Posted by: Gary Guertin | November 27, 2011

14. Atlantic/N. Africa/W. Med. Cruise – Port #12 Sorrento, Italy

Hi All,

You need to either have a lot of time for this one or plan on spending a couple of sessions, because I’m going to try with about 36 photos to show you the best of 350 I took on the day of our visit to Sorrento.  Remember the rest of the photos will be on Picasa when I return.

First of all Sorrento is (and has been for some time) the best known resort in Italy.  It is perched on a line of steeply rising cliffs, overlooking the Bay of Naples, on the northern slope of the Sorrentine Peninsula.  It is the base for Italians and European tourists who want to explore the famous Amalfi Coast.

Left’s first take a look at a map of the region:

PTDC0003 (2)

You can see Sorrento (right under the name Annunziata) on the north tip of the Sorrentine Peninsula.  The famous Amalfi Coast is the south side of the peninsula, the first major town along that coast is Positano which you can see about half way back toward the main land.  The last part of that coast drive is Amalfi (which you see right under the name Castellammare).  Above Amalfi is a village called Ravello, which isn’t on the map, but is the highest village near the end of the Amalfi Coast.

Susy and I got lucky and hooked up with a group of 8 with a van and a driver/tour guide for the day to drive the Amalfi Coast and return to the ship.  We tendered the port (had to take the ships lifeboats to get to shore) and as soon as the group got together we started our tour.

We arrived in Sorrento:



We climbed in the van and passed through Sorrento on our way to the other side of the peninsula:


As you climb up above Sorrento we looked back at the Maasdam out in the bay:


As we drove up and along the coast we took our first photo stop:


And looking in the other direction:


I swear I didn’t take photos of paintings, this is the real thing.

Up the coast:


or down the coast:


Some of you are going to say this seems like the Pacific Coast Drive between L.A. and San Francisco, but believe me there is no comparison.

We finally arrived at our first stop, the town of Positano:


The town:


Again, it’s not a painting.  We stopped for some time and walked the town, with Susy in full working mode:



Can you believe living in one of these villages?  Nothing is flat and steps and inclines are everywhere.  Having said that it was like being in fairy land.  The stores were all quaint and when Susy and I came across this store we were stunned:


As we passed out of Positano we stopped at a photo stop (sorry for the double stop) and Susy and I got this photo with Positano in the background:


As we continued along we approached the most expensive hotel on the Amalfi Coast, the San Pietro Hotel:


If you wonder how they get from the hotel on top to the water below there are elevators inside the mountain.  Our tour guide said the cheapest rooms start at about a $1000.00 a night.

The Italians already started getting ready for Christmas.  One of the most beautiful manger scenes we ran across was this one, all carved out of rock:


How about this villa cut out of one of the rock out-crops along the coast:


Another one of the scenic views before we arrived in Amalfi:


We approached Amalfi:




We stopped in Amalfi for lunch (we had begun the tour about 8:30 AM) and went right to the main square:


I actually was sitting in the café you see in the foreground (a table) where we had the best pizza and beer I have tasted.  Here’s a better look at the church that dominated the main square:


Here’s a look back at Amalfi:


Last stop before we turned around and returned to Sorrento was Ravello:


Ravello sits high above the coast and is very small, this being the main square with it’s church:


This is a look down the coast to what is about the end of the Amalfi Coast:


O.K, we turned around and returned to Sorrento, where we had about an hour to kill before we had to be back on the ship.  What we found was a beautiful sea-side city with long streets for shopping:


As with the other coastal villages (this being the largest), all the streets were rock, cut out of rock, and many, many small alleys with views like this:


The main square was getting ready for Christmas:


Susy says goodbye as we look at the main road down to the harbor:


I have to close the day with a photo of the tour group.  We had a lot of fun and will never forget the beautiful sites of this Italian coast:


Next across the bay (24 miles) to Naples, were we overnighted.  Until then,

Love You All,

Gary (alias Gagu)


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