Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sorrento, Italy

Just when I thought I had seen everything in Sorrento, Italy, I came across the lemon grove. Located in the middle of town, it’s almost hidden from view. Away from the hustle and bustle, businessmen and women sat in their beautiful tailored clothes eating their packed lunches and reading their newspapers. It was so quiet and peaceful, I almost felt as though I were an interloper, disturbing their private time.

Sorrento is famous for its Limoncello drink which is served ice cold, usually after dinner. Much care is taken during the growing season and, when the lemons are ready to be harvested, they are handpicked with care. The climate in Sorrento and the surrounding coastline produces some of the finest lemons in the world. They are symmetrical and elliptical in shape, are a glorious bright yellow, and thick skinned. The area also produces wonderful nuts and olives which are collected in nets hanging from the olive tree branches.

Besides all the wonderful sights to see in Sorrento, there is great train service to Pompeii (as well as other locations). It’s inexpensive and a traveler gets to experience the “real” Italy - to see it close up and from a completely different perspective. Also, buses leave Sorrento regularly taking travelers up the Amalfi Coast. I highly recommend taking the bus rather than driving your own car because the roads are very narrow and busy. The guide provides a running commentary and there are plenty of stops so travelers can enjoy a cup of coffee or buy souvenirs made by the local artisans who are known for their colorful ceramics.