Monday, February 13, 2012

La Patria

Well the weather didn't cooperate, but I had fun none-the-less.  We went to Sorrento Friday, getting in during the afternoon; it was raining pretty steadily all day.  Had a nice lunch outside (under cover though), I got seafood for the first time since I've been here: risotto with shrimp and asparagus.

That night we walked around for a bit, and tried to find a couple nice places that were mentioned in Rick Steves's Italy book.  Turns out most of them were closed because it's February (thanks for the heads up Rick), but walking around let us see some different parts of the city we would not have otherwise.

We actually found a nice bed and breakfast to stay at for only 20euro a night. It was on the main street through Sorrento, view from our balcony on one side:
Saturday we walked around to the two major churches in Sorrento, La Cattedrale and La Basilica di San Antonino. First two pictures are from the cathedral, the rest are San Antonino:

I saw this cool thing online after the Superbowl, so from now on there will be less Tebowing of monuments.  The new thing is Bradying:
The object is to imitate Brady's inevitable pouting after being sacked repeatedly by Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul, and then losing to the Giants, again.  I have to work on my impression a little, and it was really wet in Sorrento so we didn't want to sit down. I promise to have better pictures in the future.

So Saturday we got into Naples in the afternoon, and we walked around before we got dinner.  We saw the Castel Nuovo by the harbor; the Royal Palace; Piazza Plebescito, with the Pantheon-like church in it; and the Galleria Umberto, a hundred year-old glass roofed mall:

After we got dinner, we walked around the center of the city and came across some people in Piazza Gesu' Nuovo:

If the "Occupy" movement hasn't made it to Naples, then I don't know what those people were out there for.  Sunday morning we went to mass in the Basilica of Santa Chiara, where the famous cloisters are:

It's a little harder to understand the people in the South when they speak more in dialect, because they use words not originating from Italian.  The South was ruled at different points in history by the Spanish, French, Austrians, and Arabs so there's a lot of different influences on the language and culture.  So even when they speak Italian, their accent is really hard to understand sometimes.  Sort of like somebody from deep in Appalachia trying to be understood by someone from Boston and vice versa.  It's also annoying when they automatically assume you don't speak Italian, like when they bring you an English menu as soon as you sit down.  I try to talk Italian as much as I can when I'm out, so I'm a little miffed when that happens, especially because my Italian is probably better than their English.  Anyways, before we left we went to a famous place to get pizza near the train station and for 7euro, the pizza was huge! I took a picture of it with my hand next to it for size comparison:

It was more of a tire than a pizza, they didn't even fit on the plates they gave us.  Overall, interesting weekend.

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