~the following is N°1 in the series, Un’estate senza fine // An endless summer~
It was the trip of a lifetime, and we enjoyed every minute— and every bite. There is something about the sights, sounds and smells of the Campania region in Italy that instantly charms you. Even in the intense summer heat and humidity, you just don’t stand a chance against all the beauty, liveliness, love and good food surrounding you. Not only was I inspired all over again, but I could see that this region had instantly captured the hearts of my two sons and husband as well. We had just arrived, and we already didn’t want our incredible Italian summer to end. Magari! If only! We needed to find a way to make this an endless summer…
Without saying it aloud, I determined to soak it all in, to take notes, and to find ways to continue our Italian summer back home and to share it with all of you. So, andiamo! Here we go!
Our first stop was the lovely town of Sorrento. It had been 13 long years, and as the popular Neapolitan songs says, it was time to come back. And I am so glad that we did! Sorrento is at the same time peaceful and energetic, old and new, tourist-y and local. Our little apartment was located up five flights of stairs in a worn apartment building that was filled with the perfect balance of contemporary style, old-world charm and modern amenities.
The view from our balcony was breathtaking; it didn’t take long for the boys to settle in and enjoy! When in Sorrento…
We couldn’t wait to bite into our first Pizza Margherita. Luckily, there was a pizzeria right across from our apartment. The owner listened patiently as I stumbled over my first few Italian phrases of the trip. She smiled lovingly and called me bella, while encouraging us to take a seat and relax. We talked and laughed and shared parts of our day until our pizza arrived. And then it was silent, as we savored each mouth-watering bite.
After our first pizza (of many), we went for a stroll down the main street for our first gelato (of many!) and were taken aback at the simple beauty of the enchanting lights. The electricity in the air was intoxicating!
On our way home, we stopped at the local market to pick up a few things. We were greeted by the helpful shop owner who hand-picked the most delectable fruits and vegetables for us to enjoy. I couldn’t help but notice the market’s American name. I laughed out loud. To me, everything sounds better in Italian, and apparently to Italians, they are just as enchanted by the English language. (Not pictured is the infamous dessert bar down the street, called, “Sugar Party”, pronounced “Shoo-gahr Paar-tee” . Giggles all around!)
Over the next couple of days, we explored every part of Sorrento. We took nothing for granted.
Each patterned cobblestone pathway,
each unique door,
the bright colors of the buildings,
the gorgeous views,
… all of it was extraordinary.
We ended each night gathering around the table for dinner, known as “cena” in Italian, and shared our favorite moments and pictures of the day. The late-night dinners at our new Sorrentine home were simple and featured two of the most precious ingredients of the Campania region, mozzarella di bufala (buffalo mozzarella) and pomodori (tomatoes). So fresh and so tasty- just a little sprinkle of local olive oil, salt and basil, and we were in heaven… It was the perfect way to unwind after a long day of walking and exploring.
Our time in Sorrento was the perfect way to start our Italian summer. We were able to ease into the Italian lifestyle under its gentle care. Our next adventure would take us to Positano, a slightly more remote and rustic (but just as charming) little town located on the Amalfi coast.
and who knows what treasures we might find?