Total Pageviews

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

SORRENTO/NAPLES—END OF THE LINE

It's Wednesday early evening; we arrived in Naples around noon today—it took longer than we thought it would.
Backtracking a bit: yesterday we took the train to Pompeii. Matthew says this is something he's wanted to see since he was in 8th grade, so it was cool to know his dream was coming to fruition on this trip. I had checked online about tours and they were really pricey—something like 250 for the two of us for a few hours. I didn't book anything, fortunately, because when we got there, this handsome Italian with dimples sidles up to me and says something cute like how a pretty lady needs a tour guide. I couldn't have agreed more.... So for 10 each, plus the 10 entry fee each, we had a great 2 hour tour...though not with the dimples—he was just the lead man. We had Mario, a grandfatherly type of cute Italian.

 There were 4 other couples in our group, which was a perfect size. I wish I'd taken notes—we know Matthew can tell about everything we saw and heard, but my memory has never been my strong suit. Pompeii is amazing to see—from the very beginning with the opening walls that were closed at night to keep out the riff-raff to the homes that have been excavated showing parts of frescoes and baths, etc to the human and animal bodies which had been covered and preserved in ash. Mario gave us a great overview of everything. We had a bite to eat there, then headed back to the train since the one room with the Kama Sutra type drawings from the whore house had such a long line, we'd have had to stay an extra hour waiting. The train was a nice way to get there and back—about a 30 min ride. We met a nice couple from Australia on the return who were on an 8 week trip, having just finished their 3rd week...and now they have no reservations or plans for the next 4 weeks, then go on a cruise. They'll be in Italy the whole time, and since they were heading for Florence next, we told them the name of our hotel, and they'll try to get in online before heading out later this week.
We had asked our concierge to make dinner reservations at the place the 2 couples from the cooking class recommended, so we headed there for dinner. It meant another ride down the big mountain and parking in the same lot we'd left earlier, but we found the main street closed to cars at night. And wouldn't you just know it—we'd borrowed and carried umbrellas from the hotel all day and didn't need them,so we returned them. The rain hit just as we paid for the parking, and had to walk in it till we could stand under a overhang and wait for it to let up. We weren't totally soaked, but definitely wet. Fortunately it didn't last too long and we were able to continue our walk without getting much wetter.



Coincidentally, one of the couples, James and Julie, came in ahead of us for a return meal and we ended up being seated next to them. One of the owners of Tavern Allegra, Jennifer, greets every table with prosecco, then the serve complimentary bruschetta as well. Nice start! We shared a chef's salad, which was delicious, then each had lasagne, also very good. James and Julie were having calamari as one of their dishes, and after giving us a taste, we also ordered that too. We didn't have a secondi course, but I watched and still can't figure out how all these people who order all the courses can get up and walk out without waddling. We did have dessert—we'd seen profiteroles when we came in, which are homemade by the chef using fresh Sorrento lemons in the cream. We also had a cherry cake—delicious! The best part of the evening was Jennifer's husband who plays his guitar and sings many typical Italian songs and a few American ones as you eat. There's also their other business partner, an old gentleman who goes from table to table, acting as host and waiter and who breaks into song when the mood hits. He is quite the character and obviously loves the limelight. At one point, they both donned yarmelkes and started singing Hava Nagila. Matthew was impressed because I sang along with them and knew most of the words. I really wanted to get up and dance, but that wasn't going to happen. They sang several sing-alongs, so most of the guests got into the act. It was really fun and lively.
Today we got up early and tried to get to Naples early enough to enjoy the day. We were told it would take an hour to get here, but it's farther and the traffic's worse than we though...but we did find the hotel without too much stress, other than the usual driving in an Italian city. We dropped our bags at the hotel—nice room—then headed to the airport to return the car. We were going to take a taxi back, but the rental car shuttle driver told us to let him drive us over to the bus stop and pay 6 to get back to the hotel rather than 15.50 or more by taxi. Worked for us...especially since we're getting down to little cash left.
We spent the afternoon finding pizza for lunch, since Naples is the pizza capital of the world, then walking around the piazza and out beyond it to do a little shopping. I actually found some yarn and a few buttons for my projects. The hotel charges 3 for 30 minutes online, so I won't be hanging on the computer tonight. I bought 30 min, just enough to check in and put this on the blog.
Tomorrow we head home—leaving here pretty early for an 8:50 flight that goes to Venice, then Philadelphia, then SFO. Another long day of flying—returning after 9 pm. Let's hope all the little kids have flown home today, yesterday, or on Fri. Ciao from Italy.


No comments:

Post a Comment