The next installment of our trip to Italy looks at Sorrento. Sorrento’s roots date back to 600BC where it started life as a Greek Colony. Obviously over the years as the Roman Empire spread, Sorrento, or Surrentum as it was know 2500 years ago, was folded into the Roman Empire and today is a major tourist destination for those visiting the Amalfi Coast of Italy.
We spent 3 days in Sorrento and stayed at the Belair Hotel. The location was brilliant, the accomodations very nice, but the restaurant was something that can be skipped. We found far better food in the local restaurants. 3 days in Sorrento was plenty of time for us to see everything we wanted to see. In reality, we spent one of those days in Capri (click here for that report) and still had plenty of time to take in Sorrento. The main attractions including their shopping areas, historical monuments and churches are all within easy reach of each other allowing you to cover a lot of things quickly. Mrs. LufthansaFlyer and I consider ourselves to be “hit-and-run” travelers. We do not spend hours crawling through musuems and galleries but rather visit the spots we want to see, take them in for a little bit, and move on to the next place that draws our attention. For those of you familiar with National Lampoon’s “Vacation” that stars Chevy Chase, you could almost compare my travel habits to the scene where “Clark” and his family visit the Grand Canyon. His idea of seeing it is to stare at it for a few seconds, arm around his wife’s shoulder, nods in appreciation and off they go. I’m not that dissimilar. But I digress.
Sorrento is a beautiful place. Its filled with many alleys, cobblestone streets and pedestrian boulevards that are brimming with cafes, restaurants, tourist souvenir shops as well as some higher end boutiques. The crowds in my opinion were not bad at all. Perhaps it was due to the time of year that we were there (mid-October) or the fact that not many cruise ships were making port calls at the time.
Scenes from the various streets and alleys that make up a fair amount of Sorrento:
Sorrento is also known as a hub for Limoncello. A very,very good Lemon based Liqueur that is absolutely best served cold. And because of that Limoncello is for sale virtually at every shop along the way. Due to the popularity of lemons in the region, we saw lemon “everything”. Lemon soaps, toiletries, toothpaste, gum, chocolate etc. Anything you can make taste like a lemon, or look like a lemon, you can find in Sorrento. Here are a couple of examples:
One of the funnier things that we saw was a local begging for that day’s lunch. This is a smart native:
Step 1: Stare down your Adversary:
UPDATE: Thanks Katherine for “reminding” me of the handmade leather sandals that are custom made while you wait. My wife had no problem picking out her favorite pairs as did the ducks that seemed to follow us everywhere: