Jared in Italy – Part Deux

Mangia Mangia….oy, that’s all I’ve been doing. If I lost any weight in Turkey or Greece, surely Italy will have remedied that by the time I leave here. I have eaten pizza and Gelato for every single meal since I have arrived here……here is an analogy for you.

Carpet shops:Turkey, ________:Italy. If you guessed Pizzerias, you win the Cannoli. They vary from great to “eh”, but the great ones are pretty serious in their pizza making craft….mama mia. And, no I haven’t heard anyone say it yet. But I have seen a lot of old ladies hanging their clothes out to dry, so that’s pretty stereotypical.

I ditched Naples, big dump, for Sorrento, a nicer and smaller town on the other side of the Bay of Naples. Today is my second day here, and Jupiter has cursed his land with rain. He must have known I was coming and didn’t want to me to enjoy the full affect of the Amalfi coast. But damn him, I have seen some pretty cool stuff. It was raining as I arrived in Sorrento, so I had to drag my bags around, getting them all wet, during the usual quest for a place to stay. I finally found a hostel, and I went way out of my way to do so…if Woody had made a left instead of a right, this never would have happened (getting all wet). So, I checked into the hostel, found out I had the room all to myself, cried out in joy at that fact, and set out to explore thisa fina towna.

It looks pretty Italian…how can I describe it? Think of all the pictures and movies you have seen about Italy…..and there ya have it. Italians talk just like you would imagine. You walk into a store, or a restaurant, and they say “Prego!” I guess it’s more than a spaghetti sauce….it actually means “welcome”.  When Italians talk in English, the accent is pretty much like you would expect:  “You want to a go a to a the stahhhtione? You musta make a righta and thena lefta…prego.” Hand gestures abound as well….take your thumb, press it together with your index and middle finger, while folding your pinky and ring finger to your palm. Wave back and forth generously.

The weather for the last two days has been crud. I so badly wanted to go see the Amalfi coast, but you really can’t get the full affect of it when it’s drizzling and overcast. You need the sun to illuminate the land! But I did get a taste…I met up with a New Zealand chap whose granddaddy is Italian, and he was here to visit for a while. We walked all over Sorrento and down to the port where all the ferries leave to Capri. The entire coast of the bay looks like cliff walls that are holding back the towns, seemingly built into the mountainside. I am sure it would be amazing when the sun is out, but even then it looked so dang impressive.

After taking leave of the chap, I returned to the hostel to find someone had checked into my room! How dare they? Well, at least he took the bed on the far side of the room. But when he fell asleep that night, he began snoring like a horse in labor. My luck. Earplugs in and all…but I could still feel the vibrations. Somehow I managed to fall asleep, but the next morning, he went first into the bathroom and stayed there for at least an hour. I wondered what he could have been doing. I heard the shower go on, and then off, and then 10 minutes later, on again. Making all kinds of gagging noises and grunts…I was getting a little worried that I’d have to call the authorities. After 45 minutes, I was gettin kinda antsy and knocked on the door saying “hello??? Can you hurry up there?” No answer. Ten minutes later, he began to struggle with the door, but couldn’t open it. I laughed to myself. Finally he got it open and stood stark naked in front of me….and he said “wha?” I was a bit shocked, and shifting my eyes quickly to the window, I said, “How much longer will you be? I need to get ready”. No answer…he closed the door…more strange noises…hacking and coughing…and he came out about half an hour later….how bothersome.

The morning weather was a bit cloudy with a few spots where the sun broke through.  I decided to make for Capri…I was either going to see the Amalfi coast and Capri, or just leave and go to Rome. I had heard so much about how amazing the landscape was, so I decided I had to do it.

Walked down to the port, paid the 28,000 lira for the boat ride, boarded the boat, set sail and enjoyed the view. I have been on a lot of boat rides so far on my journey, so it felt pretty standard. As we approached Capri, I was reminded of my several approaches to the Greek islands….very similar. Capri, apparently, was the home of Roman Emperor Tiberius, who had built several villas there. The port town was pretty standard…gift shops and restaurants. Everything was extremely expensive.

I wanted to see the Blue Grotto, a cave bored out by water in the cliff side of the mountain that is illuminated by light passing through holes in the rocks under the water; thereby, giving the whole cavern an eerie blue glow. It was pretty neat. I took a boat to the Grotto, paying 9,000 lira for the ride, thinking that was my ticket to get in, but when I got there, I had to get on another boat at which time they informed me that I had to pay another 15,000 lira. I was in shock. How many more people would I have to pay before I got to see the damn grotto? But it was nice. The guy who rowed my boat through the cavern was singing opera all the while…I guess for effect. “Oooohhhh, sooolo mioooooo”. What does that mean anyway?

After the blue grotto, I checked out the two towns on this small island. Very quaint and the views were lovely. What else can I say? It’s all starting to look the same….

It began raining while I was still on Capri, so I caught the first boat back to the mainland, heading for the hostel and dry clothes. That’s where I am right now, drinking a cheap beer and hoping to meet some fellow travelers this evening. I have been reading Lord of The Rings, and it’s really great….check it out, if you haven’t already.

May Gelato be with you, always…

Ciao.

Jared