Sorrento and Amalfi

Thanks to Kara’s Sorrento–Capri–Amalfi Coast Guidebook we had all the details on the best sights to be seen right at our fingertips. Because the weather was so beautiful during the days we decided to go on an adventure and try to walk to Pantano. The guide book tells you the level of difficulty and I’m pretty sure it said this one was easy. Well not for us!

Like Sorrento, Capri and the Amalfi Coast, Pantano is built vertically into the cliffs. In other words, a lot of steep hill climbing and stairs to get to our destination. But the guidebook’s directions to Pantano were very detailed: follow the path, take the fork to the left. Follow the path with the street lamps, take the stairs up to the left. That sort of thing. We were up for the adventure. And although we saw some really pretty sights along the way, we never made it to Pantano. We couldn’t find it, so feeling defeated, we ended up taking a bus back to Sorrento.

But we did find this olive grove during our walk. So the day wasn’t a total bust. 😉

The next day it was on to the Amalfi Coast.  We had to take a longer route than normal because some of the roads were blocked due to rocks on the roads that fell from the cliffs. Yikes. We took a bus to Amalfi which took about an hour. The ride was slightly scary because the roads were narrow and really high and for most of the ride you were looking over a cliff from a thousand feet up. If you’re afraid of heights you will hate these cities. Sorry, but it’s true.

This cute piazza greeted us to the Amalfi Coast and as the day progressed the sights got more and more picturesque. I was really hoping to find old, beautiful churches in Italy and while we were in Amalfi my dreams came true. We had to take a really long walk, there are really no words to describe how crazy this walk was…but look at where we ended up…

It was unreal. Period.

It’s funny looking back at these pictures because it reminds me of the things we saw that we would never see here in Chicago. Take this man riding a donkey up a cliff. Or is that a horse? This is just one example of the random things that made us laugh everyday. We were casually walking, minding our own business, when out of nowhere one of the locals led 3 donkeys up a cliff. I think they were carrying cement on their backs which made me kind of sad. Kara and I stopped dead in our tracks, backed ourselves up against the wall and watched this man go by us. Luckily Cliff got a picture of it.


These were the “roads’ we took during most of our excursions. I shouldn’t even call them roads. They were more like narrow pathways and staircases that were lined with apartments. But if you followed the paths they led you to some really beautiful things. Like the view below my picture…



The water was so blue. I think Kara called it “Windex Blue”, but I don’t know if that’s a real term or something she made up.

Like Kara mentioned in our first Italy post, we ate a lot of gelato. I took it as my personal duty to try as many gelatos as possible so that I could report back to all of you with the best places to find gelato. While in Amalfi we saw gelato served on brioche rolls. Why not? It was good, but in my opinion not as good as a scoop of gelato in an ordinary cup. I was disappointed when I saw the man take a prepackaged brioche roll to serve my gelato in because I was hoping for freshly baked bread. I can’t remember what kind of gelato we got this day, but I’m sure it was something with chocolate in it, maybe hazelnuts too?

This part is very important, please take note of what I’m about to say. At many of the restaurants you could order pizza with french fries on it. Again…it was our duty to sample the locale fare and report back to you guys. This one in particular had cut up hot dog and french fries. It makes me giggle just thinking about it. I would say definitely try it when you’re there. But one time might be enough.

From the main piazza in Amalfi you got a beautiful view of Duomo di Sant’ Andrea. We decided to climb the sixty some stairs (because after 5,000 what is 60 more?) and take a tour of this church. It started with the Chiostro del Paradiso which was exactly what it sounds like. Paradise. There were palm trees and everything. Then we made it to the cathedral. It was breathtaking. Very ornate, and just what I had been looking for.

After Amalfi Coast it was back home to Sorrento (I wish Sorrento really was my home). We had the last meal of our trip at our go-to restaurant, Il Leone Rosso. Per the norm, we each ordered a pasta dish and ended our meals with a shot of limoncello. Ahh la dolce vita.

Once we finished dinner we made it to the center of town just in time for the lighting of the tree and the fireworks show. The tree was right in the center and it was huge! There were hundreds of people in the town, you could tell that this event was a really big deal in Sorrento. The town was decorated to the 9’s for Christmas. The fireworks were a great way to end our trip, and they made our Fourth of July fireworks look amateur.

Oh wait! I should probably mention that after dinner we got gelato again. After all, it was our last night in Italy and we had to live it up. We went back to our favorite place in Sorrento. I don’t know what it’s called, but it’s always crowded and I’m pretty sure the owner is famous. The walls are COVERED in pictures of the owner posing with various people. There are lots of questionable photos too. For example, really pretty women, some with very little clothing on. Anyways, the gelato was the best we tried!! We went there at least 2 times during our trip. The first time we got Snickers gelato and Stracciatella and the second time we got Lemon and Strawberry. If we went a third time, which I don’t doubt for a second, then I can’t remember what we ordered. Come to think of it…something with caramel in it? That sounds about right for us.

This picture is kind of embarrassing because both Kara and I thought Cliff was taking a close up of the gelato, not of us. We are both fixated on the gelato sitting in front of us, we look kind of crazy. Oh well!

Happy Holidays!!!