Thursday, May 18, 2017

Europe Trip 2017: Part 2: 21st to 23rd May.

After leaving Rome we spend two nights at the Hotel la Residenza in Sorrento. While in Sorrento it was a free time walk through the old part of town checking out all the shops. That night most (I think it was most) of us had dinner in the restaurant, hanging over the cliff, in the adjoining hotel .....with a fantastic view and sunset. 
Monday we caught the ferry to Capri where we spent the entire day. First thing on the agenda was a boat trip around part of the island. Then, I don't think any of us will forget the bus ride up the VERY narrow road to hilltop town of Anacapri where we had lunch and more free time. Lynn, I and others took the chairlift to the top of Mount Solara. After that it was back onto the bus which took us down to the funicular which took us back down to the harbour where we caught the ferry back to Sorrento, That night it was home-style Italian cooking in several local homes.
Tuesday we left Sorrento to do a tour of the volcano engulfed town of Pompeii, and then onto our next hotel stop, San Gimignano.

Videos have to be watched on this page 
 click on photos to enlarge.

(PbL) Photo by Lynn

Sunday 21st

Looking from the lunch stop.

To make it easier to maneuver around narrow Italian streets, prime-movers only have
 a single rear axle, and the rear axles on the trailer, and on trucks, are well forward of the back.

Montecassino (also spelled Monte Cassino), a small town about 80 miles south of Rome, is the home of the sacred relics and monastery of St. Benedict (480-543). On 15th February 1944, American bombers dropped 1,400 tons of high explosives, creating widespread damage (see insert). This was near our lunch stop.

Old farm buildings along the way.

Flander's Poppy (Common Poppy) were growing everywhere.    (PbL)

Mount Vesuvius, on the Gulf of Naples.

Leroy Merlin, the Italian 'Bunnings'.

Mount Vesuvius overlooks Naples.   During  Roman times, on the small island, Scoglio Rovigliano, stood a temple dedicated to Hercules and in the sixteenth century a fortress was built to defend itself against the Saracens.  A tower, from this fort,  is all that still stands today.

Approaching Sorrento on the bus.

Rail bridge near Sorrento.

Coming into Sorrento, from the bus.

From the lookout.

Sorrento, from the lookout.

Sorrento, from the lookout.        PbL)

From the lookout.

Living on the edge along the cliff-side.

Living on the edge.

From the lookout.

Welcome to the narrow winding roads of Sorrento.

The back of our hotel, Hotel la Residenza, Sorrento.

Our lunchtime restaurant.

View from the table.    (PbL)

As I can't keep still, Lynn was left on her own again.
The 2 waiters seem to be enjoying our company.

Now, where's Lynn? Left on my own.....again.        (PbL)

We did have a pizza.

Holes cut into the base of the cliff are used for storage and stairways to the top of the cliff.

At least not every spot has been built on
A little touch of red.

The beach area.

We are having dinner up there tonight.

Living on the hill-side, Sorrento.

Free-time in Sorrento.         (PbL)

The road down to the harbour.
We were to go up and down here in a bus.

They grow a lot of lemons here.

Free-time in Sorrento.

Local produce.

Sedile Dominova, meaning “seat of the new house” is a grand 14th-century
 building, where medieval nobles met to discuss political and
administrative affairs – a strictly men-only affair.

The Campanile Residence (hotel).

The reds get washed tomorrow.

Chiesa Madonna dell'addolorata  (The Madonna Church of the Addicted).

There are a lot of interesting old doors.

Should I get this one?

Pedal power.

The narrow Sorrento lanes.

My  'Cafe Black and White' has put me off Nutella, Coco-pops, chocolate flavouring and, to a lesser degree, cream for life. The chocolate twirl wafer was nice.

Villa Fiorentino is now the headquarters of Fondazione Sorrento, an organisation
dedicated to raising awareness of the area’s rich heritage of art and culture.
Must be good if she uses it.   'Australian Gold'

Bell Tower of the Sorrento Cathedral.

  Some photos I like 2 change.


To keep out the light.

Battered door.

Something else that catches my attention.

Man-hole covers

Dinner with Geoff and Jenny.

Dinner time.         (PbL)

View from the restaurant.

View from the restaurant.

View from the restaurant.

Monday 22nd

Waiting for the ferry to Capri.

Summer is scooter time.

They were showing, on board, the 1996 Australian television series, McLeod's Daughters.


Island tour boats.        (PbL)
"Follow me and you won't get lost".

Here we go, off to the grottos'

All the kids look happy.

(PbL)                  The water was a nice blue...............

........... and clear.

Navigating through the rocks.

The  bronze statue of the waving boy, Scugnizzo.

We were told that a Roman Emperor lived in this cave. Emperors lived on Capri
but I haven't been able to find any information regarding any living in a cave.

One of the grottos'.

Some of the many caves.

Now to the Faraglioni Rocks.

Looks like someone on the right is taking it seriously.        (PbL)

Another 'kodak moment'.         (PbL)

We were told that it was either too rough or crowded to go to the Blue Grotto,
so this one, which was good, had to do.

Cost a lot of money to swim here.

Our guide says it's time to head back.
On the right side of the cliff is the road we will be going on in our buses.

All ashore.            (PbL)

Island transport.

It would have been not so scary if it was just 50cm wider.

This could almost be call a stretched limo on Capri.

A 1960's Fiat President, with custom sun-shade.

The bus trip up the hill.
(At the 1:36 mark there's a 30 second 'blackout', when I left
the lens cap on, but it's needed for the 'audio')

On the chairlift to the top of Mount Solaro.

Brave Billy, by himself, on the chairlift to the top of Mount Solaro.
No, I didn't jump off.          (PbL)

The older house have domed roofs.           (PbL)

Making use of the roof tops.

It seemed that, on every bit of ground that wasn't built on, they grew vegies.
The hillside was terraced so as to grow vegies.

Nearing the top of Mount Solaro.           (PbL)

On the chairlift.
(sorry about the smudged lens at the top)

At the top.

On top of the world.
Now to descend.

I was catching up.          (PbL)

Can't complain about the weather.

They don't get their garden stakes from Leroy Merlin / Bunnings.

I have seen plenty of blossom but this was the first time I'd seen cherries on the tree.

The older dated houses.

Loquat fruit.

Suor Serafina di Dio   (Sister Serafina of God).  1899            (PbL)

Lynn and I have been doing this every morning since.

We have a new photo-crasher.

Not as dangerous as 'falling over' the wall.

Who ever thought we would be here.

This is as close as we were going to be in seeing a Blue Lizard.

In the old days they would have used donkeys.

Would have been some key.

The flower nursery.

They are smart dressers on Capri.

If it hasn'y got a building on it, grow something.

No cars when they built these lane-ways

Wall decoration.

These 2 young ladies weren't going to tell me anything.

Ciao sono orfana o fane offerta a piacer ................. hello, I am an orphan, please donate.
Dog outside cafe.

Bus trip back down the hill.

Exiting the funicular.

Cabs of Capri.

Made for deliveries on the narrow roads. A 3 wheel scooter.

Colourful flotilla.

Thirsty work is this island exploring. On the ferry back to Sorrento.           (PbL)

Sorrento cliff dwellers.

Sorrento cliff dwellers.

Sorrento cliff dwellers and stairway to the water.

On the bus from the ferry to our hotel.

As well as this Bunya Pine I saw eucalypts, bottlebrushes and Illawarra Flame Trees growing here.
We were invited to have dinner with the locals. The family was pretty sufficient in supplying a lot of their own food needs.

They had cows for both milk...........

..........and meat. The cattle were kept in the pens all the time.

"John, cut it out, oh sorry it's not you".

These aren't for eggs, must be bacon.

The pasta, meat, vegies, cheese and wine were all produced in-house.
Our hostess Sophia (I think)............

.......her mother (in Australian traditional dress) , daughter...........

........and grandmother

The 14 year o d daughter was the main interpreter on the night, but Joe
(born in Sicily) enjoyed the chance to converse again in (broken) Italian.

It's 9 o'clock, time to go.          (PbL)


Car trip to hotel after home visit.

Tuesday 23rd

Craig celebrating something at breakfast.

This huge Stone Pine dominated the outside eating area.

The hotel's garden was well planted out.

The hotel's garden 'tropical' area.

Found the hotel's pool at last.

Welcome to Pompeii.  (He looked menacing but he was really 'armless')
Mount Vesuvius and the city it destroyed.


A plaster cast of one of the victims.

Pompeii relics.

Italian Wall Lizard (Podarcis sicula)

A garden area.            (PbL)

Room decorations.

One of the building interiors.            (PbL)

Spa.            (PbL)
I'm pretty sure it wasn't a dishwasher.            (PbL)

Stepping stones across a roadway.

Grooves worn by the wheels of carts in the cobble-stone road.

They are saying this was once a brothel because of the............

......phallic wall decoration. Can you now see it, high above the windows, in the previous photo?

Ovens             (PbL)


All at peace.

Plaster covered brick and stone walls.

He looks to be thinking "what happened'.

Snippet of Pompeii.

Field of poppies at our lunch stop. The Montecassino monastery can just be seen on top of the hill in the far top left corner.

Harvesting time.

Mediterranean Cypress, also known as Italian, Tuscan, Graveyard Cypress or Pencil Pine now start to appear as we reach the Tuscany area.

Solar power appears to be a bigger concern in Italy than it is here in Australia.  We saw a lot of these set-ups (some bigger) as we travelled in the bus.  Not only in paddocks like this but covering whole farm, barn and factory roofs.

One of the many 'hilltop' village/towns we passed while travelling in the bus.

A 'very-fast' Italian train.
I went for a walk behind the afternoon 'truck-stop' centre and found this old farm building.
It was nice to do a little bit of rural walking.

Prosciuto, and other meat styles, with cheese lunch packs at the truck-stop. You could also buy alcohol, watches, jewelry, groceries and lots of other stuff at these stops.

This customized Scanna R560 is part of the Acconcia Group.

We arrive at our hotel for the night, NH Hotel Cappuccino, at San Gimignano.

San Gimignano is a small walled medieval hill town. The patrician families who controlled the town built around
72 tower-houses, same as high as 54 metres. There are now only 14 towers left.

A view from the hotel grounds.

The clover type flowers of French Honeysuckle / Italian Sainfoin (Hedysarum coronarium) were growing on a hillside near the hotel.

Videos by Dr. Google

Cameras:  Canon PowerShot SX60 HS  __ Sony DSC-W690 __ Samsung S5 (phone)

To go to Part 1,  click / tap here

To go onto Part 3 click / tap on 'Older Post' at bottom of page.

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