Forget about San Fran. I left my heart in Sorrento. It was lush. We could see the Bay of Naples from our hotel room. Below us were lemon trees and olive trees, a beautiful pool and a pink-blooming tree I couldn’t identify.
We wove in and out of the the narrow cobblestoned streets, enjoying a gelato here, some limoncello there. We walked to the waterfront to watch the fishing boats come in filled with the day’s catch.
The day of our Amalfi Coast drive was our one day of rain, but even that was a light drizzle that lasted only two hours. Unfortunately, the drizzle was falling on Positano, so we drove on to spend more time in Amalfi. Though we were in a van with six others, riding on a narrow road high above the sapphire sea, I felt like Audrey Hepburn. All I needed was a white chiffon scarf wrapped around my hair, casually tied beneath my chin.
Before reaching Sorrento, we spent a half-day in Pompeii. So many thoughts ran through my mind. What a tragedy. What terror to have lived in the shadow of a mountain only to have it explode and kill you. As fascination as Pompeii was, it was also horrifying to see ash-preserved beds, bodies and the mere stuff of daily life in such good condition that it could have been plucked from glass cabinets and put to use once again. What a tragic twist – the ash that destroyed Pompeii preserved it to be discovered generations later.
I met Rosie on an early morning walk down to the beach. She belongs to the proprietor of the little seaside cafe and bar near our hotel. When we returned in early evening for drinks before dinner, Rosie was nowhere to be found. It seems that she is only there in the morning. Things get too hectic by lunchtime and so she goes home for some peace and quiet.
Well, that about wraps up our Italian adventure. It was indeed the trip of a lifetime. Just this evening I learned that Italy has been placed on a do not travel list due to Covid-19. This saddens me a great deal. Doubtless many of the Italians we met – our guides, the restaurant owners, those working in the hotels, shops and museums – have not only suffered financially due to the lack of tourism, but may well have lost relatives in the first wave of cases in 2020. My heart goes out to them. Martin and I were so fortunate to have been able to travel during this narrow window. I hope that you’ve enjoyed traveling with us.
Until next time,
Photos courtesy of Debra Darvick