We boarded the train for the one-hour ride to Naples and picked up our rental car nearby. When we left the Europcar rental agency, the agent mentioned that our car was covered for theft anywhere outside of Naples and that we would need to pay €500 if stolen in Naples. We told her we would be going to Sorrento and she said Sorrento – good, Naples – not safe! Upon leaving the area we could see that if we thought Rome was gritty, well, Naples was even grittier - and that may be putting it nicely. The one-hour drive to our Sorrento Airbnb took us south around the Bay of Naples, and through a series of three tunnels with one being 3 miles long. We did not do any driving in the Rome traffic, but driving in any city in Italy could have you parking your car and refusing to ever drive in Italy again. Let’s just say it’s a free for all out there with drivers and pedestrians doing whatever they want whenever they want – even going the wrong way through roundabouts and one-way streets that are barely wide enough for a small vehicle. Dennis did well figuring out how things are done and made sure we managed all the traffic, s-curve after s-curve and more than a few hairpin turns up the hills above Sorrento. For those who know me well, I never got in the car here without taking motion sickness pills.
Our little apartment, in a family-owned villa, reminds us of staying with a nonna (grandmother) complete with a picture of Pope John XXIII above our bed. After a good night’s sleep in the arms of the Pope, we greeted the day in the sunshine of our terrace overlooking the Bay of Naples to Vesuvius with views hovering above Sorrento. Carlo, our host, brought out a plate of pastries his momma put together. Picture two shots of espresso, with sweet breads and lemon filled croissants! Carlo talked about Sorrento and where the locals shopped for groceries, where to park, where to buy pizza. He mentioned how safe it is in Sorrento and the surrounding towns, but Naples – not safe. As a matter of fact, anytime Naples was mentioned by anyone the very same thing is said. But this was no surprise to us as we had heard about the potential for problems in Naples – not safe!
Our hosts have two apartments and are in the process of converting space for a third. The family lives at one end of the villa with their own balcony and views. They have chickens (fresh eggs), oranges, lemons, limes, olives, and we have a never ending supply of the family olive oil here along with anything we want off the trees!!! The oranges may have been the best I’ve ever had. There’s something about picking it at the peak of perfection and immediately devouring or juicing it.
We had weather in the 60s with sunshine, clouds, and rain at times. We understand that last year at this time they were still having 80s so it was cool. You may think that while in Sorrento, we never left our villa, but you would be wrong. While we spent enjoyable days on the terrace soaking up the views, the sun, and some downtime, there was much to see in the area.
By the way, Carlo continued to bring us espresso and pastries each morning, but I finally had to gently tell him we needed to cut down as we weren’t used to eating so much pastry, and my legs were getting too heavy to run. He just smiled and shrugged. The next two days he brought out just two pastries, but finally said he thought they looked lonely so the next day the platter was full of three different pastries. Mamma mia!
Thanks for joining us on our journey.