Napoli, it just wasn't meant to be. I didn't spend much time there so I can't give an informative guide to the city. In fact, everyone I spoke with before my trip emphasized that Naples was not a destination. Even other Italians seemed to think of it as gateway to beauty but not beauty itself, much like the girl you date because her best friend's hot...um, not that I've ever done that.
I spent about 10 minutes in Napoli Centrale aka Garibaldi (more on that later, ie when in doubt get off at Garibaldi). It's like Peachtree in Atlanta. Instead of "take Peachtree Rd to Peachtree Ave, hang a right...", it's "take the Garibaldi Line to Garibaldi Piazza, hang a destra on Viale Garibaldi." I wouldn't rest in the next town until I found the statue of Garibaldi looking vaguely like Genghis Kahn atop an equally intimidating equine that made me crave a Budweiser. Not just any Budweiser but one that had been rolling around in the trunk of my '78 Chevy Nova for a semester of high school and I discovered under the spare tire after Christmas Eve church services. Truly an "American abroad" craving.
Going to Sorrento after Roma is kinda like going from San Francisco to, say, Orlando. The people are more or less the same nationality but there's a noticeable difference. Backwards would be the wrong word because that would imply there was a forwards in two former dynasties that can't help but to keep sliding backwards. The locals in the South are little less accepting of outsiders though they'll still take their tourista dollars and comically over-inflate their fashions. In Italy it's called the "Guido" effect. Here in America I think it's called the "baggy jeans" or "see-my-thong" effect.
I encountered this maddening force of nature in the bar where I checked into the hostel with a guido wearing lightly tinted shades and an open collared shirt, sporting a menagerie of "jewelry", eerily reminding me of my middle school bus driver. A Madonna-blonde, gap-toothed freshmen (not that she needed to go to college) appeared from behind the bar proudly baring cleavage and my room key. The room was a tight fit and I may have lost consciousness as she squeezed by me to exit. There were bunkbeds and a sliver of space for personal belongings. I won't go into the size of the bathroom but if a roommate entered the picture, let's just say, things were going to get personal.
The town of Sorrento is built on the side of a cliff as you can see in the first pic looking from the porto back towards town. There's a precarious stairway up the side that I must've walked up and down a half dozen times in my two nights there...wearing flip-flops, of course. I booked a ferry to Capri, about a half hour trip, and walked a scenic 800km straight up to the old town where the beers are 10 euro but the views take your mind off the bill.
There's a little shop up there nestled between the likes of Hermes and Rolex that comes highly recommended by fashionista Judith Lujack called Antica Sartoria. I don't know that I would've made it this far south without her unadulterated expectations (thanks, Jude!) to get certain girl(s) I know an item here.
Backpacking Traveler Tip: Scarves and wraps make lightweight, decorative and memorable gifts. Chicks dig em! And they are easy to carry.
The descent back down the hill included artful depictions of St. Francis of Assisi and serious garden envy expressed in pix that didn't make the cut. Capri also featured a small beach providing the pristine waters for a primordial float to await the afternoon ferry.
The return ferry trip to Sorrento:
The next morning a rainbow greeted me as I boarded the train for Pompeii...what's that rumbling?!?