Sunday, July 12, 2009

Back from Sorrento and a quick drive on the Amalfi coast

We spent a quick two nights in Sorrento with Pio's son, daughter-in-law and grandson. They went to Pompeii one day, we mostly hung out by the pool (which at the Hilton Sorrento Palace was easy to do, with six of them, connected by small waterfalls!) We always ate well, but our last evening was memorable.

Pio saw a little tin sign on a stone wall near our hotel. He decided then and there that we weren't going to eat at a "recommended restaurant" again as we had our first evening, (I check Slowtalk, of course!) but instead at this little "hole-in-the-wall" place that was near our hotel.

Well, we followed a very narrow road up and up, turning here, then there, always following the signs. We envisioned a cheap, home-cooked authentic meal awaited us around every bend. Then we thought maybe the lady closed up shop, went out of business. Where was this restaurant? We continued on after a local lady assured us it was up ahead and the food was good.

Finally--we arrived, only to find that DONNA SOFIA's wasn't a cheap, home-cooking place, but rather a rather well-known place with high prices, fancy dishes and tiny portions. We persevered. The food was quite good. The prices too high (8 Euros for a tiny, tiny plate of penne with tomato sauce for fact, he easily ate two of them for 16Euros. )
If you're a foodie and have a special ocassion to celebrate while in Sorrento (or money is no object) than the restaurant, dedicated to Sofia Loren, is worth it. The owner will also pick you up and/or drop you off back at your hotel for free, because in the dark it would be hard to find your way.

The next morning we decided to take the long way home, driving along the Amalfi coast. The road was crowded with cars and buses, but I noticed they now have people with 2-way radios communicating ahead if a bus is coming--cars are stopped so that buses can negotiate the hairpin curves with a little more ease. That was a definite improvement! I'd love to stay in Positano or one of the other small towns clinging to the cliffs, but I'm not sure how relaxing it would be with all that traffic! Would I ever leave the hotel? How would I get there and leave?

In fact, the 2-way radio system isn't perfect and we had to stop on one downhill, hairpin curve so that a bus could negotiate it from the opposite direction (I won't mention all the cars that were parked on both sides, willy nilly). Suddenly a man on a racing bike slammed into the back of our car! OK, maybe slammed is too stong a word, but he hit us. We, of course, were concerned about how he was, but he picked himself up and said he was fine. Luckily his friends were ahead, just around the bend, already putting their bikes on the car to head home and were heading back to help him. No doubt he had some aches, pains and bruises that night.


Ice Tea For Me said...

I hope you had a wonderful visit with your family and that all the renovations that you wanted completed before they arrived worked out.

How funny I almost went to Sophia’s to eat but I was too tired that night and walked up the street to a Trattoria.

I enjoyed Sorrento, didn't go to the beach but did a day trip to Positano & Amalfi.

Barbara said...

Saluti da Napoli! Love your blog! And I've been to Donna Sophia twice -- both for special occasions. We loved the ambience and the food. And how about that incredibly, incredibly small road you have to drive through in order to get there. We own a small car to begin with and we were convinced that somewhere along the road we would be stuck!

Diane said...

Thanks Ice Tea--yes, everything got finished upstairs just in time (except for the bathtub!)for our visitors. Now we've just got to finish paying for it :).

Barbara--Thanks for your kind words and it is so nice to find your blog! We love Naples--went three times last year and just passed through on my way to Ischia in August. Crazy, but it reminds me of my New York. How long have you lived in Naples?

AnnaVallance said...

That sounds so wonderful! I will keep it in mind for next time I'm in Italy.

Unknown said...

Next time in Positano, go to La Tagliata on the top of the mountain on a Tuesday night. Pay one price and eat home cooking and drink all menu. Whatever is fresh is served that evening. Be sure to fill your belly well because these owners are on a mission to get every tourist drunk. As soon as everyone has eaten and had a little to drink, the dancing music begins and everyone is on the dance floor including the kids. We had to take a bus up to this little place that had amazing views. This place was definitely a highlight and affordable. If you want to splurge for a special occasion, go to Mamma Agata's in Ravello. She a world renowned chef for the rich and famous. They have wine pairing with an awesome meal and one of the most incredible views of Capri. These are two places I will definitely return to no matter what the cost is.