5 – The City That Made Me Smile…

Sorrento, Italy – September 7th to 11th 2013

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Initial Thoughts: I liked Sorrento immediately. After the luxury and romance of Positano, Sorrento had a down-to-earth, relaxed vibe that suited me much better. It has a vibrancy and an youthful excitement that I didn’t realize I had been missing until I found it. I loved strolling through the marketplace, eating delicious seafood dinners while looking out the busy square and watching the sunset over the soaring cliffs. The views were stunning, the architecture was bright and sunny, and around every corner there was another vignette waiting to be photographed.

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Favourite Moment: During my stay at Hotel Florida, I met a interesting, friendly woman who invited me to join her for a glass of wine. And just like that I had a new friend. While sitting out near the pool, enjoying our drink we met several other hostel guests and decided to head out to dinner to a recommended restaurant. The food I had that night was without hyperbole some of the best I have ever had. As a group, we shared a walnut and buffalo yogurt salad, a pasta of shrimp and zucchini, a stuffed squid, a hot brothy mixture of seafood and a simply amazing bottle of red wine. We sat outside in the warm night, shared the incredibly good, freshly-made Italian food and talked of everything under the sun. It was one of those moments where you feel like you are exactly where you are meant to be.

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Takeaways: Before leaving for my trip, everyone – my friends, my coworkers, the internet – said that one of the best parts of travel is meeting new people. As a recently converted introvert, I was worried about my ability, or maybe more truthfully my desire, to make friends. But with this group it felt easy and natural. We simply started talking over a glass of wine and just like that we were having an amazing night. I hope I can keep my heart open to the possibility of future connections.

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Useful Advice: I arrived in Sorrento from Positano on the SITA bus. The tickets are sold in advance at the local corner stores or coffee shops for about 2.50 Euro one way. You can also travel along the coast via ferry and if you are arriving from Naples there is a train. I stayed at Hotel Florida which was about 15 minutes walk from the town centre and bus station. The are few budget accommodations in Sorrento and for the price I paid I was happy to have a bed in a 4 bed female dorm with an on suite and access to the pool. There is no common room or kitchen but there is a bar and restaurant by the pool. I didn’t eat there as the choices were better elsewhere, but I did have a relaxing drink or two.

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