02 May We Almost Missed Sorrento
Sunday 16th October 2016 – We finally arrived in Sorrento.
Our port for the Herculaneum excursion was intended to be here, but bad weather on Saturday meant the ships tenders could not take us ashore. So we docked in Naples.
With the promise of good weather on Sunday Aegean Odyssey cruised back to Sorrento and dropped anchor in the bay at 7.45 am. The ship’s tenders started “ferrying” passengers ashore from 9 am for a self guided tour of the town. Our designated tender was at 9.30 am.
Reaching ground level in Sorrento, from the Marina, is the equivalent of scaling a seven story building. But fear not, there are several “assisted” methods of reaching Sorrento from this position:
Catch the small white tourist train, board a bus, a taxi or take the elevator up seven stories.
Accompanied by our friends Ron and Heather, we decided on the elevator (2 Euros each as I recall).
From the cliff top this was the view.
… with a stark reminder that Mount Vesuvius is still not far away.
On our walk into the town centre along Via S. Francesco I noticed this almost surreal scene.
… followed by other interesting views of the town.
To this point of our visit, the town appeared to be immaculately clean and tidy, with no graffiti and no signs of vandalism … but then I saw it …
A missing plate? I’ll forgive this one small blemish …….. It is very different from Naples.
Sorrento is perched on a rather narrow, long plateau, constrained by the sea cliffs to the north and by the mountains on the southern side. The main road, Corso Italia runs east to west through Piazza Tasso. Although this square is not large, it offers a variety of experiences.
Morning coffee was at Bar del Carmine, just a little further east along Corso Italia.
Sorrento is primarily a resort town, sustaining a population of 16,500.
The cultural influences are many and varied. It can claim a “whose who” of conquerors, from Greek origins to Roman, Byzantium, Ottoman, Spanish, Norman and Sicilian control, all leaving some heritage.
Sorrento was the birth place of the famous poet Torquato Tasso (1544 -1595), who is honoured with a statue in the main square, which is also named after him.
Why weren’t we tempted to take a tour by horse and carriage? Perhaps we feared the cost? Regardless, we should have indulged ourselves.
Somewhere near the main square we stumbled into this deli, plastered with photos of famous customers.
Then wandering west along Corso Italia (the main street) …
with a brief sojourn into the back streets …
Limoncello is an aperitif made in Sorrento from lemon rinds. I tried a sample, but was not immediately taken by it.
Note the man in the distance looking out the window. I was curious.
The man in the window seemed to have noticed me taking this photo.
Then back to Corso Italia and one of the several churches in Sorrento …
On our way back to the main square along Corso Italia …
Along Via S. Francesco, going back to the marina, we noticed a flurry of activity at Sant’Antonino Church
The florist was in a panic trying to complete the flower arrangements for a wedding, due to start in half an hour.
This street vendor tried to sell me a “selfie stick” for my camera, even though it was obviously unsuitable. He was a character, so using basic sign language I asked if I could take his photo. He agreed.
We took the elevator down to pier level to await the arrival of the ship’s tender.
Arrivederci Sorrento. It’s time to leave. Hopefully we will visit you again soon.
Aegean Odyssey “set sail” for Rome around 4pm.
Will you join us for the next episode of our Voyage to Antiquity in Rome? Hopefully we’ll catch up with you then.