It has occurred to me that I’ve not written about the 3 nights I spent in Sorrento when I was in Italy a couple of weeks ago. So, here goes…
For those of you who don’t know, Sorrento is on the west coast, south of Naples, pretty much on the Amalfi Coast, and therefore, very pretty. To get there from Rome, I had to catch a train from Rome to Naples, and then catch a local train to Sorrento. The first train was a typical intercity train, easily booked at Rome’s Termini Station a couple of days earlier, with comfy seats and plenty of luggage storage, and nice and clean. The second train, the local train was the complete opposite. It’s called the Circumvesuviana, and is a local train, packed with locals, and covered in graffiti, and no luggage storage. I had to stand for most of the journey to Sorrento, which took over an hour.
But it was worth it. Sorrento was so lovely. There is a main street, with shops and restaurants, and off the main street is the old quarter, with narrow streets and more touristy type shops. The main attraction for me of Sorrento is the views out across the bay, and over to Mount Vesuvius.
The shoreline itself is divided in two. On one side there is what looks like looks it’s still a small fishing village, with colourful houses and restaurants on the waterfront, and fishermen with boats and fishing lines, and a small beach.
The other side of the shoreline is on the other side of some cliffs, and more functional, with a small beach and more docks and the main port for the ferries to Naples and Capri. The fishing village side is definitely the more attractive. To get from one side to the other, you walk through the ‘local’ (ie nothing for tourists) streets, which are narrow, and twist and turn their way around the cliff edge, and utterly lovely.
The views from the top of the cliffs are stunning. The main viewing point is a small public park just off the main street, with benches, and a lift to the beach and docks below – yes, that’s right, there’s a lift! You can take the stairs, but it’s a long climb back up…
I spent 3 nights in Sorrento, staying in a hotel which has a couple of dorm rooms, which are really just hotel rooms with extra beds. There was no kitchen, so you couldn’t prepare your own food. Not an issue for me, but if you really were travelling as cheaply as possible this might have been a problem. The reason I still stay in hostels when I travel on my own (apart from keeping the cost down) is to meet people, which I did on my last night. I got chatting to one of my roommates, an American, and suddenly I had company for dinner. When we returned from dinner, there was another American in the room and the 3 of us sat around chatting for the rest of the evening, and for a few hours I had friends, and it was great – it certainly beats staying in a hotel all week, and not having a proper conversation for days.
In addition to my trip to Pompeii and Herculanuem (see blog post Pompeii), I also went to Capri for few hours. This involved getting the ferry across the bay. Take my advice – get moving in the morning and get an early ferry – I ended up with barely 4 hours in Capri as I didn’t get moving and had to catch a lunch time ferry, and then return just 4 hours later. This wasn’t really long enough. I had a wander around the town, admired the views, and had some lunch, and eventually found a beach for a sit down on the beach ( as mentioned in previous blog posts, I do like the beach and water). At least I can now say I’ve been to Capri, but I didn’t really do much, and didn’t really see the sights.