Oceania Cruise: Sorrento/Amalfi Coast

I hate to use the term “my favorite” because on this trip, so many are my favorites, but the Amalfi coast is certainly one of my top favorites.

Having stayed in Sorrento twice, and also stopped on cruise stops before, I feel I know the area pretty well.  Our ship anchored off of Marina Piccolo and we tendered in.  Oceania supplied buses to take us to the top of the hill – saving a nice vertical climb.  I had arranged for a private car and driver here, because I knew the area.  Some of our group took the tour to Pompeii and we agreed to meet back in Sorrento for lunch afterwards.  Pompeii is a fascinating place and I think everyone who went enjoyed the tour.  I had been twice before and decided I would rather wander around Sorrento.  Pompeii is not far and the group had a private tour guide when they arrived and had a nice tour.  Luckily, it was a cooler day then when I have gone – Pompeii has no shade.  The city is amazingly well preserved from the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79AD.

I wanted to go back to a favorite restaurant, and I thought I knew where it was, so after a cuppucino in a cafe in the main square, I went off to find it.  It wasn’t open when I got there, but there was someone cleaning.  I asked for a card with the address and the chef came out – I explained that I had been there before and was bringing  a group for lunch – his reply “We wait for you.”  The first time we went to Il Pozo, it had been recommended by my daughter – it was a Wednesday and we had just arrived for a week in Sorrento.  We found the restaurant, but unfortunately it was closed on Wednesdays so we went somewhere else, but came back for lunch or dinner 3 or more times that week.  We always had the same waiter.  When Tuesday came and we told him we wouldn’t be back because we were leaving the next day, he threw his hands in the air and said “oh no! We close the restaurant”  Knowing is was closed on Wednesdays we thought he was pretty clever.  It is not very touristy, off the beaten track a block or two, but great pasta, pizza and risotto at reasonable prices.  Heading back to the main drag, a gentleman stopped and asked if I lived in Sorrento – I said no, but could I help?  He said no, he was looking for a good local restaurant.  Of course I told him of Il Pozo – when we got there about an hour later, his group was there and very happy. FUN!

Sorrento has been a favorite with British tourists for decades, so I have never been in a shop or restaurant where English wasn’t spoken.  Part of me is disapointed because it is a great experience to try to blend in to the Italian culture, but it certainly makes it a very easy place to to vacation without a language barrier.

Twice when in Sorrento, I stayed in a hotel called “La Tonnerella,” perched on the side of a hill with amazing views of Sorrento.  Sorrento is a great base for day trips.  You can go to Pompeii, Amalfi, Positano, Capri, Naples and many other little towns using public transportation.


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