Sorrento, we love you!

I’m sitting on a sea blue tiled sundeck on the top floor of the Hotel del Mare in Marina Grande which is a tiny village near Sorrento, Italy.  It can be reached by car, or by walking down the winding steps from Sorrento that are wedged between tall buildings and lead through the ancient gate.  Laundry hangs from windows, shutters are thrown open, and curtains are ruffling in the ocean breeze.

It’s late, but the sky is still a lovely blue, and I know that up the hill, “the stroll” hasn’t quite begun on the streets that will close to the incessant motor scooters, and vendors are spreading out their offerings of limoncello, and pottery, scarves, and hats.  Restauranteurs are handing out flyers of their menus, hoping that passersby will consider coming back for an evening meal.


The sun has finally dipped behind the cliff that rises sharply above our little hotel, giving us relief from the sun which has been so relentless.  Across the bay, Vesuvius is still shrouded in the haze that has kept it hidden since we’ve arrived, but that hasn’t stopped me from wondering what it must have been like more than 2,000 years ago to have one’s life so rudely interrupted.

For us, Sorrento has been the ice pack one might apply to sore muscles.  Rome was so hot, and so enormous, so amazing, we had to have walked at least to Africa and back while we were there.  Exhaustion was impending.  Okay, so maybe a few more things caused that which I’ll tell later.  But now, it’s all about sitting on this deck, detecting the hint of something — anything with garlic —  waft up from the restaurants below, listening to the little church of the something having to do with virgins bell ring every fifteen minutes, and gazing at people on the road high above on the cliff staring down over the rail, most likely wondering how they might get down to this lovely place instead of where they are.

We swam today.  Nothing could have been more perfect than dipping into the warm water to wash off the persistent sweat that will not have any effect on the numbers my scale reports to me at the end of this vacation.  But no matter.  The water was a calm, deep teal, and so buoyant.  Or maybe that was my Reubenesqueness keeping me afloat.  Who knows?  But the last time I was in the Mediterranean was when I was 12 and my family was living in Spain.  I don’t remember it being this lovely, ever.  I also don’t remember anyone having to pay to swim.  I’ll spare you the pain of what our wanting to rid ourselves from heat and humidity cost us.  You’d only consider us idiots.  And that’s okay, because we know it was completely worth it.  Ahhhhh…..

My head is full.  There are so many sights and sounds, tastes, and aromas, I’m not sure where I can keep them all.  I love this place.

We’re off to Florence tomorrow.  I’ll miss this little place by the ocean that seems so different than the ocean I live very near to.  But vacations are like that, aren’t they?

Ciao, bella.



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9 responses to “Sorrento, we love you!”

  1. Just sniff the air through your nostrils.

  2. Ritzy

    so GLAD you are having a fabulous & memorable trip!
    i LOVED the pic of you in the hat in the previous post… i had to finally catch up with all this moving & driving and staying with the inlaws and breaking my nose & finally getting to NH and now we are moving to RI thing. ahhh… i am in need of a breather!

    will talk to you soon.
    enjoy your trip! hope there are no blisters for your tootsies! 🙂

  3. Mark, I am soooo sniffing the air. But some of those back alleys in Rome do assail my nostrils. BTW — the toilettes here aren’t anything like those of the pubs in Sweden. I’ll have to speak to the Italian gov’ment about that…

    Hey Ritzy! I’ve been wondering how you’ve been doing with your move. Broken nose? ARG! That sounds painful. I gotta find some time to read all about it. It doesn’t look like we’ll have any Inet time in Florence. No wifi at the farmhouse & the MoH isn’t into lugging his laptop around on the bus back and forth. Gee. I can’t imagine why. Hope your little guys are doing fine with all the big changes. Hugs!

  4. oh kellie,, i think you have found heaven.. i cant wait to see pix!!!!

  5. Oh Kellypea.

    THANK YOU!! For posting this.

    The way this is written I almost feel as if I am there with you. Which, of course, I wish I was.

    I am thrilled to hear your vacation is off to such a fabulous start.

    Looking forward to hearing more and more.

    Love you.

  6. Ahhh….sounds delightful! 🙂 Looking forward to more…..ENJOY!

  7. flo

    I stumbled up on your blog and read about your trip to Italy and to my birthplace, Sorrento 🙂 (I live in Milan from 8 years, moving to Paris in few months). So I decided to drop you two lines 🙂 I admit that in Italy, and above all in the south, there’s a kind of anarchy that lead to a messy environment, and at first it can be hard to face it, if you come from (let me say) a civilized country. But if you taste it only for some days, it could seem somehow romantic. Less romantic are the bills you have to pay, only because you are a tourist 🙁 (a “chicken to be plucked” this is the italian expression we use in this case). But at the end, all the nature around, the architecture, the scents, the flavours, tend to make you forget all the nasty things… 🙂
    …and, Maring Grande is the old fishing part of Sorrento, IMHO not the best place to go to the beach 😉

  8. paisley, you’d love being holed up in a place like this. A quick trip to the market for tasty essentials, a good chair and a view, and writing would just come.

    meleah, you’d thrive on the food and the night life. No one goes to bed.

    Hey Olga! Maybe you could find some takers here for a visit?

    Hi flo — Thanks for stopping by my little place in the bloggosphere and I do understand what you are talking about. I’ll be writing about Naples and Sorrento in more detail later today. Good luck in Paris!

  9. […] I know I was looking forward to being near the ocean.  I’m glad I had the short time to do a post while we were there because as much as I can say I’m able to hang on to memories, being able to savor the better […]

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