I'm excited to share a spontaneous holiday with you today. A favorite trip of mine, from a few years ago.
The World Traveler had to be in Sorrento for an unexpected work conference, providing a good reason for me to join him. With just two weeks notice, this is one of our most memorable holiday's. Here are a few of the highlights and fun stories from our Italian holiday.
We flew from NYC to Frankfurt to Naples with a few colleagues. After clearing customs and gathering our luggage, our driver told us he could not drive us to Sorrento. The union was on strike for the day, and blocking the road.
Thankfully there is a ferry from Naples to Sorrento. As we pulled away from Naples we saw Pompeii, Capri, and the stunning cliffs Italy is known for - magical!
We exited the ferry only to learn we had to walk to our hotel. A mile walk with luggage, climbing stairs up the cliffside to reach the road made seeing Sorrento, and our hotel, worth the long, and exciting travel day.
Bellevue Syrene 1820
This is hands down my favorite hotel... ever. The rooms are amazing, spacious and unique in design. The hotel is steeped in history, and built on the cliff's looking toward Pompeii and Capri.
We did have one night of mischievousness. It started with a late patio dinner, and a visit to an alley crepe bar (yes, they serve crepes and cocktails) for conversation. Not quite ready for bed, about twenty of us returned to the hotel close watch the sunrise. Nights like this one don't happen often, especially with work colleagues.
A Slice of Sorrento
While Bill was speaking at a conference I had time to wander the streets of Sorrento. Sorrento is dreamy, with picturesque history and ancient architecture, a relaxed Italian culture with amazing food and limoncello. Lots of limoncello.
Below are photos of the Agruminato (a lemon and orange grove that is open to the public), views of cliffside public beaches, and paintings through the city. There is so much to see that I had to select just a few photos to share. I'm still dreaming of the pizza!
With another day of speaking events for Bill, I traveled by train with a friend to see Pompeii. The train provided a glimpse into local life. I wanted to take a few photos but it wasn't the right moment. Impoverished, dirty, and rundown.
We opted out of the English guided tour (a long wait), walking at our own pace. Imagining daily life and in awe of the team keeping this historical site intact. The knowledge to build a city with sanitation, painted walls, living spaces vs public areas. It's impressive!
Bill was able to join me on a day trip to Capri. We explored the coastal streets before getting on a tour around the island, and to the Blue Grotto.
I didn't know what to expect on this excursion. The trip around the island was very good. The cliffs and color of the water were captivating. At one point we transferred into row boats to enter the Grotto. Entering takes patience, you wait for the tide to go out which creates an opening large enough for a boat. We had to lay down, in the boat, to enter into the grotto. Once in the Grotto, the guides sing 'O sole mio which echos off the walls.
If you get close enough to Capri, this is a must experience!
After leaving Capri, we docked in Sorrento, and on a whim... we chartered a yacht to bring us to see Amalfi at sunset. Inviting a few friends for an impromptu night on the water: wine, cheese, bread, and friendship while watching the sunset. Our captain suggested jumping into the Tyrrhenian Sea.
We were laughing so much in this photo. Work colleagues stripping down to underwear and jumping in... the water was freezing but this photo is precious.
The next day we rented a scooter to see the countryside, and drive to Amalfi for lunch. Two hours of twisting roads, I held tightly to Bill's cell phone which we needed to guide us. I was able to give him notice to hairpin turns... it was thrilling and a bit scary at times.
Finding Petrol is not an easy task as you travel along the SS 163 Amalfitana. We were exploring too much and almost ran out of gas, before reaching the beach.
On our way back, I thought I was going to fall off the scooter. Something was wrong but it wasn't safe to pull over - we drove on a flat tire for half of our journey back to Sorrento.
We had an exciting story to share over dinner. It's this dinner where we were found ourselves telling an Italian we have fallen in love with Sorrento, sharing stories of how our home life is so different, yet similar to the this regions lifestyle. Bill showed the gentleman a photo of our land and the Italian said we live high in the trees, like a tree house.
While this trip was taken a few years ago... I can't stop daydreaming about this place. It was heartwarming to look through photos from our holiday, and share the stories behind the photos.
Please add it to your must see list of places!