Unabashed sun, littered streets, chaos, lemons, lemonade, lemon ice, lemons pots, lemon clothes, lemon candy, limoncello, sunsets, park benches, cliffs, peace, exhilaration, orange umbrellas, pastel houses, Pierce Brosnan?
That’s the best way I know how to characterize the last few days. Usually, when I write these posts, I take what I’ve written in my journal and push it through quite the filtration process but I feel like entertaining some more simplicity and chaos in my life so the following words are taken straight from my journal. No changes made except for some much-needed spellcheck. I’ve kept every unnecessary dash, incomplete sentence, and overused phrase in the hope that in my most unpolished writing you can find my most authentic, traveled-into-a-tisy self. Enjoy!
It’s a big change of scenery here in Napoli. I was astounded by how trashed the streets were on my sweat-pouring walk from the train station. Plastic, paper, gross things everywhere and yet, I find the utter chaos of Napoli kind of cool and weirdly inspiring.
People-watching is the main sport here along with Vespa-riding. I’m not sure what kind of licensure you need to ride a Vespa, probably none considering the way they bullet down the slim and steep alleyways. I think death by Vespa is highly probable here!
I have enjoyed my time here and will dream about that Neapolitan pizza I had this afternoon for days to come.
Today, I leave for Sorrento and plan on eating all things lemon-related. I will also be stuffing my bulging backpack with little nips of limoncello. Naples was certainly no waste of time, by far the best hostel I’ve stayed at so far (live music, Turkish coffee, clean showers, and free Italian lessons from the receptionist) but one more day and I think I very well could be eaten by the mounds of trash on the street. Sorrento sounds like a swell idea.
So Sorrento’s cool!! I’m actually staying in the town right before, Sant’Agnello, which is a gift after Napoli. I was full-to-capacity on city-dwelling and love the peaceful buzz of this area. It’s clean too which I’m discovering is very important to me.
This afternoon, soon after taking a packed-to-sardine-level train from Napoli, I set off again for Sorrento. The train ride was about five minutes-not so bad.
Sorrento is beautiful and incredibly lemony. I went hunting for the perfect bottle of limoncello after walking a little bit along the coast.
Every single stall sold limoncello so I went for the one with the friendliest looking attendant. I chose well because Giovanni let me try a shot of limoncello, a shot of melon something or another, and the most delicious chocolate lemon hybrid candy I’ve had in Italy.
My body is begging for sleep so a dopo, Sorrento!
After a pleasant run through Sant’Agnello and a breakfast that surely brought my blood sugar into the triple digits, I took a train to Pompeii. It was cool, as expected, but goodness gracious me was it hot. I’m realizing now more than ever that I was not made for the summer.
The tour of Pompeii was informative-seems like most of the city was composed of brothels and “fast food” restaurants. Post-Pompeii, I took a slash at my wallet and spent an unnecessary nine euros on caffè gelato and ice-cold lemonade. Both were delicious though my finances drain far too quickly when I’m hungry/thirsty in a touristy area. If I didn’t spend any money on food, I think my trips would be virtually free. But, alas, I’m in Italy and I’m hungry!!
Food aside, I spent a lot of time looking at my shoes today, not out of boredom but rather respect. My shoes are cheap, canvas sneakers with thin soles, small laces, and a blue covering that is wearing into green. They are not the type of shoes you expect to last yet miraculously, they have.
These shoes have carried me through twelve different countries. They have survived cobblestone streets, flooded trails, snow-covered parks. They have far exceeded their estimated mileage but still, they’re kicking.
They kick up dirt, stones, snow, trash, petals, rain, mud, and leaves. Simply put, my shoes are my bad-ass companions and will continue to hug and support my wayfaring feet until the cobblestone streets finally claim them as their own. I’m hoping that doesn’t happen until my trip in Italy ends because I already blew my shoe budget on gelato.
Tomorrow, I think I’m heading down the stunning Almalfi Coast-beyond excited!!!
Almalfi-absolutely, positively lives up to the hype. Took a bus from Sorrento all the way down the coast and though the bus ride itself was bumpy, winding, and packed beyond belief, the views were stunning. The bus sped down the cliff-bordered road with such purpose, horn constantly beeping, tires swiveling a little too confidently. It’s not a relaxing journey but wow, what beauty I had at my fingertips!!
But, of course, the best of Almalfi is discovered on foot. I hiked the “Sentiero Delgi Dei” which translates to “Path of the Gods”. This path, which takes just under two hours to hike, starts from Bomerano and ends in Nocello which sits just above the heart of Positano.
Sentiero Delgi Dei was as heavenly as promised, syrupy blue sea and proud cliff faces greeting me at every corner. I took too many pictures, wore too little sunscreen, and consumed every happy minute of it.
When I finished the walk, I ventured down the countless steep steps that lead to the center of Positano. As you can imagine, getting back up is not so easy.
Positano is a lovely little city. From the higher parts of the coast you can see the many pastel houses that characterize the town sitting sweetly on the cliff. Gorgeous!
The center is always swarming with tourists but it’s hard to feel stressed by this or anything else in Positano. Also, post-hiking gelato in Positano is something else. I ate a kinder and chocolate-flavored cone and melted into a blissful state. The gelato also shed creamy tears of joy all over my hands so I’m sure I looked like a monster eating it but like the cookie monster, I am not ashamed of my food-related, monstrous habits. Yumyumyumyum.
After Positano, I took a slightly nauseating ride back to the hostel. I met some friendly travelers (even one from Uzbekistan) but I’m glad to be leaving. A hostel that replaces a kitchen with about thirty British high schoolers is not my cup of tea. On the subject of tea, their coffee was kind of terrible but their pastries were positively scrumptious.
Right now, I’m on a train to Rome and then tomorrow, I take a bus to Perugia. I’m really excited about this. I need a break from tourists and blazing sun. However, I’ll be dreaming about those icy lemonades they sell down on the beach for days to come.
On an unrelated yet equally as important note, I could’ve sworn I saw someone who looked exactly like Pierce Brosnan in Positano. He smiled at me which means 1) I was staring for too long and 2) he probably wasn’t Pierce Brosnan.
[insert witty diary sign off],
Anna, I really enjoy your style. I smile all the way through your post and wish I was brave and young enough to be right beside you. You make it all sound so gloriously exciting! Even with your mostly unedited raw journal!
Thanks, Beth!! You’ve always been so supportive!
Love it – Can’t wait for my limoncello!
Tucked safely away in my backpack!!