Don’t trust the GPS
I love Garmin. She helps us when we travel to unfamiliar areas all over Europe. We keep her maps up to date with a lifetime subscription, and we made sure the very latest were downloaded just prior to this trip. However, Garmin can not be trusted. Garmin likes goat-trails, because they are “faster” and “shorter distance” than the real roads. Be that as it may, a 1.7 meter wide road, paved or not, is not sufficient for a 2 meter wide car! So, trusting Garmin, she took us up the narrowest possible road, with a conservatively estimated 20 percent grade, switchbacks with barely an inch clearance both sides with the mirrors pulled in, spinning tires on wet roads, impossible maneuvers passing downhill traffic. Golf emerged miraculously unscathed 1,5 km later at the top of the hill. Stick to the main roads. You’ll get there eventually, and in one piece! Welcome to the Sorrentine Peninsula!
Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi
This small town, 30 minutes up the winding roads above the city of Sorrento, is truly charmed. The primary industry is tourism, and this is obvious once you begin to walk around and interact with the locals. However, at first glance, it seems as if you are in another world. The town does not possess the polished facade of one that caters only to visitors. It maintains it’s real authentic local flavour. From the noisy traffic on the narrow roads through the center, to the characters running the fruit stand and local gelateria. Old men congregate outside the coffee bar in the evening waiting for dinner, and kids play soccer in the street, a wayward kick sending the ball bouncing down the road and into the piazza in front of the church, Chiesa Santa Maria delle Grazie. A michelin star rated restaurant and five star exclusive resort on one corner, and a friendly neighborhood trattoria on the other. Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi has something for everyone.
Monastero di San Paolo
Not 1000 meters walk up the road outside of town is the monastery of San Paolo. Famous for it’s view more than anything else, the vast expanse of the Bay of Naples can be appreciated from its grounds. Also known as “Deserto”, follow the signs on the walk up the hill from town. For access to the chapel, you may make an offering to the nuns who will give you the key, but only for a few hours each day.
Ristorante Da Mimi
Despite being a restaurant in a tourist area, Ristorante da Mimi exceeded expectations. Recommended to us by the owner of our holiday apartment, we made reservations in the late afternoon for dinner in the evening. All we had to do was stop by and they were more than happy to reserve a table for us. As the Sorrentine Peninsula is of course nearly surrounded by the sea, seafood is the most featured item on the menu. Mimi’s does the seafood thing well. Authentic and delicious. Service is very friendly and personal for Italy, topped off with complimentary lemoncello as a digestivo.