The Waiter from Drama School


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Europe » Italy » Campania » Sorrento
August 11th 2017
Published: August 12th 2017
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We had a big day yesterday so we decide that we will not do too much today. We decide to walk to Bagni della Regina Giovanna, which looks like it is about two kilometres from the hotel. TripAdvisor says that this is the number one place to visit in Sorrento.

We walk again through town along Via San Cesareo. The limoncello is again everywhere, and the whole place smells like lemons. We see some of the lemons that they use to make the limoncello. I think that someone must have slipped something into the soil here. The lemons are huge. They are more than twice the size of the lemons back home, and are somewhere between the sizes of baseballs and soccer balls.

We walk along the road along the coast which is called Via Capo. The views from above Marina Grande back towards Sorrento are excellent. Eventually the footpath runs out and we are left to share a lane with the traffic. The road is windy, and the traffic is heavy and it is coming from behind us. We try to cross the road so that we will be able to at least see the cars before they mow us down, but the traffic is too heavy. I decide that today I must think positively. I decide that it is better that we get mown down from behind without any warning. At least this way we won't spend our final seconds in terror.

We reach the turnoff to Bagni della Regina Giovanna, and walk down the steep path towards the water. There are lots of people on the path. The main attraction seems to be a small pool that is surrounded by steep cliffs on all sides, and is fed by the sea through a small opening through the cliffs. It is windy, so the sea is surging violently in and out of the pool. We thought that we might have been able to go swimming here, but I don't feel like ending it all today so this isn't really an option. As we look more closely we see that there is a path down to the edge of the pool, and there are lots of people swimming. They are being tossed around by the surging water, and it seems only a matter of time before they are all smashed against the rocks and turned into pulp. We wait for the water in the pool to turn red. I don't particularly like watching horror movies, so we walk on.

The path continues along a rickety wooden boardwalk over the rocks and under a very large overhanging cliff. The overhang is being held up by some giant steel columns. I hope that the engineers who designed them weren't at the pub too often when they should have been at lectures. The sea is violent. The boardwalk ends at a small cafe, where it says that you can hire sunlounges and umbrellas and lie out on a deck. There are lots of people lying on sunlounges, but we don't see any umbrellas. The wind is stronger than ever. If there were any umbrellas here before I think that they are probably somewhere else by now. I wonder if they make you pay for your umbrella if it gets blown away.

The scenery is moderately attractive, but there's no shade, no sand, and nowhere to swim unless you like being smashed against rocks and turned into pulp. I know we've only been in Sorrento for a few days, and we haven't seen a lot yet, but I'm not quite sure how the reviewers at TripAdvisor decided that this was the number one thing to do here. I wonder if maybe they didn't see anything else, but then remember that most people would need to drive or walk through Sorrento to get here. I look more closely at the reviews. They describe it as a "hidden gem" and a "lovely private spot with perfect bathing". Some of them talk about jumping off the tops of the cliffs into the pool, and swimming out into the sea from the pool through the opening in the rocks. I wonder what state of mind these people were in when they wrote these reviews. You couldn't possibly survive if you tried to do any of these things today. Another review says that the queen of Naples swum in the pool with her lovers. It's not clear whether they mean she did this with them one at a time or all together. I'm not sure why I think this is important. I think I must be missing something about this place. I wonder if maybe it might be different if it wasn't windy.

We walk back up the hill and onto Via Capo. This time the traffic is coming towards us, so now we will have advance warning of being mown down. We have a close encounter with a motorbike on a blind corner. Issy says she could feel the heat from its engine, and I think one of the handle bars nearly peeled off my shirt.

We have lunch in the same restaurant that we snacked at earlier in the week on Piazza Tasso. The traffic is as chaotic as ever.

On the way back to the hotel we stop at the Giardini Di Cataldo. This is a small laboratory where they turn their giant lemons into limoncello. We walk through the small lemon orchard behind the laboratory. I'm sure we will now have whatever they put in the soil to make the lemons so big all over our shoes. I make a mental note to remember to wash them very thoroughly before the next time we are due to go through drug scanning at an airport.

We go back to the hotel for a long siesta.

We head back into town for dinner, and settle on a restaurant in a narrow alleyway. The waiter stands in front of our table and stares straight ahead for a few minutes before speaking. I think that he does this for dramatic effect. He looks like he might be about to launch into an aria. I order grilled squid in a potato sauce. He says that this dish is so beautiful that he cries whenever anyone orders it. Issy says she wonders if all the waiters here have been to drama school. The squid dish is very good. Issy decides that tonight she will have a second whiskey, and this has now started to take effect. As we go to leave she falls off a small step next to the table. As she does this she grabs the table cloth to stop herself from falling over, and pulls everything off the table. We have now attracted the attention of everyone at the restaurant, as well as a lot of people walking past along the alleyway. I try to sneak away before we are asked to pay for the breakages. Issy is giggling too much to care.

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