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Report 1920: Rome, Tuscany, Venice & Amalfi for Beginners

By nikkihop from USA, Summer 2011

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Page 11 of 16: June 10, 2011 Day 10: Sorrento and Herculaneum

photo by nikkihop

Sorrento by sea

DB slept in a bit while I went downstairs in the unique three-person elevator made of glass.  It was the first elevator that size that limits the capacity to three.  In fact, if you bump against the walls, the car will stop.  There are tiny electric laser sensors that stop the car if you break the beam.  We found that out last night with our luggage.  

Breakfast was good: lots of different types of pastries, corn flakes, cold cuts of prosciutto, salami and cheese, coffee and two types of juice.  I had an apricot croissant, some ham and cheese and a bit of cereal with my coffee and brought some orange juice up to DB, who doesn't eat breakfast.  I sat near the balcony so I could eat while people-watching on the Corso Italia just off the Piazza Tasso or main square. Hundreds of people were out strolling down Via Italia underneath the orange trees, which grow right down the main drag.  I'm dying to pluck one to see if they're edible, but I'm afraid the diesel exhausts from all the vespas have tainted them.

DB and I returned the rental car. A bit farther down the Via Italia, where it turns into Via Capo, we found a laundry recommended by Rick Steves.  It was about €30 for three big loads; pick-up was the next day.  

DB was in the middle of trying a big lawsuit, so he needed to find another Internet cafe so he could handle a few crises.  I wandered in and out of the nearby shops and  bought a hat and souvenir scarfs for my sisters.  Once DB's business had been reduced from a red alert to a general warning yellow, we walked back into town and had lunch at the Foreigner's Club, also recommended by Rick Steves for its panoramic view of the sea.  DB had a prosciutto pizza, and I  had the gnocchi in a marinara sauce.  It was good, not fabulous, but the sea views made it worth the pricey bill.  

In the afternoon, DB and I took the Circumvesuviana train out to Herculaneum, and got there by 4:00pm just before it closed. We took out our iPad map and the Rick Steves self guided tour and began exploring.  We were amazed at how well preserved all the houses, streets and buildings were. Frescoes and mosaic floors are still gracing the walls and floors. The cobblestone streets look as if they were still in use by the donkey carts and Roman citizens who lived here how ever many hundreds of years before. We spent a couple hours wandering and wondering and made our way back to the Circumvesuviana, where we promptly got on the wrong train to Salerno, not Sorrento.  We figured it out only a couple of stops later, and rode back a couple stops to get on the right train.  

We were a little tired and hungry after our first day and ate at a restaurant we saw close to the station called the Rosso Lione (red lion).  We really liked this place. We returned to eat here again on our last night. Wait staff brought two slices of pizza as complementary appetizers. I ordered the fettucine bolognese and DB ordered the salt and pepper prawns, which were unshelled and a mess, but tasty. The biggest disappointment was the insalata verde, or green salad. In Italian this means iceberg lettuce with some vinegar and oil. I was so hungry, I just peppered and ate every bite.

We took part in the nightly passegiatta, where everyone strolls the now-closed-to-traffic main street to kanoodle and window shop with their family, lovers, babies and dogs. The weather was beautiful and we really enjoyed our first night on the coast.

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