04.06.2009 - 05.06.2009
Sorrento is a sundrenched little town nestled alongside the Bay of Naples, and despite the invasion of tourists, maintains its tag as the gateway to the playground of the rich and famous. Streets are picturesque and lined marvellous large villas and 5-star hotels with sunset views over the bay. Orange and lemon trees abound in private and public areas, the fruit especially tasty! The abundance has to be seen to be believed - and the good people of this region do what any fun loving and/or entrepreneurial people would do in such a situation - make hay! Or alcoholic liqueurs in this instance, called Limoncello and Aranciata.
Sorrento to Surf!
It is in this town that we begin our quest for the 2009 City to Surf - the journey now to be known as <b>Sorrento 2 Surf</b>. Three runs in three mornings (2km, 4km, 4km) gave us the kickstart we needed, lets see if we can keep it going.
Costa di Amalfi
The Amalfi Coast is famous for it's spectacular scenery, winding roads wrapping around cliff faces, and picturesque little coastal towns. Picking up an all-day bus pass, Our adventures took us to the town of Amalfi, in the heart of the coastline, and then back to Sorrento via the spectacular Positano.
Amalfi is a tiny town, despite which was once a maritime and regional power that, in its heydey, commanded a small empire. These days it commands the tourism dollar, with cruise ships docking here and busloads of daytrippers (like us) descending on the town each day. A brief walk around and a bite to eat (including an expensive gelato!), and we were ready to head to Positano.
As far as picturesque towns go, Positano has to be one of the nicest we've seen. Perched precariously around the cliff-face, stylish buildings in pastel pinks and yellows line the coastline, surrounding a small gravel beach. A winding pathway takes you around the top of town and descends down to thee beach, and as the sun ducked out between overcast periods, we ducked in and out expensive boutique shops (375 Euro for a Ralph Lauren polo shirt!), bars, pastry shops (lemon delight!) and limoncello huts, all complete with 'No Photo' signs.
As night fell, we grabbed the crowded bus back to Sorrento, striking up conversation with a fellow Aussie (yes, they're everywhere!), a nice dinner and an evening stroll home.
Would have loved to have made the dash over to the island of Capri, famed for its natural beauty, and home to the 'Insalata Caprese' (or so we think?). Unfortunately, we ran out of time and decided to head to Napoli early, to stay a night and catch an early morning train to Venice.
Chennai.. in Europe!
Naples - lets just say its .. different. Best way we could describe it was, well, it was like someone had taken Chennai out of India, and dropped it in the middle of Italy! Endless construction works, crazy traffic, hawkers galore, the dirt, the smell, it was uncanny!
We tried a walk around town in the afternoon but didn't really find anything of note to see or shoot, but we did get caught up in the hustle and bustle of town.
But every cloud has a silver lining..
The half day we had in Naples was made all worthwhile when, in the evening, we visited a whitewalled, sparsely decorated pizzeria aptly called 'Antica Pizzeria Da Michelle'. This place, according to Lonely Planet, has been serving its steaming pizzas since 1870, and is widely recommended as the best pizza in the world.
The menu consists of pizzas - Margherita (cheese and tomato) or Marinara (tomato, garlic and basil) - soft drinks, and beer. That's it! We took a ticket at the door, and 15 minutes later we were in, by chance sharing a communal table with another aussie couple, and devoured an absurdly cheap 4 euro pizza each. I heartily agree - simple, but very very effective - this place has the BEST pizza in the world.