Have you ever spent three weeks walking around foreign cities, eating a lot, drinking lots of wine, and seeing a ton of museums? Have you ever followed that by spending a day walking around the biggest, most expansive archaeological excavation that could ever blow your mind? Have you ever felt tired of being in the sun, but not in a bathing suit? We have.
After our day in Pompeii, we wanted to hit a beach. We didn’t want to pay a ton of money for a ferry over to Capri, though. We also didn’t want to hang out in Naples, where there’s not really much in the way of beaches (but there are rocks you could sit on…), and we didn’t really know where to go. I had read somewhere on the internet that Sorrento was nice, so we headed over to the Tourism Information booth at the train station where they suggested a day trip to Sorrento, bought tickets on the Circumvesuviana line, and and climbed aboard the train for about an hour and a half or so.
When we arrived in Sorrento the contrast between it and Naples couldn’t have been any greater. Sorrento was BEAUTIFUL, but felt a bit like a theme park. Thousands of large cruise ship patrons filled the streets. English was widely spoken. There was less graffiti, and shops were selling all sorts of knick knacks and post cards. It looked, economically, like the downturn hadn’t hit nearly as hard here as it had in some other places (Marseilles, Rome, Naples, Madrid) and that they had somewhat of an economic-buffer built out of cruise ships and buffets.
We made our way down to the beach, which involved taking some stairs down about 100′ of cliffside to the waterfront. It was beautiful. The water was blue and clear. Nobody was around any of the pay-for-beach areas, and the weather while not-ideal, didn’t look bad. We paid 8 euro each to get beach chairs and laid out, and then something stunning happened. The clouds parted, and the sky turned blue. The wind stopped blowing so hard, and the air warmed up. It turned into a perfect day to laze around the seaside. The water was breathtakingly cold. We did nothing but read, talk, people watch, and nap. It was just what we needed. The day ended with a glass of wine, lasagna, and a cannoli, then the ride back to Naples to pack up for the next day’s trip to Greece.