The following has finally been written from notes made in Italy, September 2006. I’ve been busy.
Saturday – Ibsen’s ‘Ghosts’ and now Petty’s ‘Blog’ – all were written in the Tramontano Hotel, Sorrento, Italy. All possibly on this balcony? Doubtful. We arrived yesterday evening, after an interesting journey. With an excruciating start at 4am, the flight from Luton to Naples was uneventful. The coach from Naples to Sorrento, however, was bags of fun, due to the torrential rain, and 2-hour tailback due to a minor landslide on the coastal roads running around the cliffs. The slow progress did give us a chance to look at the cliffside olive and lemon groves though. Once at the (very nice) hotel, the first priority was food, so we nipped straight out into the narrow cobbled streets to find a trattoria for a pizza. Thus sated, it was quick nap time. 4 hours later at 9.30 we had recovered and it was time for dinner.
Another stroll led us to Fauna, which dominates the main square. There we partook of the local custom of sitting and watching the world go by – on foot, on scooters and in small Fiats. We rounded off our meal of pasta with CrÃ¨me de Bananes for Mairi and Liquirizias for me, both delicious and a perfect ‘digestif’. Mairi also tried the local lemon juice, which is served fresh with ice, a jug of water to dilute it and sugar to make it not make your eyeballs cave in. Make your own lemonade, I guess. That was delicious too.
As well as the aforementioned rain, when I woke up this morning, lightning was flashing down, the thunder rolling around the bay, but Vesuvius was clearly visible for the first time, looming over Naples across the bay. When I got Mairi up to take a look, the clouds had suddenly descended, obscuring the view so much we could barely see our balcony railing.
Since then, it has brightened up, with Vesuvius sometimes being free from cloud, and sometimes (like now) only being visible from the waist down. We’ll be taking a closer look at Vesuvius and Pompeii later in the week.