Favorite Spots in Sorrento:
Bagni della Regina Giovanna:
Regina Giovanna is easily my favorite place in Sorrento. This incredible spot is located at the tip of Sorrento, a short hike out of the city center. The formation of the rocks at this spot, accompanied by the Roman ruins that are located there, make this place unlike any other. Often times, I would find myself going out to this point to sun bathe, enjoy a panino, and possibly take a dip in the sea.
Located below Sant’ Anna Institute, is Marina Grande. It’s truly hard to understand how the students concentrate, when they have the best view around of the Bay of Naples. Not only is the marina picturesque, but in the warmer months, my friends and myself spent many days laying out, eating some great seafood, and attempting to do homework between classes.
Favorite Places to eat/drink:
Raki is by far my favorite place to grab gelato in Sorrento. The amount of places that I consumed gelato in Sorrento is a little unfathomable (yes, I have an addiction that I am aware of), but when Raki opened up in April I was hooked. A tip, try the Orange and Mango and you will understand the meaning of life.
Right up from my apartment is a great new restaurant called La Botte. This pizzeria is definitely off the beaten path for tourists, but is popular to locals. They have an array of great menu options, but the chefs sampler antipasta (aka appetizer) is definitely my favorite.
On my walk to and from town, I always pass this quaint take away/delivery pizzeria. The fact that I can get a typical Naplolitan pizza within 10 minutes for 4 euro is something that I could never quite get used to and will miss incredibly.
I should probably be ashamed by the amount of times my roommate, Katelyn, and I went to Monica’s Gelateria. We simply could not deny an early morning croissant. This pastry shop supplied us with breakfast or an afternoon treat at least twice a week.
Wine fill up store:
I truly believe that never in my life will I again encounter a place where you can bring in your own wine bottle and fill it up for only 2 euro. This place is probably the best invention for cheap, fresh, and great wine.
Favorite local drinks:
The Coffee of Italy:
At home, I am an avid coffee drinker. I did not think twice about the fact that coffee in America would be different from that of coffee in Italy, oh was I wrong. At first adjusting to a cappuccino or espresso threw me off a bit. I was always wondering where the huge cup of iced coffee that I was used could be found… But now, I really appreciate a cappuccino or a quick shot of espresso and I will be drinking it up until my last moments here.
If you go to a restaurant in Sorrento and don’t get Limoncello, you are doing it wrong. I’m not sure if that’s the best way to put it, but the Limoncello in Sorrento is unlike any other. Most of the local restaurants that you go to eat in will make their own Limoncello, and though they may vary in taste, all of these will be made with locally grown lemons. All you need is one sip, and you will most definitely be hooked on Limoncello.
Favorite Cultural differences:
I have never been one to pick up a language easily. I tried my best in middle and high school to master Spanish, never failing, but it was always difficult. When I came to Italy I don’t think I was quite prepared to submerge myself in a completely new language. Though I can only understand basic Italian, I love the sound of hearing it spoken around me and feel inspired to keep working on it even after I leave.
Calm/chaos of Italy:
Not just in Sorrento, but in all of Italy, it seems that there is a certain chaos during the day (fast scooters, barking dogs, people talking just a little too loud) and a calm at night. Walking around Sorrento at midnight on a weekday is so relaxing and there is really nothing like the feeling of having the whole town to yourself.
Living in such a small town during tourism’s offseason, is the probably the main reason I chose Sorrento. Meeting locals can be difficult when studying abroad in a big city, but in Sorrento it is no problem at all. Some of the best people I have met along this journey live in this town. Unfortunately, this makes it very sad to leave, but also exciting to know that I have people to visit in the future.
Favorite things about the location:
Living in and close to the most beautiful places in the world (Capri, Amalfi Coast, etc.)
Though, Sorrento is already incredibly beautiful by itself, there is no denying the beauty of the surrounding areas. People travel from all over the world to see places like Capri or the Amalfi Coast. Though these places are not the only points of beauty within the area, they are very unique and are not something to miss when you travel to Sorrento.
Hiking (baia di ieranto, path of the gods, etc.):
So, I’m not sure if I can quite speak upon the epic hikes in the area, because I am currently making plans to do Path of the Gods this weekend. I do have friends that have done Path of the Gods and I have done a few other hikes in the area, so I can say that the hiking is definitely a highlight of the area. I am truly looking forward to doing the Path of the Gods for the first time and can not wait for the views that it provides.
Archaeologically and Historically (Pompeii, hurculaneum, oplontis, etc.):
There is incredible history that lies in the areas that surround Mt. Vesuvius. Places such as Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Oplontis were incredibly preserved after the eruption in 79 AD, and are interesting to visit for people of all ages. Personally, I am taking a class on Archaeology, and it is very interesting to learn in depth about these particular places and then visit them first hand.
I cannot believe that I am writing my very last blog post for this semester abroad. It has truly been an incredibly experience and I would recommend going to Sorrento to anyone.
Brooke is a current student at University of South Carolina studying at Sant’Anna Institute in Italy during the Sprig 2015 term.