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Beautiful Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast, Part 2

 We took a stunningly beautiful day trip to Càpri. Notice I placed an accent on the first syllable which is the correct pronunciation!  Gino Coppola from Residence Santa Lucia  arranged it all. His friend picked us up at the apartment with another family of 6 and drove us along the Amalfi Coast to a tiny village where we boarded the small boat.

We boated to Càpri and enjoyed the views halfway around to Marina Piccolo. We stopped at the beach cafe and then took the bus to the town of Càpri. We explored the pretty town and walked through the Augusta Gardens with the dramatic views of the sea. We ate our caprese paninis the boat tour provided in the shade outside these gardens.

We took a cool convertible cab with an awning back to Marina Piccolo where we enjoyed the beach. This was much more pleasant than the bus! We finished our ride around the island and stopped at a few grottos to swim.  The Blue Grotto was closed by the time we arrived late in the day.




Marina Piccolo


Capri Cab Beats the Bus!


Marina Piccolo Mermaid



Augusta Gardens



Swimming Through the Arch


Dramatic Coastline of Capri


The Arch of Love

We arrived back home around 7 and enjoyed a Thai dinner that Nutnapha, Gino’s sister in law, made for us. Green Curry, Spring Rolls, Pad Thai and Fried Shrimp. Delicious!

Today Pietro drives us on a tour along the Amalfi Coast! First stop is Positano, a charming touristy and quaint town where we explored and had a coffee along the beach. The girls bought original paintings of the town. Then we drove south to a ceramic discount shop where the girls made purchases. Along the way we stopped to see the views of the sea and enjoyed fresh orange and lemon juices


Beautiful Positano

Pietro took us to a phenomenal restaurant for lunch just outside of the town of Amalfi called 

Tratorria da Ciccio Cielo Mare e Tera which has been family run since 1931. Cielo, Mare e Terra refer to sky, sea and land. Ciccio is the owner.


The views were incredible from the floor to ceiling windows along 2 complete sides of the restaurant. There was also a balcony!

I haven’t found our pics yet of the food we ate, but it was one of the best meals of our trip. Here were our selections:

Home made short pasta strands with seafood over a potato and lemon purée! That lemon was a real enhancement!

Spaghetti and seafood cooked in a bag! The bag was like parchment and was presented with much fanfare

Home made pasta with sausage over a cream of broccoli purée 

A mozzarella ball mixture over tomato sauce special appetizer


Their own limoncello served with fresh blackberries




That evening we picked up a pizza from Pizzeria Da Franco in Sorrento and brought it home for a late dinner.


Pizza with Proscuitto, Cheese and Arugula

On our last day and we explored Sorrento on our own and hung out at the pool. We ate leftover pizza for lunch. Gino dropped off some of his spaghetti with mussels for us to try! Delish! 

For dinner Gino arranged a cab to take us up into the hills to a typical local Sorrento restaurant.  Da Filippo. It was on a small farm where the smells of manure were present fertilizing the vegetable gardens.There was no view, but the place was filled with locals.


Beef Steak with Porchini Mushroom Sauce


Homemade Pasta with Seafood


Mixed Grilled Meats


Grilled Chicken


Rotini with Seafood


After dinner we took a cab to the Hilton for the view and desserts. Then we walked home from there. 


Layers of Thin Pastry, Chocolate and Custard


Strawberry Puree with Strawberry Mousse and White Pieces of Candy

The kids left the next morning for their adventures to Sardinia, Corsica, Naples and Rome!

What’s to Do and Eat in Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast? Part 1 of 4

Our much anticipated 2 week adventure in Sorrento began after a 4 hour drive across Italy from Puglia to the Campania region. Two of our 3 daughters and 1 boyfriend joined us in Sorrento for a week.

We rented an apartment at the beautiful Residence Santa Lucia located a short walk from the center of Sorrento, Piazza  Tasso. The complex was a farm and has been developed into a stunning group of buildings, homes, cottages and apartments. Especially appreciated is a beautiful new pool, patio and garden area.
Gino Coppola was our main contact person at Residence Santa Lucia and he was always available. He was a great reference for all there is to do in the area and he set up several tours for us. All were magnificent! And his English is superb!

Our first night was dinner at the Marina Grande at Trattoria Emilia one of my favorites of the entire trip.


Al Fresco Dining Bliss!

Spaghetti and Mussels


Rigatoni with Seafood , one of my favorites of the entire trip!

Grilled Eggplant


Basket of Fried Fish

Gelato for Dessert in a Gelato Cone Chair

 Hanging out at the beautiful Residence Santa Lucia garden pool!


Garden and Pool View from our 2nd Story Apartment

Apartment Terrace

Aperitif at Hotel Bellevue Syrene Terrace before dinner

Dinner at Marina Grande, Taverna Azzura

Ravioli Stuffed with Fish in a Creamy Crab Sauce


Grilled Sea Bream

We also shared bruschetta and eggplant parmigiana. On the way home we stopped for gelato. Ricotta with walnuts and honey was my choice my favorite next to the rice flavored gelato in Florence.

Our 3rd day we had a quick walk to the train and then a 1 hour trip to Pompeii. We arranged for a guide, Rosemary, to meet us at the Pompeii station to give us a 2 hour tour. Fabulous!

Ready to Leave at the Gate of Residence Santa Lucia


Some areas like these were not open


Mount Vesuvius Looming in the Background


Plaster Cast of a Person Who Perished Due to Extreme Heat, 570 degrees F

All but 3 of the bodies are kept in another area for a special exhibition. We saw this one through an iron fence. Most all of the statues, mosaics, and treasures are kept in the Naples National Archeological Museum which is fabulous!

There is a nice cafe within the Pompeii grounds, but we went to a small cafe just outside the entrance for pizza, pasta and salad.
Back to Sorrento for naps and pool time and then Gino’s Pizza Party on the garden patio!

Gino Leading the Orchestra


3 Chefs: Gino, his sister in law Nutnapha, and Pietro


Speck with Cantaloupe, Caprese Salad and Tomato Bruschetta



Garden Fresh Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Salad

Chopped Fresh Tomatoes, Onion, Basil, Garlic and Water for the Bruschetta

Nutnapha Serving Her Thai Sausage

Grilled Thai Sausages

Grilled Thai Sausage Bites with Lettuce, Cucumber and Fresh Herbs

Pizza Dough Strips with Olive Oil and Rosemary

Thai Spring Rolls Made by Nutnapha



Sweeping Clean with the Wet Broom

Pizza Margarita with Plain Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Basil


Sausage, Mushroom and Mozzarella

Tomato, Speck and Arugula

Gorgonzola and Speck with Arugula

Pizza Margarita




Pietro and Nutnapha



Sausage and Cheese


Margarita Pizza represents the colors of the Italian flag: red, white and green. It was developed when Queen Margarita of Spain came to Italy for a visit

Thank you Residence Santa Lucia for 2 memorable pizza party evenings!

Today we walked around Sorrento, explored the public Lemon Grove, stopped for Lemon Granitas, and had dinner at El Bufalito


Pizzeria Da Franco is a Must!

Our dinner at El Bufalito….

Pizza with Olive Oil and Herbs


Eggplant Surrounding Ricotta Cheese in a Tomato Sauce

Not Meatballs, but Cheese Balls in Tomato Sauce

Buffalo Rib Steak for Two


Ravioli Stuffed With Fish in a Lemon Seafood Sauce

Grilled Buffalo Steak


Pappardelle With Beef

It’s been a full 4 days! The rest of our week will be part 2!