As I mentioned a few days ago, Al and my parents and I went to Italy for Christmas this year. It was a big trip for a couple of reasons: first, it was a belated (by one year) celebration of my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary (wowza!), it was the first time I’ve spent Christmas with my parents since 2008 (and the first ever Christmas together for the four of us), and it was a chance for my dad to see the Motherland (literally – his mother was from Italy). So we were all very excited, and Italy did not disappoint.
We all flew into Rome and met in the Fiumicino airport on Christmas eve day. Then we rented a teeny-weeny rental car, apparently the only automatic in the entire country, which was so small that my parents had to sit in the back with suitcases and shopping bags on their laps, and we wedged the rest of the luggage in the rearview window. Not the safest or most comfortable trip we’ve ever taken, but what are you gonna do? Stuffed into our Ford Fiesta like sardines, we made the three-hour drive to Sorrento, which is a city south of Naples on the Amalfi Coast, and is frickin’ adorable. To wit:
We loved Sorrento and spent most of our time there consuming delicious food. Here are some pictures from our Christmas lunch, which we ate at a lovely, garden-like restaurant called O’ Perucchiano:
We also sampled pizza, plenty of cappuccinos (cappuccini), Italian cookies, and gelato from a shop that has been frequented by the Pope. Who knew the Pope even liked gelato?
During our three days in the Sorrento area, we wanted to see a bit of the surrounding environs, so on our second day, we took a drive up the Amalfi coast to Positano, which was stunning. My dad couldn’t enjoy the sights because he was carsick from the winding roads, so my mom and Al and I trooped down to the waterfront to eat lunch and look at the variety of beautiful cats that live down there, getting fat off pasta donations from tourists.
The next day, we took a boat to Capri, a beautiful island that I remember loving when I went there as a ninth-grader on a school trip. Turns out I wasn’t misremembering – Capri is lovely. We checked out the Roman ruins, Villa Jovis, at the tip of the island, which was a bit of a hike, but worth it.
All in all, we loved Sorrento and the Amalfi coast. I think winter is the perfect time to go, because the weather is still nice (50’s-60’s), it’s sunny, everything’s open, and there aren’t the hordes of tourists that you get in the summer. Highly recommended.
Next post up: Rome!