May 17, 2018 Taormina Riviera-Agrigento-Palermo

Agrigento Countryside

Agrigento Temple

Agrigento Temple

We departed our hotel at 7:30am bound for the town of Agrigento and then on to Palermo, our final destination in Italy. The total day’s drive was about 280 miles making for a full day’s trip with comfort stops and sightseeing. The drive took us through the central part of Sicily which is mostly rolling hills covered in all types of crops like citrus, wheat, grapes, pomegranates, almond trees and more. The countryside is quite beautiful as the crops stretch from the valley floors to the top of the hillsides, each crop planted right next to another creating a patchwork of colors and textures. The sun was out and the temperatures were in the low 70’s.

When we arrived in the town of Agrigento we took a guided walking tour of the Valley of Temples. This area is one of the most outstanding examples of Greater Greek art and architecture, a national monument of Italy and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. The archeological site which is more of a ridge than a valley consists of about five square miles of land. The remains of seven Greek temples dating back to the 3rd to the 5th centuries BC remain today. The best preserved of these is the Temple of Concordia built in the 5th Century BC. This temple has six Doric columns along the front and back and thirteen columns along the sides.

From the ridge of the Valley of temples you have a view of the newer city up on the hill with one building crowded alongside the next. The city looks compact and tightly confined while all around the town you see open space. Not far from the temples you can also take in views of the sea extending as far as the eye can see. The site was crowded with school children and visitors from around the world but it was a warm sunny day and we were happy to see the site.

In addition to the temple remains there are also remains of city gates, catacombs and residences.

From Agrigento we continued our drive north towards the town of Palermo stopping at a small roadside restaurant frequented by locals for a quick bite to eat. They had pizza’s, pasta, sandwiches, arancini rice balls, tons of pastries and even gelato. Kent and I shared a dish of pasta with eggplant and a red sauce and we each had a gelato.

Our hotel in Palermo was the Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa located in the heart of Palermo. The hotel was once a stock exchange building now converted to a hotel. There was a grand central four story open air atrium courtyard with fountain and plenty of seating. The hotel room we had was spacious with French doors from the main room and the oversized bathroom to a courtyard. It was a very nice hotel.

We walked with our Australian girlfriends (Hazel, Sheila and Annie) several blocks to a shopping street (that is pedestrian only in the evenings) to have a bite to eat. We found a small café where they served a variety of dishes from meat kabobs to pizza’s and we all found something we could eat. After dinner the girls headed back to the hotel and Kent and I walked further down the street to the opera house. It looked like a huge old opera house that I would have loved to have a tour of but it was closed already and we would not have time to return. We wandered some of the small meandering streets back to our hotel following the brightly illuminated churches. The city has hundreds of ornate churches of which we found as many as three on one small square. Many of the small neighborhood squares were filled with people drinking and eating at small cafes and bars.

May 16, 2018 Taormina Riviera – Mt. Etna

Mt. Etna

Mt. Etna

Mt. Etna

Jeweler’s Villa

Villa Garden

We took a scenic drive through orchards, vineyards and forests up to Europe’s highest active volcano at 6,500 feet. The drive up from the coast took us about an hour on a twisting winding narrow road. At the bottom of the mountain you see many homes and gardens that look like they have been there for many years. But as you climb the mountain the homes turn to open spaces and you begin to see more and more volcanic rock and lava flows from past eruptions. The further we climbed the less the vegetation until we reached our stopping point around 6,500 feet in elevation where there was only a small amount of green grass growing in the volcanic rock and no trees, shrubs, flowers or plants.

Our stopping point on the mountain is the highest level that paved roads exist and so there are dozens of busses with many tourists everywhere. From this point it is possible to take an area bucket cable car ride another 1,500 feet higher or to hike up several steep hills of volcanic rock and sand. We instead stayed at the plateau where there are several old craters and several small cafes for the tourists.

Our local guide took us around the observation point to show us the different colors of the volcanic rock ranging from yellows to reds to browns and almost black. In years gone by locals used to use ground up lava sand in colors like golden yellow and reds in paint to color their homes.

Mt. Etna is the fifth most active volcano in the world and was steaming today when we were watching it. There have been several major lava flows and eruptions over the last hundred years. The locals call the volcano “the mountain” and do not live in fear of it but have accepted the fact that one day it might erupt again. The area is also susceptible to earthquakes which tend to go hand in hand with volcano eruptions.

After visiting the volcano, we headed down towards the ocean again where we stopped at a large Italian villa owned by the family of a large jeweler. This jeweler has been selling jewelry for over a hundred years and they have a studio workshop and jewelry shop in this 100-year-old Italian Villa. They took us on a short tour of the studio and shop before treating us to a buffet lunch of pasta, sausage, small finger foods, pastries, wine, juices and more. The villa has a very nice terrace on the rear where we sat at tables outdoors to enjoy our lunch. Of course, some of the ladies in our group could not resist temptation and made some jewelry purchases before leaving.

After returning to our hotel about 2:30 we had the afternoon free until an included dinner in our hotel at 7:30pm. We tended to emails, did a little work on the computer and had a nap before our long trip on the bus to Agrigento and Palermo tomorrow.

Dinner was at a very nice restaurant in the hotel on this evening. We sat with Gilbert and Paula from Oklahoma and Richard and Sue from Australia. They served a green salad, a choice of chickpea soup or cannelloni for the starter, turkey breast or swordfish for the main dish and a moist pistachio cake for dessert. Unlimited wine and bottled water was also included. It was a very nice meal.

May 15 Taormina Riviera – Syracuse – Ortigia

Syracuse Amphitheater

Syracuse Cave

Syracuse – Caper Plant

Ortigia – Church

Ortigia Church

Dinner Starter Plate

This was a free day to explore at leisure or we had the opportunity to take an excursion to the towns of Syracuse and Ortigia. We chose to take the extra excursion to see what these two other towns in Sicily were like. Our first stop was in Syracuse to see the town birthplace of the famous poet and mathematician Archimedes.

Syracuse was also the place where we visited a large archeological site dating back more than 2,000 years. The site was once a quarry where stone was dug from underground to build churches, temples, theaters and amphitheaters in the region. The stones that were extracted from the earth were about two feet by two feet by four feet long and each weighed about 3,000 pounds. They were easily hammered and chiseled out of the ground by slaves and hauled on wheels by donkeys to the building in which they would be used.

At this site we saw a 5thCentury BC Greek Theater  (half round) that could seat 20,000 people and is still used today for sold out tragedy plays. There is a Roman Amphitheater (full round) used for gladiator competitions or fights with wild animals. The gladiators and animals would often be killed in the process. There was also an enormous altar of Heron II where animal sacrifices were made. There was a large garden with all types of local plants including a caper plant that I found interesting. I do not remember seeing a caper plant growing before.

Our next stop was at the island town of Ortigia which is connected to Syracuse by two bridges. The waterway between the mainland and the island was filled with boats and the buildings surrounding the water made me think of Venice. Here we saw the ruins of an old temple dedicated to the sun god Helios. Not much remains of the temple today and what does remain has mostly been rebuilt or revised over the centuries by various people who occupied the city.

Next, we stopped at a beautiful church on the main square that had been originally built with the stones from the nearby quarry. The church has been altered many times over the years but it showed how far they transferred the stone blocks. The distance was probably more than five miles which is just hard to imagine.

For lunch we stopped at a local café to have a small calzone with ham and cheese and another pastry filled with meat, rice and cheese.

After a few hours break we were taken to dinner at a one-star Michelin restaurant along the Taormina coast. The room that we were seated in was an enclosed patio sun room with large round tables for ten guests each. We had a lovely starter plate with chopped eggplant, peppers and zucchini; roasted tomatoes stuffed with bread crumbs and parmesan; assorted cheeses and salami. This was followed by a plate of tube-shaped pasta with a pureed eggplant and cream sauce and cheese. For the main course they served a choice of chicken with mashed potatoes or a sea bass filet with a tomato sauce over potatoes. For dessert they served a molded vanilla ice cream with a berry sauce. The meal was alright but nothing spectacular.

May 14, 2018 Reggio Calabria-Taormina Riviera

Taormina Street

Taormina Square

Taormina Amphitheater

Taormina Photographer

We crossed the Strait of Messina by ferry this morning to begin our discovery of the island of Sicily, the great melting pot of the Mediterranean world. Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Saracens, Normans, French and Spanish have left their marks and contributed to its rich heritage. The ferry was large enough that we could stay on the bus and drove right onboard for the twenty-minute ride.

Taormina is located on the Ionian Sea on the east coast of the island of Sicily, Italy. Taormina has been a tourist destination since the 19th century. There is speculation about Taormina being an early gentlemen’s destination (gay). Capri had a similar reputation, as tolerant of gay men and artists. Johann Wolfgang Goethe, exalted it in Italian Journey, a record of his 1786 journey published in 1816. Wilhelm von Gloeden, a photographer of predominantly male nudes, worked here most of his life.

When we arrived in Taormina we visited the ancient remains of a Greek theater dating back to the 3rd century BC. The theater had a diameter of 358 feet and is the second largest of its kind in Sicily after one in Syracuse. There is a main pedestrian street that runs through the town filled with beautiful shops selling all types of clothing, souvenirs, food items, ceramics and of course, gelato. We had several hours to explore the charming town on our own. We stopped to taste the local delicacy called an arancini. The arancini is a type of rice ball mixed with items like mushrooms, peas, eggplant, cheese and then shaped into a ball or bell shape before being breaded and deep fried. They were a bit greasy but they were tasty enough. Along the way we also stopped at a gelato shop to check the quality.

Things we take for granted at home are not so simple here. Public bathrooms are not as plentiful and when you do find them there is often a charge of a half euro or about .60 US. There are no toilet seats and paper is often not available. Table service at a restaurant or ice cream shop is more expensive than if you take the item to go. For example, at the gelato shop there was an additional charge of about .75 US for sitting at a table rather than taking the gelato somewhere else to eat it.

Our hotel is located south of Taormina and is the Hilton Giardini Naxos located on the beaches of Giardini Naxos with panoramic views of the Ionian Sea. The hotel was very large with several restaurants, a spa, an outdoor pool, shops and a huge lobby.

For dinner we were on our own and went down the street from our hotel to a small restaurant on the beach where we had a green salad, risotto with salmon and pasta with swordfish. The food was fine but nothing spectacular.

May 13 Alberobello-Matera-Scilla-Reggio Calabria

Scilla Harbor

Scilla Architecture


Reggio Calabria – Bronze Statue

We departed Alberobello this morning for a town called Matera where we enjoyed a panoramic view of the picturesque Sassi houses. Matera is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, having been inhabited since the 10thmillennium BC. The town is built in a rocky ravine created by a river and the Sassi homes are dug into the rock itself. You might think of them as caverns rather than a house. Once considered an area of poverty since many of the dwellings were uninhabitable, today these dwellings are being converted to thriving homes and businesses.

The drive on this day was about 325 miles so we were on the bus for most of the day. We did make several stops at roadside gas stations that had restaurants for food and restrooms. We even stopped at a gelato shop that was so busy you could hardly get the gelato and they had only two toilets for hundreds of visitors. It is not usually this busy but it was a local saints birthday (and Mother’s Day) and many people had come to town to celebrate the event.

Next, we enjoyed a spectacular drive south along the Gulf of Taranto and a stop in Scilla (pronounced like Sheila), called the “Venice of Calabria.” This small village style town sits on a hillside along the water with a nice harbor, meandering streets with many shops and restaurants as well as a fortress on the hill. Our visit was very short but it looked like it was a lovely spot to visit.

Leaving the coast, we headed for the town of Reggio Calabria, located at the southernmost point or the toe of Italy. With a population of about 260,000 people, Reggio Calabria is separated from the island of Sicily by the Strait of Messina. The surrounding metropolitan area is comprised of nearly 600,000 inhabitants. Reggio Calabria was mostly destroyed in a huge earthquake in 1908 followed by a tsunami, so the city is more modern than ancient. The earthquake and tsunami killed 27% of its inhabitants and the nearby city of Messina on the island of Sicily lost 42% of its residents. In total about 95,000 people were killed.

Reggio’s economy revolves around agriculture and the export of fruits, tobacco, briar (a hard-wooded root used in the making of pipes) and an essence called bergamot used in the production of perfume. Due to its proximity on the sea it also has a large fishing industry and is a popular tourist destination for its beaches.

After arriving at our hotel, we enjoyed a guided visit of the National Archaeological Museum of Magna Graecia dedicated to Ancient Greece. The museum houses the world-famous bronze warrior sculptures called Bronzi di Riace. They have two gorgeous bronze male statues that stand some seven feet tall and are beautifully sculpted. They have a huge collection of other items in this beautiful museum but with our limited time we focused on the bronze statues.

Dinner was included at our hotel in the top floor dining room with a view out over the city. Dinner included a pasta salad with cheese, olives, capers, ground anchovies and fresh tomatoes. The main course was a pork roast with potatoes followed by a fruit tart for dessert.

May 12 Martina Franca- Alberobello

Martina Franca

Martina Franca – Olive Crusher


Alberobello House

Alberobello Church

In the morning we drove to the town of 50,000 called Martina Franca where we had a tour of an olive oil company named L’Acropoli di Puglia that has been making olive oil since 1889. The owner gave us about an hour demonstration on the making of the olive oil and showed us how they grind the olives, filter the oil, etc. We then had a tasting of several types of olive oil similar to the way you might taste wine at a winery. We had clear plastic shot glasses with a small amount of oil to smell, swished gently in our mouths and then swallowed. Some of the oils had a very peppery taste while others were very smooth going down. They also stressed how important it is to not heat the oil olive but instead to use it at room temperature on pasta or salads just before serving.

After the oil olive tasting we took a walking tour with a guide into the small town of Martina Franca. She took us to a small museum where they had a variety of religious artifacts like chalices, paintings and vestments beautifully displayed. After the visit inside the museum we were taken downstairs to a café where we were served a variety of local products:  several types of cheeses, ham, salami, olives, tomatoes, wine and a local pastry for dessert.

In the afternoon we visited the town of Alberobello which was about a forty-minute drive from our hotel. The word Alberobello means beautiful tree and is a small town in southern Italy with about 11,000 inhabitants. The town dates back to the 16thcentury when 40 families were granted land to farm in the area. The area is full of stones which led the inhabitants to build houses out of dry stones without the use of mortar. These limestone circular-shaped houses with pinnacled, conical roofs are called Trulli. This concentration of about 400 local Trulli homes have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1996.

We had a walking tour of the most significant Trulli-style homes and were even able to visit the interior of one that has been owned by the same family for nearly a century. The elderly woman who was kind enough to open her home to us was born in the home and years ago, she was one of fifteen children living there. The home is quite small by today’s standards with a decent sized living and dining room, a bedroom alcove with small bath attached and a third room that functioned as a kitchen and additional sleeping area. Each of the rooms is made of stone walls and the conical shaped roof rises above each room. In this family many of the children had a loft in the cone shaped room over the main living space where they slept.

We visited a Trulli-style church with a beautiful simple altar and walked the many streets of the UNESCO site where many of the old homes have been converted to shops and restaurants. All of the buildings in the area are required to be white washed and no color is permitted as was traditional. At the peak of some of the roofs they would add an ornament of some type to reflect their religious beliefs in most cases.  Some owners would also mark/whitewash their roofs with symbols of their religious beliefs.

The streets were busy with tourists and locals alike who had come out to see a hot air balloon being launched from the main town square. We stopped at a small shop where they sold several types of sausage sandwiches on rolls for a bite to eat. Our next stop was a charming gelato shop along the main street where we enjoyed a refreshing and delicious gelato. Others chose to go to dinner at a local farm with folkloric show but we retired early as Mark was catching a cold and wanted to rest.

May 11, 2018 Bari-Lecce-Alberobello

Bari – St. Nicholas Statue

Bari Old Town – St. Nicholas Church

Bari – Old Town Pasta

Lecce – Old Town Gate

Lecce – Pasticciotto Pastry

We took a walking tour through the city’s oldest district called the Bari Vecchia. This oldest historic part of the city is located on a small peninsula and once had a wall surrounding it, although much of the wall is now gone. The area is a labyrinth of small narrow cobblestone streets with laundry hanging from the balconies. The main square is where we found the Basilica of Saint Nicholas. Here it is believed are some remains Saint Nicholas, one of the most worshipped Christian saints. The basilica was built in the 11th century. St. Nicholas was a saint who helped children including the less fortunate and is represented in statues and paintings as a saint holding three balls. These balls represent three bags of gifts that he gave to three young women who were so poor they would not be able to marry without a dowry. This is where we get the St. Nicholas connection with Santa Claus who hands out toys.

On one particular street in the old town, the women make a local type of pasta known as ears (orecchiette) because of its shape. You see them in their ground floor kitchens rolling out the dough and creating the ear shaped pasta. After drying it in the sun outside they bag it and sell it to the locals. It is said that women will only be able to marry if they can make this type of pasta. The test of whether or not you can make it well is when your future mother in law thinks it is good.

After our visit to Bari we headed to the historic town of Lecce with a population of approximately 95,000 inhabitants. Because of the rich Baroque architectural monuments found in the city, it is often referred to as the Florence of the South. The city is filled with ornately decorated buildings and many small squares to explore. This is also an important agricultural center for its olive oil and wine production. It also exports a soft limestone suitable for sculpture and they also produce ceramic products here.

We stopped to taste a local delicacy called the pasticciotto, a type of Italian pastry traditionally filled with either ricotta cheese or egg custard and served warm. The pasticciotto are often eaten as a breakfast item but can also be eaten any time of day and are a traditional Easter pastry. They are a little larger around than a cupcake but only about an inch tall and the tops are brushed with egg to create a shiny look. Today you can also find these pastries filled with fillings like almond, chocolate, pistachio, vanilla or fruit flavored preserves. Accompanying the pastry, we had an almond-flavored iced coffee which was very good. They use iced almond milk with hot espresso coffee poured over the top. It was very sweet and delicious for those of us with a sweet tooth.

We then headed to the town of Alberobello where we checked into the Casale Del Murgese Hotel. This hotel is an ancient Baron’s farmhouse with views of the gorgeous blue sea and surrounded by olive groves. The 31-room hotel is elegantly decorated in shades of whites and cream tones. There is a large infinity pool surrounded by relaxing chaises and cabanas.

We had dinner in the large white dining room of the hotel where we were served an appetizer course of fried dough like balls and bread with fresh tomatoes like a bruschetta. For the pasta course they served gnocchi potatoes with a red sauce. The entrée was what they called a chicken stew but was not what we might call a stew. The small pieces of chicken and cut up potatoes were in a small amount of clear broth like we might call a soup. It was all very bland and not particularly exciting. For dessert they served a tiramisu. We ate with the three Australian gals and another Australian couple.

May 10, 2018 Naples-Bari-Polignani a Mare


Naples Arcade

Bari Shopping Street

Polignani a Mare

Polignani A Mare Street

With one million people, Naples is the third largest Italian city after Rome and Milan. It is located on the west coast of southern Italy. Its historic city center is the largest in Europe, covering 4,200 acres and is a UNESCO World Heritage Center. The city has many important museums and is home to some 448 historic churches.

We took a city tour on the bus to see some of the highlights around the city of Naples before a local guide gave us a very brief tour of a few places near the port. We them had an hour or so to explore on our own before meeting up at a local pizzeria to try the Neapolitan pizza. They say that Naples has the best pizza due to the quality of the water in the area. The pizza was a simple bread dough with a small amount of sauce, some cheese and a basil leaf for decoration. It was simple but good.

After the pizza and drinks we stopped in to the shop next door to sample four flavors of the local Limoncello. They were sampling the traditional lemon style, as well as a crème/lemon flavor, an anise flavor and a cantaloupe flavor Meloncello.

We then headed east towards the heel of the boot on the Adriatic Sea to the town of Bari. Bari is located on the east coast of Italy on the Adriatic Sea and is home to about 350,000 inhabitants while the surrounding metropolitan area is home to 1.3 million people. The city is a university city and has a port as well. The distance from Naples is about 200 miles and the landscape changes dramatically. Near Naples there are many hills and mountains around the city while in the Bari area the land is mostly flat and filled with agriculture. They claim to have more than sixty-million olive trees in the area and we saw many vineyards, citrus trees, vegetables and walnut trees growing.

Our hotel for one night was the Grande Albergo delle Nazioni Hotel located along the waterfront near the port. It was a very modern hotel with very unusual furnishings. The walls in our room were upholstered in a powder blue tone on tone print fabric, the headboard was blue and white in a modern shape, the chairs were powder blue with a crème colored lacquered table and the accent in the room was an orange cabinet that hung on the wall and housed the mini-bar. The bathroom was very modern with a powder blue vanity top, irregular shaped mirror and a molded plastic shower pan like I’ve never seen before.

We took a short walk into the newer part of town to get an overview of the city before heading out again for dinner.

In the evening we visited the quaint town and fishing village of Polignano a Mare. The village is the birthplace of a local famous singer by the name of Domenico Modugno who sang the song Volare. The narrow streets are filled with shops and cafes, one of which we stopped at to try the local fish cuisine. Much of the fish in the area is eaten raw similar to sushi. Mark had a shrimp sandwich that was on a delicious roll with cheese, potato chips, lettuce and who knows what else. Kent enjoyed the mixed fried fish plate with shrimp and calamari. Unfortunately, they fried the shrimp whole so it was a bit of work to shell the shrimp before eating them.

There is a large statue of Domenico Modugno along the shore where people stop to take photos with him. There is an older walled portion of the city that is pedestrian only with meandering narrow cobblestoned streets. The narrow streets are filled with tiny shops about the size of a living room that are beautifully decorated and their merchandise is spilling out the door onto the streets. Many people were wandering the streets stopping at restaurants, bars and gelato shops for something to eat. We stopped at a gelato shop that Kent thought had the best chocolate and Nutella gelato he had ever tried.

May 9, 2018 Pompeii and Sorrento

Pompeii Street

Pompeii Amphitheater

Amalfi Coast

Positano Coast

Positano Roadside Market


On this day, we visited the ancient Roman town of Pompeii which was mostly destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in the year 79. It is believed that the town was founded around the 7th century BC and at the time of the destruction had about 11,000 inhabitants. The volcanic eruption occurred so quickly that some residents were unable to evacuate and the town was perfectly preserved under ash and lava. It is estimated that about 2,000 perished.

At the time of the destruction the town had already developed a complex water system, an amphitheater, a gymnasium and a port. The town had been lost for about 1,500 years until it was initially rediscovered in 1599 and more broadly rediscovered in 1748 by a Spanish engineer named Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre. Archaeologists were allowed an extraordinary insight into the life of a city during that time. Today many of the uncovered artifacts have been moved to a national museum in Naples but visitors are able to walk the streets of this ancient town and see many of the structures that existed at that time. We walked past wealthy homes, the public baths, the town square, the main marketplace, the amphitheater, the red-light district and some of the commercial streets of the day.

The site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site today and is one of Italy’s most popular attractions with 2.5 million tourists annually.

After our visit to Pompeii we had a couple of hours to rest before heading south along the Amalfi Coast to the town of Positano. The twisting curving streets along the coast drop dramatically to the sea below. The views are beautiful with colorful homes dotted along the coast and lush landscapes cover the hillsides.

The town of Positano has a population of about 10,000 residents and meanders up and down steep hillsides above the coast. The narrow streets are filled with one shop after the next selling all types of clothing, jewelry, ceramics, art, pastries, food and more. Footpaths meander the hillsides between the streets and the beach and are filled with shops as well. Some of the shops and restaurants are very expensive but there are reasonably priced places to eat and shop as well. We had a couple of hours to wander the hillside shops and restaurants and it was an enjoyable time.

We saw a couple in Positano who had stood behind us in the customs line at the Rome airport. They were in Italy for a wedding. We didn’t learn their names, but we recognized each other. Small world!

May 8, 2018 Sorrento Coast-Capri

Capri Hillside

Capri Park

Capri Cliff with Walkway

We took an excursion to the Isle of Capri in Italy’s Bay of Naples on the west coast of Italy on this day. The island is famous for its rugged landscapes, high-end hotels, designer fashions and the liquor called Limoncello. The Jetfoil ride from Sorrento to the island takes only about 30+ minutes. Once on the island we took a funicular to the top of the island where we visited the village of Capri for a guided walking tour of the local sights.

Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperative this day and it rained most of the time we were on the island of Capri. Even in the rain it was obvious that Capri was a beautiful island with steep jagged hillsides of rock and lush green beauty. The village atop the island has many meandering pathways lined with a mix of private homes, shops, restaurants and hotels. The shop windows were exquisitely displayed with clothing, jewelry, perfumes and luxury gift items. There were window boxes, flower pots and flower beds everywhere filled with colorful flowers all neatly maintained. Due to the narrow lanes around the island most of the merchandise, food, shops goods and hotel guest luggage is transported on very small carts only about thirty inches wide and maybe 48 to 60 inches in length.

Capri is also where the name Capri pants were derived by fashion designer Sonja de Lennart in 1948 and rose to popularity in the late 1950’s and 1960’s. Grace Kelly was among one of the first celebrities to wear the Capri pants on the Isle of Capri.
We returned to our hotel in Sorrento by about 3:00pm for a rest before heading out to dinner at a local farm at 5:30pm. The family farm grows their own vegetables, lemons for cooking and limoncello, cows for milk used in mozzarella and ricotta cheese, chicken for eggs and cooking, sheep, and more. We were given a short tour of the farm in light rain.

Inside a large dining room, we were served a delicious dinner prepared with all items from the farm. The starter plate had fresh tomatoes, grilled zucchini, eggplant and peppers, mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese and some greens, stuffed zucchini blossoms with cheese and ham. The next course was a pasta plate with a tube pasta with red sauce and a artichoke pasta strips with a white cream sauce. Next came a platter of French fried potatoes, a platter of grilled meats of chicken, sausage and beef steak. For dessert we had a cheese filled cake and the family’s limoncello.