Wednesday, May 11, 2016

As beautiful as Tuscany is, can it get any better?

The answer is yes! 
Let us show you the beauty of Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. But first, let's talk about the cuisine of this area. LEMONS! They are everywhere; groves abound, trees along the streets, they are in cakes, they are on pottery, aprons, in soap and of course in Limoncello. 

Right along with the lemon trees are groves of olive trees. We were given a tour of the Galtea, an organic farm that grows lemons and olive trees, raise cattle, pigs, chicken and other farm animals. Here Captain made a new friend.

We were also shown the process for making mozzarella cheese.

Being a coastal region, we enjoyed eating fresh fish and it isn't a meal without pasta. Typically there are four courses to every Italian meal, the starter or appetizer, pasta, the main course, and dessert. Often limoncello is served after the meal.

One of our favorite meals was at La Antica Tratterio in Sorrento. Not only was the food very good but we were entertained by a Joe Cocker-ish mandolin player as well as the wait staff. Such a fun evening! While in Sorrento we attended a musical at the Tasso dinner theater. We can't tell you much about it as it was in Italian.

Even though it is crowded (especially when the cruise ships dock,) we enjoyed our stay in Sorrento. It just felt comfortable. 

The photos don't do justice to the postcard beauty of the Amalfi Coast, but here are a couple photos taken as we cruised along in the Bay of Salerno, notice the deep blue water.

This cathederal is in the town of Amalfi, dedicated to the patron St. Andrew, the apostle and brother to James. It is said his remains are buried here.

We also had the opportunity to tour Pomjpeii, the petrified city that was buried under 20 feet of pumice and ash in during a volcano eruption in 79 AD. Excavation of the city, beginning in the 18th century, revealed, buildings, paintings, sculptures and even graffiti preserved under the ash and pumice.

 It was interesting to see a bread oven very much like the brick ovens used today.

Thousands of people were killed by the poisonous gases emitted during the eruption  and then buried under the falling ash and pumice. During the excavation cavities were found where the ash had hardened around the decomposed body. Plaster was injected into the cavities giving an image of the person who had died. 

A tour of the island of Capri concluded our stay on the Amalfi Coast. It is a pretty island with lots of tourists and souvenir shops.
We didn't bump into any of the rich and famous as their homes are located in an area not accessible to tourists. 

So, what are we taking away from this region of Italy? The costal area is as pretty as the post cards, ABN's limoncello is pretty much authentic (some of you have enjoyed it in sorbet in our home,) and some pretty little limoncello glasses. Sorry, no photo as they are packed for travel. You must stop by our house and sip some limoncello from them.

Today we will say "Ciao" to our Texas friends and board the train to Florence. Our adventure in Italy will continue as we explore Florence, Venice and Rome by ourselves. If we have good wifi connections, we will keep you updated.

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