Saturday 9th June
Mark and I woke to another warm and beautiful sunny morning for our last early walk through the streets of Rome. We went back to the Fontana deTrevi, Pantheon and Spanish Steps and again, no crowds! On our way home we passed some road barricades and Polizia and noticed the helicopter presence; all out in preparation for George W Bush who was going to be in Rome later that morning. The streets were buzzing with Polizia by the time we left for the train station at 9.30am and the many detours needed caused our taxi driver some concern.
On arriving at the station we noted that our train was running 5 min late. This was familiar territory and we were all worried that we were in for a repeat performance and another delayed journey but, no, we set off after only a 10 min delay. I am leaving the lush green countryside behind me as I scribe this note after only a few minutes of travel.
Everyone is well and happy; especially Mark given that the he just heard the Swans triumphed over Hawthorn and we are all looking forward to Sorrento.
The only problem with going to Sorrento is that you have to pass through Napoli. This would have to be one of the ugliest, most depressing and graffiti-afflicted areas on the planet. It is amazing to think that a unified nation could allow such a blight of a place to blot the landscape between the beauty of Ancient Rome and the visual splendour of Sorrento and the Amalfi coast. The only redeeming feature is the Archeological Museum and I don’t think we could stomach Napoli for long enough to go back up there to visit, even though it is a mere 20 min from Sorrento. I bet they don’t take George W on a day trip down here! Annabelle kept looking at me during the latter part of the train trip and said nothing. She didn’t have to…her face said it all. I responded to her silence with a ‘wait and see, it will turn beautiful in a moment’ and, for the last part of the trip, it did.
Anyway, we arrived in at Sorrento by 2pm and met Daniele who walked us to our apartment. We have again been lucky with our accommodation as it is a huge and light filled space, on the fifth floor (with a lift), close to main square and with views out over lemon groves towards the Bay of Sorrento.
We set out to explore the area after dropping off our bags and settling in but, we did not make it very far; to a cliff side bar/restaurant with spectacular views out over the Bay (see photos). From there we headed back home via the supermarket for a rest before setting out for an early dinner. We took a 30 min mini train ride around Sorrento which was useful for getting our bearings. We then walked down through the narrow, winding cobble-stone (more basalt) lanes to the fishing village for dinner. This area was about a 10 ~ 15 min walk away from the town centre and a lifetime away in style. You felt as if you had stepped back in time somewhat to a place with quaint old piers with small fishing boats, small lane-side cafes, low-key restaurants and the locals going about their humble lives. It was a magical setting sitting there on the deck of our simple Trattoria, eating dinner and watching the fishermen preparing their nets whilst the sun was setting and all of this with the imposing Vesuvius across the bay in the background as well. It was almost too much to ask for yet we had stumbled on this quite by chance.
We eventually pulled ourselves away from the beauty of this spot and made our way home with the obligatory gelato stop on route!