THE LIMONCELLO REGION

Originally written November 20, 2016

Guys. I can without a doubt say my favorite weekend trip while in Italy was to what I like to call “the limoncello region”, better known as Sorrento & Capri. If you ever get to go to Italy, you literally HAVE to visit Capri or Positano, because my Lord, they are breathtaking. We didn’t make it to Positano but Capri was definitely good enough. So let me tell you about this little journey of ours to my favorite region.

Because we’re dumb, we decided to go out the night before we left, of course, so waking up the morning of the trip was the struggle. But, we knew we were in for an amazing weekend. Luckily this time we had our own private bus to travel on which was right outside our apartment at the bus station that morning, and not miles away at the train station that cost an expensive taxi ride to get to. Anyways, we walked to the bus station to embark on our trip all excited and what not. Oh I almost forgot, I had a twisted ankle at the time and proceeded to step in dog poop on the 2 minute walk to the bus station…of course. Why would someone let their dog do its business right in the middle of the sidewalk? I have no freaking clue. But of course I stepped in it. So after laughing at myself (along with everyone else) I cleaned my chaco off with the water from the public water spout and some wet wipes. Literally laughing out loud. Keeping in mind, its like 7 am and we probably went to sleep at 4 am that morning. After cleaning up, we all loaded up the bus and took off for the beautiful lemon region. After hours on a bus ride full of beautiful scenery, mountains and all, we made our way up to the Mount Vesuvius hike we were supposed to do that day. We were literally going to hike a flipping volcano and shotgun beers at the top…but of course as we made it up the mountain (literally driving a bus up the side of a mountain was so scary) it was raining, lightning and thundering and basically the world was coming to an end outside of our bus. So we obviously were not permitted to hike the Mount Vesuvius that day which was so sad. But honestly, after an intense bus ride up the side of the mountain, I was sick as a dog and needed to get out and get some fresh air. But of course we had the ride back down the mountain which almost brought me, and others, barfing all over that nice touring bus.

Luckily, we got to the beautiful city of Sorrento and our program leaders bought us literally the best pizza I’ve had and will ever have in my lifetime. No kidding, the cutest little family owned pizzeria where this little old Italian man and his wife brought out bruschetta first, then like 4 different types of pizza slices that were about a foot wide each and then expresso to top it all off. I know I’ve probably said “that was the best meal I’ve ever had” about meals I ate in Italy…well, I’m just going to say it again because it was one of those times. Sorrento was literally freezing cold compared to Rome and the warmest thing I brought was a maxi dress. Guess we should have looked at the weather a little closer before that trip but I just assumed all of Italy was equally as hot as hades in July, which was really stupid. We walked to our hotel, the beautiful Hotel del Corso, from the closest place the bus could drive to the city, and it was so amazingly beautiful. It had a gorgeous rooftop patio where you could see up and down the streets of Sorrento, with beautiful architecture. You could even smell the lemons. Oh and there is the cutest little limoncello shop across the street from the hotel that the sweetest little Italian lady works at. She was so talented and so beautiful. Our program leaders, who are by the way the coolest people I’ve ever met, surprised my friend Carlee, who was turning 22, with a lemon birthday cake on the rooftop. Then, we explored the streets of Sorrento and ate dinner at some hokey touristy place because we didn’t feel like walking super far. But, at least we got complimentary champagne and limoncello shots! We explored a little more after that and hung out with the group before hitting the hay to prepare for the next day, which would undoubtedly be our favorite day in Italy.

The next morning was basically like Christmas morning. We knew it was about to be the best day of our lives. So we jumped on the boat from Sorrento to the beautiful island of Capri. As soon as we stepped foot on the island, we wanted to book our “booze cruise” and lock that in before we did anything else. So we got that over with and bought a ticket to ride up to the top of the mountain on a super rickety tram…but we made it up there eventually along with the thousands of other eager tourists. At the top of that scary tram ride was the most beautiful view I have ever seen (you’ll see in the pictures) and boy, I couldn’t have been happier. We ended up getting lost at the top of the island, of course, and ended up in the residential area of Capri- which was obviously way more beautiful than the touristy part. Anyways, after the getting lost part of the trip, grabbing some really strange lunch, and hearing from a little old woman why the Capri bell is special and why the Italian horn is good luck, we were pumped for our booze cruise aka a 3 hour boat ride around the most astonishing island in the world. But of course we had to purchase some booze to accompany our cruise first. We met up with our boat driver (I think his name was Fernando or Federico) and hopped on our completely tricked out boat. We had a whole speaker system and a very large cooler of beer brought to us by the boat company. Plus our driver was seriously the coolest dude ever. We started our journey around the island, kicking it off by shot-gunning a couple of beers (not me of course!) and popping our bottles of champagne. My good friend Sarah that I traveled with after Italy ended up puking and rallying, but really just because of motion sickness not too much shot-gunning!!! Our driver stopped a few times for us to swim into the different grottos. The water was super rough that day because it was basically storming the whole time we were on the boat, but me and a couple of other people made it into the grottos which was so freaking cool. Tip: If you ever go to Capri do not grab onto the side of the rocks to take a breather because coral may be Capri’s precious gem, but it is all over the side of the rocks and it will cut you hardcore. We had a couple people learn that the hard way, so don’t do it!!

We definitely jammed out on the boat the whole time and we MOST definitely finished off the cooler of free beers. After a few hours of fun a probably a little too much champ in our tummies, we made it back to the dock, took a few pictures with our wonderful boat driver, and went to hang out before we had to leave the island and head back to Sorrento. We ended up getting sucked into some overpriced cafe and ordering pizza and drinks just to top off the trip.

After we made it back to Sorrento, we took some much needed naps. After that, we woke up to go eat dinner at yet another overpriced seafood place on the shore of Sorrento, but you know, its all a part of the journey. That night a few people hit up the clubs in Sorrento, but most of us were pretty much dead from the booze cruise. So I hit the hay. The next day we would leave Sorrento and make our way back to Rome, but first a stop at the ancient Pompeii.

Pompeii honestly gave me the most erie feeling when we left. And thats not just because my foot had somehow developed a really bad infection and it hurt to walk on it. I always had something going on medically while I was in Italy, if you haven’t noticed yet. But Pompeii, the city that was buried in ashes from Mount Vesuvius erupting so so long ago, freaked me out. It was so cool yet so strange that we could see the stone beds where they laid their heads and the houses in which they lived at one time. It was so sad that their city, one that I came to find out is known for its excessive prostitution habits, was just completely destroyed by this powerful mountain. Its funny, well not funny, but I joked with our tour guide about the volcano erupting again and she did not think that was funny at all. She said “you do not joke with the volcano.” So yeah, I shut up real quick after that. Nonetheless, Pompeii was super neat and definitely something worth seeing if you visit Italy.

I cleaned out the infection on my foot that randomly popped up as we made our way back to home sweet Rome that Sunday. Leaving the best weekend of our lives behind, we slept pretty much the whole way home in order to prepare our bodies for the upcoming week.