The Sorrentine Peninsula of Italy, famous for its rugged coastal beauty and of course the isle of Capri. This abode of orchards of oranges and lemons intrigued me because I had heard a lot of stories about the place from my neighbour when I spent a month in Tuscany, Italy in 2007. Ever since, I’ve always wanted to visit this land of “Limoncello”, one of my favourite Italian liqueurs.
Instead of a typical hotel in the city centre, I chose an “Agriturismo” or farm stay in the lofty hills, with a fabulous view of the bay of Naples and the majestic Mount. Vesuvius.
“Agriturismo Primaluce” is an old farmhouse straight out of an Enid Blyton book. Half of it still has old stone structure of the 18th century and takes you back in time. The other half has been renovated with chic interiors, beautifully hand painted rooms and modern bathrooms.
The hostess Lea and her two daughters, Anna and Angela, were very helpful, gracious and made me feel at home throughout my stay.
The farm had many dogs , Fortuna the spaniel was the most friendly . She took me on a tour of the farm to show me the coop with about 15-20 hens who clucked away noisily and laid brown eggs for breakfast every day .
Two goats, two ponies and a-not-so friendly cow completed the farm animals family. Green peas, tomatoes and other vegetables were being grown on the farm . Strawberries, basil and lemon, everything we ate came fresh from the garden.They also had a small vineyard and barrels of wine to store the house wine.
The first evening, we had a hot cup of cappuccino in the garden,enjoying the view and then set forth on our adventurous ride to the city centre.The hosts offer a free drop and pick up to the city centre and bus stop and believe me you need it ! The road to the Agriturismo so is so steep and narrow, its a fifteen minute roller coaster ride up and down every day which Lea takes you on confidently like a mini -grand prix driver in her little yellow Fiat. After all the Italians are famous for their cars and grand prix drivers, so why worry ?
Sorrento city centre is very pretty with yellow and white buildings and churches, spring flower baskets everywhere.There is a small train from Piazza Tasso that takes you around the main streets of the historical centre, down to the port ,stopping at the seaside terraces. This is certainly the best way to see the town meandering through narrow alleys with artisan shops and panoramic vistas of the sea.
We happened to spot a very interesting shop called the Cornershop while on the train and we made our way back to explore it. It had all the local products of the region directly from local producers. They have a huge wine cellar carefully selected to stock the best wines in the country as well as Limoncello, Grappa and so many other liqueurs.You can sample a few here. Their Single Malt collection is massive and from all over the planet.They cater to people who seek authenticity they say !You will certainly find excellent pastas , olive oil, balsamic vinegar, truffles, sweets . .best of everything the region has to offer and well worth a visit and buy for sure !
We sat on a terrace Cafe at the coast sipping Amaretto disaronno another of my favorite liqueurs Amaretto disaronno , watching the sunset and birds and then headed back to the city centre for dinner to Ristorante sorrento.
I had it for the first time and loved it !
Dr Reshma J Palep