Heaven and Sorrento

The sun shines brightly on my holiday!

The rain came in a short blast last evening …. Waking me and soothing me at the same time. I could almost hear the thirsty earth absorbing the drops.

Today the sun shining and brilliant outside, with a breeze in from and on the water. I can see the Bay of Naples out my window and am so enjoying the view.

Time to get ready to go to town … Sorrento first, then Positano to meet the hikers by 4 pm and a boat ride back to this area. Bucket list towns, this is such an awesome vacation! Ohhhhhh the dreams coming true.

Gluten free breakfast provided, fresh fruit and preserves, gluten free breads and cookies, tea, juice … How long has it been since I have dunked cookies in my tea? I must have been very young indeed but I have a memory ….. Thanks mom, for being so wonderful and filling my early life with happy moments that I can pull up any time I want!

Ciao ciao my dear ones, piacere. Beautiful! Wish you were here!


Pompeii and arrival at the Agritourismo

Only three delights?

I had made a decision to record three delights a day while on this trip with the women to south of Italy country. Today I have to say that many many more come to mind. And so, here is the list …..

I was picked up from our hotel in Naples to go to Pompeii. Some of us had to go in a car. I decided that would work best for me. A beautiful air conditioned Mercedes arrives. I am seated in the front and enjoying some Italian accented words with the driver. Piacere.

Pompeii is more than I expected. Our tour guide Niño tells story after story and then pictures had meaning. Stories are a wonderful way to share this information. The day was hot and sunny, despite the weather forecast for rain. This has been an amazing three plus weeks of sun and heat. One story of a woman covering her head and she was pregnant, so trying to protect her unborn child from perhaps the heat or ash from the volcanic explosion. So powerful …. Takes my breath away. Niño explains how the casts of the people were made. We see the actual colourful,frescos on the the walls of once, this great ancient city. Niño had asked me to walk with him, he being of small stature, and I tall and with my large brimmed white and black hat which everyone could see and follow. I was a leader of our group.

We walk a distance through the new city of Pompeii to a restaurant that is enchanting. Under the trees shading us from the hot sun … At a table set for twelve … And all items on the menu are possible gluten free. Yes … Out came the most amazing large fluffy bread rolls … Huge! And dipped in local olive oil and balsamic mixture …. Followed by an extremely tasty pasta rolled around spinach and topped with tangy rich tomato sauce. Eyes rolling back in my head … Is this really happening? Five women say “I want what she is having”. Local sparkling white wine, local sparkling rose … Sitting once again beside Francesco as he explains about the wines of the region and the foods in the area. I ask for and receive large light green round tasty olives! I feel normal eating here, not like a high maintenance person requiring special care. I feel special also and as a leader in the group, I am feeling appreciated and included.

As we pull up to the agritourismo …. My breath catches in my throat. Trees heavy with lemons, some yellow and ripe … Some still green and smaller …. This place is a magical home. We get our luggage and walk through the grove of trees …. Not a short distance, and rough with large stones on the path, not unlike the ancient streets of Pompeii from this afternoon. Again as we approach the home building I am overcome with gratitude for the beauty of this place. We rest a moment and then the rooms are assigned …. Debbie and I – who I thought had to share, are given a room far more grand in space than imaginable with separate sleeping areas, shared bathroom and the most magnificent view of the ocean. This place is spectacular. I think if I did nothing but be in this room for the week it would be enough! I cry and weep openly for a few minutes … Sheer joy and gratitude. Can this be happening to me?

The view includes the lights of the city of Naples across the bay, Mount Vesuvius, a well placed and very old tree with a long trunk and branches with greenery only on top, grove of greenery on the farm as far as I can see to the water…. The sunset marks the slowing down of the day and I stop to take a long look.

Dinner at eight pm. Several courses … This was a feast even more spectacular than the last. It started with antipasto, grilled eggplant, tiny bright red juicy marinated tomatoes to place atop hot fresh baked gluten free rolls. The gluten free people sit together at the end of the table for ease of serving and to avoid contamination of other foods. Brilliant idea! Four of us …. Olive oil made here tasting subtly of lemon drizzled on the bread. Oh my. A large serving of risotto topped with lemon zest … The aroma of fresh lemons fills the large dining room and I put my nose down to inhale the delight. Oh my …..Then a local white fish prepared in some tasty way, never experienced before … Firm and unique, warm, and satisfying…. A small portion accompanied by potato, peppers, sun dried tomatoes (my favorite dish so far) and lettuce drenched in lemon juices and olive oil …. Heaven! I have been craving vegetables and greenery, tomato and flavours from this region. My cup runneth over … The local wines …. White, red …. More more. And mozzarella cheese made from the milk from their one cow … Is unlike anything I have ever tasted before. The texture is light, smooth and made with love. I can feel it. Our server is describing with pride each course, to Francesco who is then interpreting for all of us. The moment we have been waiting for … The limoncello in a small shot glass shared with a dozen guests. The room comes alive with laughter, cheers, well wishes and then appreciation for this very special day, these people have opened their homes and hearts to our North American group … We take it all in.

Each moment more breathtaking than the last. Today I will hang around the agritourismo while others are going to Walk of the Gods. And tomorrow the island of Capri ….. The next day we have a cooking lesson and make limoncello and home made pizza! Then drive the Amalfi coast on the Friday …. Unbelievable place. Magical …. This is a travel dream come true!


Last day in Napoli

Pamela: Three brilliant and inspirational highlights to share daily ….

The best gluten free thin crust Pizza and Asperol spritz at Rosso Pomodoro
Shopping and supporting Debbie to buy her spunky leggings
Changed hotel, air conditioning, wifi. Good bye to Piña and Maxime, hello to Susi at Hotel Correra 241

Meeting the GAdventures folks at 6 pm …. But first catching up on email and Facebook and photo posting :). Want to go buy big bottle of sparkling water … Love it over here! Brightly coloured modern Hotel Correra 241 …. Our bathroom is upstairs. But spacious and fun!

Met the group of twelve. Pamellllllla, Debbie, Janie, Marianna, Aurelie, Mavis, Julie, Jane, Ron, ( from Markham Ontario) Barb and Paul (organic farmers from New York State) and Francesco our leader from Napoli and he loves and is very close to his mother. He did leave home at 17 and says this is very unusual for a boy from Napoli! He is a sommelier and also teaches yoga. Out for dinner and gluten free pasta, best olives ever, local red wine and sparkling water. Pasta was bow tie el dente and with tomato sauce on it … And terrific.

Then a walk around to another square in Naples and found gluten free cones for gelato!

Great town, great visit … Tomorrow Pompeii and to our home for the next week in Sorrento.

I may go off the grid for a few days while on tour. I really want to be mindful and get into the nature and home of this place. I will continue to write …. But I might not get to post as often … Not sure about internet.

Till then, ciao ciao my friends and family…. I love you more than you will ever know.

Italy is a place of emotional expression, with horns, with voice, with arm gestures, with food and dancing, with laughing and wine …. With love. I feel it when I am here.

I want to absorb it, make it part of me and carry it forever with me in the future. I feel this is why I am here. Not just to watch it and experience it, and AND to take it in … Let it fill me up and be part of my DNA. Always and forever Italiano.

Ti amo. Mi dispiace. Prego.




Cinque friends in Napoli

“I got you babe. ”

Five women holding hands, singing with karaoke you tube, sonny and Cher, I got you babe! How fun is that scene! And it really happened, in Naples!

We had a bottle of white wine and the girls brought back Prosecco and limoncello to share and cheers to good health and our trip tomorrow. They felt bad we made the choice to stay behind today.

Tomorrow we move hotels and join the tour with GAdventures and then to Pompeii the next day on the way to the Agritourismo outside Sorrento.

I am hoping my toe feels better by then however tonight I stubbed it again on the door. Earlier this evening we walked quite a ways to find a restaurant and then back again. The toe is turning many colours and is very tender now. Ouch.

Off to sleep and dream of healing.

Tomorrow to do some. Reading about Sorrento and move to new hotel.

Ciao ciao.


On the street where you live …

I sat outside on the small but adequate balcony, high above the streets of Naples this morning. To enjoy the sunshine and the sounds, sights and experience of the street below. These were some of my experiences.

People hanging clothes out there balcony, including full sets of sheets, small socks, under garments and all in between.

Ava Maria alter and sill in the wall across the way, just above street level, with fresco of Maria imbedded. And in front on the sill several bouquets of plastic now faded flowers that have been left in honour.

Cobblestone alley / street busy with motor bikes, cars, taxis, pedestrians, dog walkers and their four legged companions.

Individual men and women hanging out of windows above the street and below me across the way. One man reading the paper. One man comes out to smoke a few times, a woman taking a rest from her busy day.

People arriving and ringing buzzer to gain entrance to apartments across the street.

Well dressed, high heeled women, hair looking great, walking.

I notice a store across and down the street a bit and I believe it sells bread products like pretzels, biscotti etc.

Birds, mostly pigeons alighting on roof ledges and areas where no people are present. They don’t stay long. Many I can see high up on the roof top lined up and looking like they are looking back at us.

Sounds of horns beeping, car tires on the cobblestones, people talking and gesturing in strong Italian accent. Often sounding angry and excited!

Shutters and wooden window coverings over balconies where it looks like no one is home.

I think it is time to try to venture out for a bite to eat. It is almost two pm here …. I will see if I can explore some with this foot injury.

Ciao ciao

Pamella of Naples



Hotel in Naples, more than meets the eye!

Le Stanze del Vicere, a Napoli

Un’elegante residenza che si affaccia su uno spaccato della Napoli antica. Un’imponente scalone, realizzato nel ‘ 700 dall’Architetto Luigi Vanvitelli, conduce alla Residenza, che dispone di poche camere in stile moderno, alcune delle quali impreziosite da antichi affreschi.

There is a small guest book in a box on the table in the great lounge where we had breakfast and inside is beautiful places in Italy. This hotel is featured and the above is description. Elegant residence, in ancient district of Napoli. 17th century residence has been updated to modern rooms. Ceilings still have original fresco.

The staircase was designed by the same architect who designed the Trevi Fountain in Rome, or so I am told. Quite the history of this lovely old building!




The Toe Story

Allora. Andiamo

Alrighty then, let’s go!

This morning as I woke to more emails about the offer on my condo, kind of not paying attention to my surroundings, I stubbed my little toe and fell hard on the marble step. When I say stubbed, I really mean that my baby toe on my left foot was at a forty five degree angle to my foot, bent way our of wack. The pain in my knee did not last as long as the throbbing as I tried to put my foot back to the way it should be. Gently coaxing the toe over to its toe companions. And the pain …..

So that commotion caused the other gals in my room to rise and it was not that early …. So everyone came to see what the matter was. Nurse Janie checked for signs of breakage and assessed a sprain, predicting toe blackening and much swelling. She went to Maxime in search for ice pack. In Italy space is always a premium. He was gone a long while to some place in the basement of this mansion, once palace, and had to chop off pieces of ice from a block. Oh my.

Returning with small hunks of ice in a bag and Aurelie wrapped in a towel, after applying reiki treatment, we applied ice and elevated the foot. I then showered and made the decision that walking the streets of Naples in the excessive heat today was not going to be pleasant with a throbbing foot and then if I had to return I would hold everyone up.

Travelling with five, we need to be considerate of our own needs and those of our companions. It is a fine balance. And it can be challenging to all participants. One of the other gals in my room, my dear friend and sometimes guest blogger, Debbie, decides she has had a rough night and wants to stay back as well.

There are worse things, for sure. The other three gals. After changing plans and outfits several times, (I love that about being a woman!), have headed off to see the museum of archeological history. We were going to do it tomorrow and yet when we checked, realized it is closed on Sundays and we all would have missed it anyway! It is so important to a few of the gals to see this museum … So important to go today.

Lessons learned: always check the hours for any activity or attraction when making plans. Especially when it really matters.

Today will be filled with mindful moments, perhaps more gluten free pizza, and Prosecco? Limoncello? Painting? Writing? And mindful presence in this place. To really experience this palace and the energy within.

I have so many thoughts about today and need and want the time to be present and enjoy these thoughts that rise and fall away, likes the waves of the sea.

Ciao ciao my friends, and family.

Ps. My toe is elevated and the housekeeper Piña has found ice cubes in the freezer and wrapped them in a towel and placed upon my injured two. She is a wise Italian woman ….. Grazie, Grazie I say to her. Prego, preto, she said in return. Ahhhhhhh

Pamella, my Italian version of my name!

Ischia, island I love. Ti Amo

Island of Ischia

Today after breakfast in the outdoor courtyard at our fabulous B and B we decided to take a taxi and go to island if Ischia. It requires a ferry boat, or as it turned out, a hydrofoil speed boat. Taxi driver was called by Maxine, our host. Off we went. Heat of the day already settling in, very warm and muggy. Sunshine and heat.

In port today were also Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas and NCL Spirit. Lots of folks checking out the city and likely heading to Capri, Pompeii and other sights around the area. The taxi driver was named Ciro. This area seems very old and not so well kept up … Today is a national holiday in Naples so many things closed today.

We caught a free shuttle and ended up deciding to take the hydrofoil over to the island, it takes about sixty minutes apparently. I sat up top and took pictures and enjoyed the sea air. I took pictures of the sea gulls and lighthouses, and the city as it disappeared from view.

When we arrived at the island, we walked along the boardwalk, very scenic and lovely dotted with restaurants and cafes. As we walked the vendors were I tested in getting our Euros. One suggested we have lunch at his place, gluten free pasta and he could arrange with an English tour guide to take us around the island. At two or three the shops all close for the afternoon, people go to the beach. And the. After five they open up till almost midnight for shopping in the cooler time of day. After consultation we agreed.

Lunch was great, sparkling water and gluten free penne with fresh tomato sauce … Yummmm. And our three hour tour with five of us in the taxi. This main town, Ischia, just celebrated 160 years of age with a big festival. The island was once a volcano and is now a crater … All natural protection in the harbour. There are 6 municipalities and we saw them all! Total population 65,000 in winter and upward of 250,000 in beach and summer season. Peppe was our driver and he said my name is pronounced Pamella, with emphasis on end.

The island is famous for the thermal healing waters and spas … And cosmetic creams made from same. Also terra cotta ceramics, and some wine! Not hearty enough for making Prosecco, I asked. However Limoncello is big here! And growing porcini mushrooms. Many piazza areas, the squares in town. Over a hundred churches. One of the towns is for the very wealthy tourists.

Miles of beaches we saw. We got out in several locations for the view. Two mountains still on the island and we drove to the top of the largest one. About thirty five km around the island and we went out to the coast many times. Winding switchbacks. Very interesting, beautiful and fun roads, with old architecture to look at. Also grapes hanging heavy on the vines, almost ready to be harvested.

One place we saw was hosting a wedding. It was a large church on the coast and is apparently open all the time. It was designed for a place for people to cry … For the losses from the seas. Mostly tourism is the main income on the island and second, about a quarter is from fishing.

Intriguing rock formations from the molten lava formed … And many buildings also made from the greenish stone. “Rocks in love “. Two huge rocks in the sea look like they are kissing. Another Elephant rock and Eagles Beak. There is a spot where the very hot natural water goes directly in to the sea and people come from all over to swim in that spot. For wellness there are lots of spas and areas to go where the water is famed to be best in the world.

We saw a lot of Greek influence, with the white washed homes, and also other nationalities over time have left their mark.

This is a place we should all visit and perhaps return there one day to partake of the healthy waters!

For now I am ready for bed. Oh, tonight I went out for a gluten free pizza at Starita, there is also one in New York! Wonderful

Ciao ciao, buona sera!




The Palace of a Count

16 century palace, horses in the down stairs area once … So huge

At least twenty foot high ceilings. Shiny new marble floors! Spacious rooms. Balconies overlooking narrow alley type street. You could almost reach across and touch hands. The street is teeming with activity. Clothes lines …. There are buckets on e wall to be lowered to bring up groceries from street shopping? Easier than walking the plentiful old stairs! Also marble but very old. This is the most amazing place.

Iron gates at the entrance makes the place look abandoned. But inside, ah inside, it lives a vibrant life!

Today I went out on the balcony and said Bon giorno to a woman doing the same. She waved and reciprocated. Piacere!

Breakfast in the counts garden surrounded by orange trees, full grown and plentifully abundant with promise of fruit soon. Fresh made juice of carrot, orange, and lemon …. Cup of green tea. And some fresh cheese and a banana. The rest was great gluten products for the girls.

We have a plan for making decisions. Either all thumbs up, or down and if dissension, then we talk about it. Five thumbs up for island of Ischia today. Some kind of national holiday here?

Oh well,, away we go.


Ti amo! Andiamo!

Piña does cleaning and keeps the place

Naples, first impression

Arrival in Naples.

It is almost midnight. I am here!

Two of my dear travel buddies, as planned, met me at the airport and we brought a taxi to our bed and breakfast. I was a little traumatized by the driving of the cabbie. Seems red lights, stopping and speed limits are optional here! Open to interpretation …. He was listening to a football game on the radio. Janie had negotiated the cost of the taxi …. Wow! Garbage on streets, looks like they might be on strike?

We take for granted garbage removal where I come from. This is a very old part of Naples. Narrow alleys no wider than one car width and some garbage bags, grin.

Three of us arrive, each grab one of my bags and I think … Omg! This can’t be real…. I booked this? I am scared. They won’t tell me anything … I follow. Into an old old gate … Leading to more old inside … Like a huge high courtyard and I feel like I am in a well …. High sides all around …. Apartments? Old cement? Yucky, I think! I follow … We walk up flights of stone stairs. It is about 28 degrees and late in the evening … Muggy and hot. And now I am sweaty.

Then we step in. My breath catches in my throat …. Beautiful! This place is transformed on the inside. Marble shiny floors. An ancient painted ceiling … It is stunningly beautiful and huge and cool …. Two of the other gals are asleep. Jet lag will be with them a few days.

I am so very grateful for the two picking me up. I am not sure I could have done this without them. My heart could not have taken the stark contrast! I might not have gone in past the first door on my own! Lol

The rooms are spacious and clean. Mother table and eating / sitting area for all guests is breathtaking. I will post pics tomorrow.

I am greeted with bottled water and gluten free pizza left over. These are the best travel buddies EVER! I am so blessed. And grateful for my life.

Till the morning!

Love p

Offer on my condo.

What a day!

Piacere. I am so happy to be here.

Ti amo!