Trip Start Jun 23, 2011
25Trip End Jul 11, 2011
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Last night we forced ourselves to power through the sleepiness and stay up until a decent bedtime. So, what's a better way to stay awake than having the best meal of your life in a fairytale town. The old part of Sorrento really does seem like a fairytale. The best one-word description we could come up with was authentic. It is stereotypical old-world Italian, like what Busch-Gardens tries to recreate, but real…authentic. Things are meticulously manicured, but appropriately tarnished and worn with age.
The tiny winding streets are filled with people from all over the world. Everyone speaks English, but we try to speak as much Italian as possible. Shops are overflowing with handcrafted Italian leather goods and locally made Limoncello
The owner/operators of our B&B, Villa Adriana, are exceedingly pleasant and helpful. Andrea is Australian, and Valerio is Italian. Valerio met us at the ridiculously heavy wrought iron gate and took our bags to our room while Andrea gave us a quick tour. It is a classic Mediterranean-Style villa on the hill just above the main part of town, about a 5 minute walk to the dreamland I just described.
Our room is a wonderful queen terrace suite at the top of a three level staircase that could be from a movie. We have an enormous terrace overlooking Sorrento, the Bay of Naples, and Mt. Vesuvius. There are doors or windows on every wall. They have heavy wooden shutters accessible from the inside while they are closed, and heavy plantation style shutters with screens on the outside, accessible while open. The furniture in our room is simple, yet modestly luxurious, a trend that I’m seeing throughout the town. There’s an antique wooden desk with a simple chair, a wrought iron bed with plush linens, a wooden table with a small flat-screen TV (all channels Italian, no need for TV anyway), a wooden Adirondack chair, and wrought iron bench at the foot of the bed with a simple lace runner. The tile is polished porcelain, and the thresholds are Italian marble. Simple white linen curtains adorn each window and door.
The bathroom is equally suitable and spotless. There’s a small to average sized shower with updated fixtures and beautiful tiles. The other fixtures are relatively new, clean, and suitable as well. A bidet sits-unused- beside a toilet that has an old-style tank hanging on the wall high above the seat.
The weather has been perfect. The temperature is more than bearable, but the a/c in our room has been a welcomed perk during our afternoon siesta…yes, Ray is napping.
Lunch today was at a Pizzeria named Da Gigino’s (maybe). There were white tablecloths on outdoor seating in the shade of a centuries-old building. Surprise, we had pizza…and wine…and we’re not talking domino’s and Boone’s farm here! It was fairly priced, so simple, and absolutely delicious.
Lunch was wonderful, but dinner last night was possibly the best meal of our lives. Oh, and we have no idea what we ordered…at either meal. We just ask the waiter about his favorite dishes, and choose one that’s completely foreign to us. We started with an appetizer sampler, not like the delicious one at Applebee’s, but very different even more delicious. There was a small portion of salmon, an amazing anchovy, fire-grilled zucchini and eggplant, something orange, breads, bruschetta, and a couple of deep fried fritters with different things in them. Our pasta course perfect as well. I have no idea what was in it. Our meat course was an oven braised red snapper fresh caught from the Bay of Naples. Oh, by the way, the fish was whole, eyeballs and all, but our waitress showed up and dressed the fish at our table, and presented the delicious pieces to us on a plate. She worked that thing like an artist. Oh, and of course we had a carafe of Sorrento wine.
Tonight we have a cooking class at the Villa. We’re learning how to make gnocchi. Apparently they’re supposed to be like little potato pillows…we’ll see if I make little potato pebbles. Ciao.