In no particular order, things I enjoy in Sorrento:
Piazza Lauro: Piazza Lauro is always bustling with people from morning to night and it is conveniently located right above my house here in Sorrento. Each day Italian words slip in through my window from the streets below. It is a perfect day when I can sit on the balcony and do what sociologists do best, observe. And it is a perfect night when my host father goes on to the balcony to warn the rowdy crowds to be quiet in his brass Neapolitan words.
Regina Giovanna: At the tip of Sorrento, Capo di Sorrento, is a wonderful place called Regina Giovanna. It overlooks all of Sorrento, Naples, and Vesuvius and makes a human ponder all there is to ponder by the crashing waves of the sea. Huge rock formations and ancient ruins make up the location, and it is an excellent place to swim. Regina Giovanna is kept hidden by local tourism. So, it is usually just locals, or long time travelers like me who frequent the area. If there is anywhere the famous Sirens of Sorrento can be heard, then it is in this place.
Café Nior: This café offers authentic Italian coffee and locals. I seem to find myself here often. So often, I have somewhat of a “tab” going of my daily espresso drinks.
Stray dogs in the street: The dogs here are particular. I have never seen so many stray dogs so well taken care of. The dogs are free as they prance around the Piazzas of Sorrento ignoring cars and people as if we are invisible. Often, I find dogs lying right in the middle of the street as cars pass them knowingly. Sometimes a person will go into the street to move the dog, but usually the dog lazily walks back to its original spot to continue its nap or sunbath.
Vesuvius Lookout: Each day I take the same walk to school. Each day I am lucky enough to pass by one of the most beautiful spots in Sorrento. I pass by the horizon of Naples and Vesuvius in all its glory. I get to see Vesuvius crystal clear on a sunny day, or just an outline when the fog is coming in. I see it lit up at night from the surrounding towns, and I have even seen a cap of snow at the top when it was still cold enough. Some travel for days to see this sight, and all I have to do is walk out my door. Every day I am grateful for that walk.
The Dinner Table: Each evening and each morning I sit down at a table set for a family. Mornings offer coffee and too many cookies and the evenings offer linguistic exchange and the bliss of a family sharing a meal.Soccer Fields in Every Direction: As a soccer player, I am of course happy to have soccer fields in every direction. Although girls are usually frowned upon in a soccer game, I manage to make my way into games and even throw in a little Italian “smack talk” here and there. Needless to say, I appreciate the national sport here in Italy, and you don’t have to look long to find a place and someone to play with.
Via Marina Grande: Just a short walk from my school. Via Marina Grande offers perfect sights, sounds and smells. Italian floats in the air, the salty Bay of Naples is at your feet, and the authentic Italian restaurants attract locals just as much as the travelers.
Sarah is a student at Berea College studying at Sant’Anna Institute (SA) in Sorrento, Italy during the Spring 2014 term.