We flew from Rome to Naples, and prebooked a taxi from Naples to Sorrento. We figured it was a better way to prebook a taxi, rather than go through the craziness at Naples train station. The drive took about 2 hours, stopping along the way to check out the views. We also had a couple of lemon granitas from a vendor in a parking lot. 1.50E for a cup full of lemon granita with a shot of Limoncello poured in. Bargain!!!
View of Sorrento
Mt Vesuvius in the distance
Our seafood dining journey started here, with a courtesy shuttle service (provided by the restaurant) to and from the restaurant down at the marina. We had grilled fish, seafood antipasti, grilled scampi, prawns, octopus AND the best gnocchi that melted in our mouth!! So good..
My dad's decorated fish
The next morning, we took a quick 30 minute ferry over to Capri (an island off the coast of Sorrento).
Capri was a favored resort of the Roman emperors.
We then hopped onto a smaller boat to take us around the island:
Faraglioni Rocks: the symbol of Capri
Rolling around on the ocean was a great change, blue sky, calm water, we couldn't have asked for more. The most exciting part of the boat ride was the stop at the Blue Grotto. The majority of the people on our boat didn't want to wait 2 hours (as we were told) to get into the Blue Grotto, so they were transferred onto another boat. A handful of us stayed and waiting. Our skipper was fishing, the rest of us tried to soak in the sun.
Michelle's dad taking a nap on the boat while waiting to get into the Blue Grotto
The entrance is small and depending on the tide there is just enough space for only a small rowboat to get through.
Those are the row boats that took us into the grotto
After waiting in the boat for about 30 minutes, it was our turn to go in the Blue Grotto through the tinest hole in the cave. To pass through we all had to lay on the bottom of the boat. As the ocean swells the top of the boat hits the top of the entrance to the grotto.
We are ready to go inside the cave..
It is blue inside the cave, hence the name Blue Grotto (Grotto meaning cave). The bright light is the entrance of the cave
Supposedly back when the original romans were here this grotto was used to host orgies and was connected to the surface by a hidden tunnel. Not sure if I believe it but its a good story The cave is about 50m long and all of the light comes from the sun shinning on the entrances to the grotto.
After the Blue Grotto we took the funicular up to Capri city and had a quick lunch. After that we got the bus to Anacapri and took to the chairlift up the top of one of the mountains. The chairlift was basically just a chair with a bar so you cant fall out. Perfect simplicity! It was a 15minute ride up with spectacular views.
The view from Capri city and the trip up the mountain on the chairlift
The views from the mount at the top of the chair lift
The taxis they have on this island are crazy. They look like chop shop convertibles! We couldn't resist the taxi rid back down in a machine like this.
'Chop shop' taxis in Capri
Finished the day with my mummy's home cooked chicken porridge. It tasted sooooo good Thanks Mummy.
The next day (Day 3 in Sorrento), we were chauffeured (far classier than our usual mode of transport) in a van along the Amalfi coast stopping in Positano, Amalfi and Ravello and a grotto that was meant to rival the Blue Grotto. After meeting our driver Frank we were on the road!
First stop was Positano, the guide book said that it was 90% womens fashion boutiques and it wasn't far off. The view from the beach was my (Blake) reward for passing through the confines of womens' shopping streets.
The Amalfi coast, beautiful from almost all angles
Positano from above and below
On our way to Amalfi we stopped in a small fishing village called Furore which annually hosts a high diving competition. Unfortunately neither Michelle or her parents were willing to dive for my photo so you'll just have to use your imagination (or check out Furore diving on Youtube).
Cliff diving in Furore, on the way to Amalfi
It was a quick stop in Amalfi, we had some yummy seafood and the local pasta called Scialatielli. It was delicious. Lots shorter and fatter than regular spaghetti and delicious with seafood! Unfortunately we didn't take any photos of lunch- didn't realise the food was going to taste good till we'd already digged in. After this Michelle and I bought some paper which has been produced in Amalfi since 1200AD made of COTTON. It feels a bit thicker than regular paper but looks classy (as it should for the price).
We continued on to Ravello:
Villa Rufolo: A palatial Moorish-style estate that was originally built in the 1270 for the Rufolo family. In 1880, a trip to Villa Rufolo’s garden inspired German composer Robert Wagner to write the second act of his final opera, Parsifal. Every summer it hosts the Ravello Music Festival, an open-air concert held in Wagner’s honor:
The view from the villa.. simply amazing..
This is where they've just finished hosting the music festival- pulling down the stage
My(Michelle) parents found a chestnut tree covered with chestnuts on the ground. So they decided to fill my dad's video camera case full of chestnuts to cook at home. Unfortunately, it turned out to be very bitter and mum chucked it out, thinking it was poisonous
The view of the coast while waiting to enter the cave
Not as cool as the Blue Grotto, but a great way to end the day
We finished the day with a yummy seafood meal & apparently the best lamb chops:
Marinated seafood antipasti: salmon, swordfish, cuttlefish
Day 4 in Sorrento
We spent the morning at a lemon grove. Michelle's dad sat chatting to an American couple from San Francisco who reckon that there will be an Asian US president in the next 20 years . We shall live to see..
Oranges growing out of a lemon tree
Bought some yummy arancino (made from orange) and limoncello (made from lemon)
Shopping day for Michelle & her mum...
Next stop.. the hustle and bustle of Naples