Napoli, Bay of Naples, and Breathtaking Sorrento

Trip Start Jun 03, 2012
Trip End Jun 14, 2012

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Flag of Italy  , Campania,
Monday, June 11, 2012

As the capital of the Campania region, Naples is known for its rich history, art, culture, and gastronomy. For 2,800 years, Naples has reigned as a powerful and unique city.

When driving into Napoli or Naples, we were shocked by the amount of industry in the area. The area consisted of several highways, residential apartments, and public housing. Napoli wasn't the most appealing to the eye because it is a large city; Napoli is the capital of the region of Campania and is the home of the pizza. It was not until we reached the inner city that we were taken by the city's beauty. When we reached the Bay of Naples in Sorrento, I quickly found the area to be the most beautiful region that we traveled to.

One of the most widespread facts about Napoli is that it is the home of the pizza. In June 1889, Neopolitan chef Raffaele Esposito invented the popular dish; he created the "Pizza Margherita" in honor of Italy's Queen, Margherita Maria Teresa Giovanna. He topped the flatbread with mozarella cheese, tomatoes, and basil, all representative of the Italian flag. This explains the popularity of the margherita pizza across Italia.

Although Napoli is the founding city of the pizza, we decided to find a restaurant that offered some type of protein rather than the typical pizza or pasta. After searching the streets of Napoli, we came across a particular restaurant in a cobblestone alley with the chef awaiting us on the patio. When he noticed my curious glare, he waved for me to come over. We attempted to ask him if they served chicken or pollo, the Spanish translation of chicken. He did not understand us. We repeated "pollo" (pronounced "po-yo"). After repeating the word several times, he caught on and corrected our pronunciation of the Italian translation of chicken, pollo (pronounced "po-lo"). The journey across Napoli for a dish other than pizza, pasta, or tomotoes was well worth it.

After visiting the Neopolitan Archaelogical Museum, we traveled to the city of Sorrento. Sorrento is a small city built atop one of the many mountains in the Campania region and provides a great view of the Bay of Naples, Mount Vesuvius, the Isle of Capri, and the city itself. Sorrento is famous for the production of limoncello, a drink made from lemon rinds, alcohol, water and sugar. We made sure to try it at the hotel's pool bar- it was pretty bitter.

Traveling to Sorrento was one of the most breathtaking experiences of the trip. Since Sorrento is atop a mountain, the coach bus navigated through the tight roads to reach the city. As we traveled further up the mountain, the view of the Bay of Naples continued to improve. From atop the mountain, the view of the bay was an incredible sight. The view of the coast, mountains, lush trees, and surrounding blue horizon is an indescribable sight.
After arriving to Hotel Central, we swam in the hotel's pool for a while then walked down to the coast. The 15-minute walk provided us with a sufficient depiction of the city; Sorrento is surrounded by citrus trees (orange and lemon are among the most prevalent). Both Sorrento and Napoli emphasize the importance of hanging red peppers outside their doors; this myth ensures good luck and abundance for the Neopolitans and Sorrentinos. The walk to the Mediterranean coast featured winding, cobblestone streets and steep staircases; it was one of the most relaxing walks that I have ever embarked upon. When we reached the port, there were several booths that offered cruises in the Mediterranean; a particular one that caught my eye was a day cruise to the islands in the area (islands including Capri, Positano, etc.)

By dinner, we were served fresh seafood dishes. These dishes included seafood that was freshly caught in the sea that morning- it was the freshest that I've tasted (photos attached).
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