Nostro Primo Giorno in Italia

2 windowWe arrive after overnight flight, stopover Munich. All that work on Italian and I can’t stop listening to the German. It seems so easy [note: I lived there four years]! We fly on to Naples, our bags arrive; yay Lufthansa. The last time I flew to Italy with Mother, our bags were lost for 5 days. I needed to buy underwear and the word wasn’t in my dictionary…but that’s another story.

At the airport we bought the ArteCard – a combo transportation, museum pass. We were speaking English – I felt shy to try my Italian but when the saleslady couldn’t remember the word for Mostra, I knew it: exhibit. We were all impressed.2 bus

Out of the airport, looking for the bus to Sorrento. Airports are much the same – shops, gates, long walkways. But outside in another country jangles my nerves at first – the signs, the foreign language.  That first step into the unknown is disorienting. At the bus we speak to a couple from the U.K. in English, of course. A comfort zone I’m determined to leave.

The ride to Sorrento is a bit like Disney, whoosh, beep, shrieks. While the driver talks to passengers or on the phone, he speeds along a tiny coastal road packed with traffic. People park on facing the wrong direction. Motorinos court death as they zip around us. Cars blurt into our path. Where are the crumpled fenders? Every time we drove past another bus, the driver honks. He couldn’t know ALL the other drivers. Brian said it’s simple a matter of, “I’m a bus. You’re bus.”
2 Sorrento

2 ravine
Sorrento is poised on cliffs over the sea and split in half by a huge ravine. We pull our rollies through Italians taking their passagiata (evening walk) and find the hotel.

Our first meal is a bust. Mediocre pizza and a snotty waiter, but we’re exhausted and just want to get to bed.2 sunset

I hope we like this town. It’s very touristy. But we’re here – inserted into Italy. By morning the strangeness will have worn off a bit and we’ll be on our way to Positano.

Pictures: view from our hotel window, the bus, the town from the bay, the ravine, and sunset with umbrella trees.

Comments

  1. Amazing pictures! Perfect way to start my day!

  2. Betsy Lewis says:

    When in Italy, I too wondered where the bent fenders were, why I did not see more collisions or bandaged people. I decided it is a dance to driving in Italy. Crazy as they may seem, if you know the steps of the dance — you can survive unscathed.

  3. cuzzin Karen says:

    Awesome view from your hotel room. Looking forward to another day in your trip!

  4. Robin says:

    I’ve heard that Italians are often rude and unwelcoming. I’ve heard that from several people. What is your experience with this? Are they friendlier if you attempt their language? You’ve traveled quite a bit… Which are the friendliest countries? Especially if you have no language skills.

    • Terri says:

      Hi Robin. We met only one rude Italian – a waiter the first night. It might have made a difference that I tried to speak their language. The owners of the b&b’s where we stayed were uniformly wonderful. And many of the waiters too. In the upcoming Positano post, you’ll me the most kind Italian of all.

      • Terri says:

        I have to add Greece is amazingly welcoming, or was years ago. I could only say hello and thank you. I think the Dutch almost uniformly speak English which then makes their niceness only a construct of the personality – and all the Dutch I know except for one manager (a liar and creep) are nice. But really, it’s not difficult to learn a few words. It’s always appreciated. Of course the French almost won’t speak to you unless you try their language first. Really, I don’t blame those who live in tourist towns. It can be crazy – I live in one and I know about the lines and the rudeness of tourists. I think it cuts both ways…

  5. ayesha says:

    hi there lady!! love hearing your voice and seeing these photos here! so glad you got to go and looking forward to reading more about it. that sunset image is insaaaaane!! 🙂 miss you!!

  6. ray says:

    Wondeful, Teri keep them coming.

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