Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sorrento: Right where I need to be

Sometimes I wonder what I'm doing here.

I pick a city and I go. I pick another city. I go. Here, there and everywhere. There is no real formula involved. Just a bit of an online search, a train ticket and hotel confirmation number.

There are days I fantasize about staying put and living in a little house. I have a garden. I watch my arugula closely. I pick a small tomato off the vine and eat it right there and then, while it still holds the heat of the sun.

But if I were there, I'd probably be dreaming about visiting cities in Italy, which brings me to now, when I'm visiting cities in Italy.

The next city on the roster was Sorrento, which is on the Amalfi Coast. 

Last year, when I went to the Amalfi Coast, I didn't like it. And I didn't like that I didn't like it. I felt like it fought me the whole way. Positano was full of tourists. The beach of Priano was rocky and small compared to my expansive sandy California beaches. And the ridiculously curvy road between these towns made me car sick. And I never get car sick.

But this time in Italy, I was determined to find something redeemable about the place.

But then Naples happened. Naples is an asshole that smacks you on the ass and laughs at you when you look back and scoff.

I took a train from Rome to Naples, then hopped on the subway from Naples to Sorrento. Apparently there was some sort of "demonstration" on the train tracks between two of the subway stations. Once the train reached the demonstration, everyone had to get of the train and walk the tracks two subway stations down to pick up the next train.

Now, I'm all for adventure but I didn't have the shoes for this. My cute ballerina slipper shoes, though comfortable for zipping around a city, didn't have the chutzpah for this job.

But no worries. The accordion player saw that I was struggling and helped me all the way down the tracks. With his accordion on his back and holding my hand for balance, he walked me the whole way while his brother, who was the guitar player in this duo, played Italian love songs along the way.

You can't make this up, folks. 

Sure it was flirty. And I knew what he was after. But alas... life goes on.

I was really glad for the help though, so I was willing to overlook his gold teeth. But somehow, I lost him in the crowded subway stop.

Took some doing.

With ruined shoes, I hopped on the subway and reached Sorrento an hour later than I expected. But I didn't care. I was exhausted but delighted to put my knapsack down and put my feet up.

The town of Sorrento is home to Limoncello, which you may remember from my first drunken post. The lemon-tree lined streets lead straight to the blue sea. The place oozes charm.

I think the downfall of my trip to the Amalfi Coast last year was hauling my ass between the towns on the bus, which made me ill. So this time, I rented a little boat and sailed from Positano to Sorrento like the fancy pants that I am.

The beauty of renting a boat here is that you don't have to know how to dock it. You drive near the beach and the water taxi sails out to you and docks your boat for you. No skill required. Thank Christ.

I walked ashore and went to one of my favorite restaurants, Buca di Bacco. After lunch, I ran into my fruit mafia king from last year. I mean, I almost literally ran into him. Out of all the places he could have been and I could have been, we were in the same place at the same time. How amazing is that?

Enrico didn't focus on the amazement of it all. He moved quickly into the most important pieces of information "You alone? How long you stay? You stay in Positano?"

Sure it was flirty. And I knew what he was after. But alas... life goes on.

And I felt like a million bucks leaving him on the beach after our quick visit and sailing off to Sorrento.

As I look back on the moment, I take running into him as a sign that I was in the right place at the right time.

And the Amalfi Coast? We made up. 


  1. Crying at my desk. Wishing I was there with you.

    I can't believe you had to walk ON THE TRAIN TRACKS! (In the cute little white flats? I hope they're not ruined...)

  2. AnonymousJune 01, 2011


    You grew up in a little boat. I'm ashamed you didn't know how to dock it.

  3. Mel Heth: When I returned to Rome I bought another pair of the exact shoe. I love those shoes.

    UG: I know, I know, I know. But your boat always stalled on the way into the dock!

  4. AnonymousJune 02, 2011

    Don't you just love those little reminders that tell you you're on the right "track". ;-)
    I'm enjoying every second of your travels!


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