Well, here we are finally in Sorrento. Our group of 12 students, 3 adults, and 3 teachers set off from Cornwall at 11pm on Saturday night, leaving a country where half of it seemed to be under water, and the other half had been blown away. Never had I thought that I would be so pleased about a journey that involved a 6 hour bus ride through the night, followed by a flight and another bus journey through the appalling traffic of Naples to be greeted by a tiny italian lady wearing widows' weeds and talking an almost incomprehensible neapolitan dialect! We were doubly relieved to have arrived as by the time we'd got to Sorrento the tempers of our mini-bus drivers had frayed somewhat and at one point there was almost a stand off between them - our italian may not be very good but even we could work out that 'parli a me'? (are you talking to me) followed by a godfather type snarl, was likely to end in tears. Probably ours.
This time instead of being in a hotel as we were in Rome last year, we are staying with local families, I am staying with another adult who attends that same italian class as me, with the lady I mentioned earlier. She is very sweet and I'm sure that by the end of the week we will have begun to understand what she's saying. At the moment there is a lot of nodding and smiling going on!
The plan is that in the mornings we have lessons at the language school, the Sant'Anna Institute, half the morning is grammar, and the other half conversation. In the afternoon we are doing excursions, but today, as it was our first, the students were meeting some of their italian peers and we adults were free to do our own thing, so we had vaguely planned to have lunch and then find somewhere to go for a walk. For lunch my 'room-mate' sugested a bar near the bus station which was recommended in the Rough Guide but when we got there it had closed down. Confessing that the guide she had was the 2008 version, she then spotted a sign to a restaurant, and as we were quite hungry by then, we decided that though it was probably more than we wanted and definitely more than we should have, we would try it anyway. What a good choice! Il Lene Rosso served us not only the main dishes we ordered, but also some garlic bread, free desserts and limoncello. The pasta with prawn special was particularly good.
All thoughts of now walking very far having gone from our heads, we decided to wander round the corner to the bus stop, and try to get up to a village above Sorrento and then walk down, which according to the map we had didn't look too difficult.
How we got on, and whether we actually ever returned to Sorrento will sadly have to wait til tomorrow as we are being chucked out of the school as it'stime for them to close.
Ciao for now!
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