This was only a half day visit to Herculaneum so after we had seen all there was to see we left the site and returned to the coach for the thirty minute drive back to Sant’ Agnello in time for lunch. We went to the pool bar and had pasta and a beer and then spent an hour or so enjoying the sunshine. Some people were in the pool but I think they must have been from Alaska or some other northerly latitude because this was late October and although the weather was extremely pleasant the water in the pool had dropped below my minimum temperature requirements and tolerance levels.
Just as in 1976 I couldn’t seem to get out of the habit of walking down and across to the little bar on the headland so by mid afternoon and tired of the pool area we wandered down and took a table in the sunshine, ordered a drink and simply wasted a couple of hours just watching people and admiring the magnificent scenery.
Directly across the bay Vesuvius was partially obscured by the haze of pollution drifting down from Naples but it still looked brooding and magnificent. Below us at the foot of the cliffs the thin strip of black grainy beach disappeared south towards the Grand Marina and north towards the adjacent town of Piano de Sorrento just out of sight around the rocky headland. The blue sea sparkled as though containing fibre optic lights and the occasional boat would temporarily disturb this tranquility as it entered or left the harbour.
This brought memories of my previous visit flooding back; our very first overseas holiday, dad in his shirt and tie, the visits to the cities of Rome and Naples and the day trip to Capri; the old fashioned hotel Mediterraneo and the hot holiday rep Maria; dad getting cross when people from London kept calling Pompeii Pompey (he kept reminding them that that was Portsmouth); and the genuine excitement of being somewhere exotic and different for the first time ever. It was good too to be here now with Jonathan and I bored him with my silly stories but he was polite enough to stay awake and listen.
Later we skipped evening meal again and I have checked and it is interesting that even nine years later the guest reviews of the Parco Del Sol are still far from complimentary about the quality of the catering. We used the trattoria again and had our final meal in Sorrento before a couple of drinks and then an early night so that we would be fresh for the early pick up back to the airport in the morning.
I had enjoyed my second visit to Sorrento, I had revisited some places that I had seen previously but had also seen Herculaneum which I had missed the last time. On the return journey home I wondered if I might one day ‘Come back to Sorrento’ again sometime in the future.
“Then say not ‘goodbye’, Come back again, beloved Back to Sorrento, or I must die.”