Friday, 8 March 2019

Hilton Sorrento Palace (Sorrento, Italy)

Had an excellent sleep last night, then enjoyed my Hilton breakfast this morning. Still no hash browns with breakfast. The coffee here was fresh and not from a machine. Since I was up early I had time for a post-breakfast nap.

The weather today was sunny and the temperature around 60-65F. A good day to explore Sorrento. Last night I spoke with someone at the front desk and she gave me a map of Sorrento and some suggestions on what to see. It was a fairly easy walk around this small city. Not too many tourists this time of year and saw the local folk as I walked around. I was interested in how to get to the ferry that will take me to Naples and on another day to Capri (Saturday and Sunday).

At a small cafe near a small park, and overlooking the Gulf of Naples, I enjoyed a cup of coffee and a croissant. Finishing with my break, I saw that nearby was the elevator that takes passenger down to the coast below and to the ferry. A sign said the elevator was under repair. Guess that after I return from taking the ferry to Naples and to Capri I’ll need to climb the stairs (50 meters) to the top. Good exercise!

The walk back was easy, though a little uphill. The hotel is located next to the virtually sheer cliff that rises above the city. I was shown the staircase that hotel guests can use as a short-cut when they return to the hotel.

On the way back to the hotel I noticed a deep gap below and flanked by old buildings. It looks like it intersects the city. When I returned to my room I found out it was called, “Valle dei Mulini” or Valley of the Mills. I read that this gap was formed around 35,000 years ago from an earlier eruption and a constant stream in the gap provided power for flour mills and other light industries. These mills were abandoned in the 1940’s and now are covered with green vegetation and have the appearance of ancient ruins.

For dinner tonight I ordered another Margherita pizza. It is a typical Neopolitan pizza and I really enjoyed the one I ordered the night before. I’ve ordered this before in other Hilton hotels, but this one by far was the best. So simple – made of San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella fior di latte (cow’s milk), fresh basil, salt and extra-virgin olive oil. I was brought a small container of EVOO with the pizza but didn’t use it. The pizza, for me, was perfect without it.

Last night I watched “The Agony and the Ecstasy” (Charlton Heston and Rex Harrison) and enjoyed watching the dramatization on the creation of this extensive fresco. I was going to fact-check how closely the movie followed the actual events. The only thing I know is that Michelangelo didn’t paint the ceiling on his back according to the Vatican tour guide. Tonight I’ll watch Roman Holiday. Having a TV where I can use the HDMI input with my laptop makes movie watching much nicer.

Tomorrow I will for sure take the ferry over to Naples. The weather looks good for tomorrow and Sunday, then it will get colder and windy. I’d rather take the ferry when the weather is calm and somewhat warm.

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