Throughout my travels I’ve visited ruins, cathedrals and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I’ve been humbled by volcanoes and euphoric from trying indigenous cuisine. However, there are times where I’m underwhelmed. Times when the expectations are so high that the reality has no way of measuring up.
Unfortunately, this happened during my trip into the city of Sorrento.
Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamt of visiting Sorrento. (Not really.) I loved this magical place so much, I even insisted that the song for my first piano recital be “Torna a Surriento.” (It was insisted on me by my piano teacher, as I wanted to play “La Guantanamera.”)
A decade later, (two decades) I finally saved enough money (it was a free trip) to travel to Italy. It was no coincidence (yes, actually it was) that Naples was among the regions I would be visiting and, therefore, would finally make it to magical Sorrento (I really wanted to go to the island of Capri instead.).
Upon arriving in Naples, we hired (the men negotiated) a (cab) driver and had him whisk us away to the place I longed to visit (again, because Capri was not an option). We drove along the coast, where I snapped photographs of the scenery. (I took inappropriate pictures using the side-view mirror.) Hardly containing my excitement upon entering the city gates, I exclaimed, “This is it!” (I think I sighed, “Is this it?”)
Overcome with emotion (Limoncello), I got out of the car and kissed the ground (I fell) like the Pope does on the tarmac. The first site I requested to visit was the church of St. Francis Cloisters (the bathroom at St. Francis Cloisters). It is a tradition of mine to visit the holy sites of ever city I visit. (Seriously?) Which is why I dress in a black dress with a matching mantilla. (Is mantilla a fancy word for flip flops?)
Only, before entering, I genuflected (ashed out my cigarette) before the statue of St. Antonio, patron saint of Sorrento, but by the time I got back on my feet and looked up I wished I had never paid respect to this horrible man. As a matter of fact, I wished I had never stepped foot in a town that allowed such a mean person be their patron saint.
When I looked up at Antonio, I noticed he was stomping on a dolphin with his gross monk sandals. What did a poor, defenseless dolphin ever do to him? I mean, was Sorrento overrun by marine mammals? The “horror.” Was he really just stomping them out with his feet? Like roaches? Or, worse, was he responsible for casting tuna nets to get rid of them?
Regardless, he must have been a total dick. (Total dick.)