of their annual tourists. So neat to see the owner of the grocery sharing a picture of her grandkids with customers from Texas who, in return, had a gift bag for her with Texas wine. Positano never has properties for sale and building permits for new structures are basically non existent. They say it is even hard to get a permit to fix something on the buildings. Truly handed down through the generations! Furthermore, these buildings are all built entirely on the side of mountains. It is truly amazing.

After Positano we went to the actual town of Amalfi. We both agreed we liked Positano better, but we did enjoy just sitting on the dock watching the water and admiring the beautiful hillsides with the colorful houses precariously perched all the way up.

I would love to go back and spend more time in a swimsuit at the beach and on some hikes. Also maybe take a boat ride to Capri. The vibrant blue water, amazing cliffs, and lemon groves are etched in my memory begging for more.

Sorrento Accommodations, Restaurants, and Sights:
Pizzeria Da Franco: I really enjoyed sitting outside this restaurant and grabbing a pizza and bottle of wine. Speaking of the wine, it was their own label. Very good and a fun little wine shop. Good pricing, good taste, good location. The service was also good. Casual, fun, and absolutely worth trying!

La Taverna di Lucullo: The restaurant with the great entertainment I mentioned above? Yep, right here. I preferred the pasta to the pizza here at this restaurant.

Hotel Gardenia: This was a lovely place to stay.

Positano Restaurants and Sights:
Shop: They are well known for their custom sandals and they are beautiful.

Beach: I mean, see above, all of the colorful umbrellas and beautiful water equal a great place to lounge and relax.

Hike the Sentiero Degli Dei: This translates to the Path of the Gods. I would love to do this and am bummed I didn't have time to do so. The scenery looks like it would have been spectacular.

Eat: There are a lot of great restaurants. I got a €3 sandwich from a shop that was just so authentic and amazing.

Amalfi Restaurants and Sights: 
The Amalfi Cathedral: It is a beautiful cathedral sitting right in the middle of the village. Very pretty to take pictures of (as you can see above).

Wander to the Paper Museum: We didn't go in, but they have some examples outside and seeing a landscape made of paper and it not looking at all like paper was some talent.

A must visit!
What is your favorite part about the Sorrento/Amalfi Coast area?

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