Winding down our first full day here at Sorrento. Left Florida Wednesday evening, flew all night to London. Huge headache landing, too many free cocktails. Long layover at Gatwick airport, nice lounges but were out of sorts with the time change. Finally boarded plane to Naples and made the short hour and a half flight. Very cool, over the English Channel, over Paris, Lake Geneva and all across Italy. Starkly different landscapes from flying over the US. Small farms, very few highways, amazing geographic diversity.
Nice driver took us through the rain and dropped us off at hotel. On the way a little apprehensive because really touristy and not particularly pretty. Driving past the famous Pompeii under the shado of Vesuvius was disappointed; didn’t go inside but from what we saw looked like another tourist trap. So when we pulled up to hotel, well, was a little wary.
Stepping inside; wow. All good. Gorgeous five-staresque hotel perched on top of crazy old cliffs overlooking the sea and Vesuvius. Even though it was gray and blustery and sprinkling rain, we couldn’t have been more pleased. Settled in, grabbed free prosecca and fresh snacks in the hotel lobby, and explored the hotel. Walked through old feeling tunnels made out of stone onto a lichen covered balcony two hundred feet up over the ocean. Straight down wooden Mediterranean style boats bobbing like corks in the swell. Sun going down and lights coming up in Naples, twinkling for some reason we wondered about. Not like the other hotels we’ve stayed in before, this place had incredibly new and luxurious rooms and finishes, but felt old in a very good kind of way.
Showered off travel grime, threw on some clothes and went to hotel restaurant for dinner. Really nice old school restaurant. Traditional, multiple courses, ordered the ‘local fare’ off the menu. Had more champagne and some killer local red wine. M, who usually never likes the red stuff, stole mine and ordered a second glass.
Finished dinner and absolutely and completely crashed for the night.
Up this morning, went to Alexia House for a cooking class. Was sketchy at first, the driver took us to some random touristy looking storefront place where he thought we wanted to go… It was a cooking class, but of the plastic chair and foam disposable plate variety. Not what we had anticipated. Fortunately, Bunky asked him to take another look at the address and he realized, with a happy moment for us, we were at the wrong place. Turn around, weave through busy Sorrento traffic on really skinny streets (think Bahamas but made of old cobblestones with buildings close on either side). Up Sorrent hills, toward Amalfi. Asked a few locals for dicections and finally found it because Lucia, the owner, was standing out front waiting.
Inside, open and cheery. Started with another proseca, decided on the menu. Just me, Bunky, Lucia and her son Ettero, who was 19 and just gradutated from navigation school. M was into the cooking as a huge fan of all things Italian foodwise, making ravioli, meatballs, bruscetta. All fresh ingredients from Lucia’s gardens, with tomatoes that popped with flavor. Special. Not your Florida mama’s Publix bought tomatoes. Heirloom stuff, home grown from seeds handed down through generations. Just not the same as the genetically patented Monsanto seed grown produce at home.
After finding out Ettero was a spear fisherman and lover of boats, I happily surfed the web with him looking at Youtube videos of huge ships and big seas. Despite language barrier, shared love of the water and things nautical made for fantastic conversation. Really enjoyed it. Finally after several hours lunch came in courses and we ate way too much food. Stuffed, Lucia brought some home made lemoncello with a homeade tart for desert. Sick good.
Ettero drove us back, we crashed with food induced comas. Rallied tonight, explored and wen to to a fantastic restaurant M found online, Li Boleta (I think). More phenomenal food and great friendly service, me and M talked an enloyed being together. Finally dinner done, feeling fat but happy. Talked to Miffy, Diddy and Mac on Tango using WiFi and everybody is good.
End of a great day and night.