Monday, May 10, 2010
The Amalfi Coast has been on my list of places to visit for a long time. With its beautiful peninsula, enchanted islands, and picture pretty cliff-top towns, it is one of Italy’s coastal gems.
Following three wonderful days in Rome, my boyfriend and I took a train to Naples, then a ferry to Sorrento. The city is the easiest base on a visit to the the Amalfi Coast, as it has good transport links and a wide variety of restaurants and hotels.
Our hotel was of the great variety. Located right in the middle of Piazza Sant’Antonio in the heart of Sorrento, Villa Elisa was perfect. The hotel offered us an upgrade to their top floor room when I told them that I wrote a travel blog. Even if they hadn’t, I still would have given it a glowing recommendation.
Our apartment at Villa Elisa overlooked the piazza and had both a terrace and a roof deck with lounge chairs and a garden. The interior was well decorated and spacious, and Giuseppina, the proprietress, was delightful.
Of the three nights we spent in Sorrento we had three memorable dinners. First we ate at Ristorante Caruso upon the recommendation of a friend. The beef carpaccio with local walnuts, Gnocchi alla Sorrentina , and giant prawns were all excellent, as was the bottle of local wine.
With all the local food shops in Sorrento tempting us with their goods, the next night we decided to take advantage of the kitchen in our apartment. We went to a local shop called Salumeria Archetto and bought some conchiglioni pasta, tomato sauce, and olives. The next stop was Enoteca Bacchus, the wine shop below our apartment. There we purchased a bottle of local red and some Limoncello to wash it all down. It was delicious.
On the final night in Sorrento we met up with friends who happened to be in town. The food at Ristorante La Basilica was good, and I particularly enjoyed our starter of fried calamari and my Cannelloni alla Sorrentina, but the experience wasn’t quite as good as the first two nights.
Aside from eating, we explored the small winding streets and the beautiful Piazza Tasso. But our own Piazza Sant’Antonio won us over when, on our second day in town, we stood on the balcony of Villa Elisa and watched a huge Semana Santa-like parade spilling out from the church and through the streets of Sorrento.
When our time in Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast came to an end, we hopped on the graffiti-covered Circumvesuviana train and headed to Pompeii for the final stop on our Italian adventure.