Saturday, 26 February 2011

Sorrento, Italy

Five days of sunshine and blue skies spent in Sorrento. We visited Pompeii, walked miles around its ruined streets, marvelling at the wall paintings that have survived. Em made friends with one of the local dogs that roam the ruins. All the time we were aware of the brooding presence of Mount Vesuvius behind the town.

We walked around Sorrento discovering all its delightful shops, views and marveling at all the beautiful plants which at home are house plants but in Sorrento are garden plants - Bougainvillea, white Jasmine, Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia), Date Palms, Prickly Pear Cactus, Yellow Mimosa in bloom, a stunning sight against the deep blue sky, figs, oranges and lemons and other plants I have never seen before. I spotted several birds - several birds which looked similar to a Bee Eater and a Black Cap bird (but it had airforce blue colour on its wings), Sparrows and I heard many other bird calls I didn't know. We enjoyed espresso coffee at Cafe del Carmine on the Piazzo Tasso. We visited Mt Vesuvius and walked (huffed and puffed) up to the top to look in the crater and admire the views. The views were hazy despite a bitterly cold wind blowing for two days, as you can see from the photos we were cold despite being well wrapped up.

Back in Sorrento much to Em's delight we discovered the big Supermercardo on Corso Italia, which stocks Gluten Free and Dairy Free pasta, rice cakes, cakes and biscuits as well as Alpro soya milk and rice milk, so we don't need to bring the special foods with us next visit. We stayed in a lovely appartment on Via Parsano with views across towards the hills behind the town of Sorrento. It meant that we could cook a hot meal which it turned out was necessary as we didn't find any restaurants selling chips or gluten and dairy free food suitable for Em. It gave us a chance to use the local shops, Tony spoke very rusty italian which hadn't been used since 1988 but like riding a bike he remembered most of it and gained in confidence as the days rushed by. I learned a few phrases and picked up a few more along the way, Em who usually stays silent on foreign holidays also attempted Italian and by the end of the holiday professed a love of Italy and would like to live there! I wonder how much of it was due to the idea that at the age of 16 you can learn to ride a scooter - she spotted a red vesper she'd like (oh no!) I did buy her a small model of one instead ;-) but she is keen to learn Italian, so when we return she can understand and speak more. Returning to the appartment one evening we spotted a beautiful little church up on the hillside above Sorrento all lit up. Finally on Friday we bade Sorrento farewell, but we will return because we had a wonderful time and we have more to discover about this enchanting area.

My final two pictures were taken from the Taxi as we left Sorrento the colour is wrong but that is because the windows were tinted. It does show the villages stretched out along the coastline, in the distance is Sant Agnello and Sorrento. Hope you have a good week. Jane x


Willow said...

This post absolutely makes me want to jump on a plane and fly to Italy! I've promised my husband that we will visit there as I've been but he hasn't.

Ally Jay said...

I wish I didn't live so far from Europe,it looks so tempting. glad you had a great time.

The Blonde Duck said...

I hope you had a great weekend!