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Report 1247: A Not-So-Slow First Trip to Italy and Budapest

By andasamo from Nova Scotia, Canada, Spring 2006

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Page 9 of 14: Last day in Sorrento

photo by Andasamo

Marina Grande fishing boats reminded us of home

On our final day, we strolled around Sorrento and Marina Grande. We felt right at home in Marina Grande, standing on the rocks while the waves sprayed around us – the Mediterranean and the Atlantic are not so different after all! Marina Grande is well worth a visit, especially in off-season, when we encountered very few other tourists. An old woman was hanging her laundry on the wall of the stone steps leading down to the shore; a couple fishermen were returning with a boatload of fish; a group of older woman seemed to be readying the church for a celebration of sorts. The small church, Chiesa Santa Anna, had a beautiful altar and paintings on the ceiling. We met a lovely Italian tourist who stopped us to ask how far up the hill it was from Marina Grande to Sorrento. She spoke a bit of English, but then after we said we were from Canada, she told us that she had studied in Montreal many years ago so we managed a stilted conversation in pidgin Italian-English-French.

After the somewhat tiring walk back up the hill to Sorrento, we came across the Museum Correale quite by accident. It houses some gorgeous examples of wood inlay, a beautiful library with floor to ceiling bookshelves, many lovely paintings, pieces of Greek statues and sarcophagi. The rooms had cards explaining their contents. One room’s card said simply “Foreign Painters.” As we looked around, we discovered that one of these foreign painters was Rubens. At the top of the museum was a terrace looking out over a garden and the bay in the distance.

More wandering, with Mom buying a beautiful inlaid wood box for her hubby. And we poked around a little hardware store and chatted (mainly gestures, nods and one syllable words) with a lovely old couple running the place. They were watching the Pope's ("Papa") Sunday service on TV but were very friendly when we made our purchases of tea towels and tiny yellow limoncello glasses. Boy, are hardware stores the places to shop ... so much cheaper than the more touristy shops.

Back to the hotel for our bags (we'd checked out earlier, but they kindly kept our bags for a few hours) and then we caught the Circumvesuviana to Naples and the train to Florence.

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