Now, this was an ambitious plan! Reaching Sorrento directly from Bangalore without any stopover at Rome, considering I was with one of the two little brats, and 2 suitcases plus 2 handbags.
I had started late night from Bangalore and was traveling via Mumbai. By the time I reached Rome next day, it was 2.30 pm already. Took the Leonardo express from Rome airport to Roma Termini (Rome’s central train station for all connections) from where I had to take another train to Naples at around 5.53 pm.
From Naples, at around 7 pm I had the third train to Sorrento (Circumvesuviana train between Naples and Sorrento) to finally reach my destination – Sorrento, in southern Italy.
Naples or Napoli, the birthplace of Pizza, is also known for pickpockets, notorious gangs, and crimes. With this impressive reputation, even though I had gone through bouts of imagination playing the Naples station scene on my mind many times, I still decided to play it in real.
Till Napoli Central Station, things looked normal as 21st century Italy. However, the station for Circumvesuviana train took me to pre-renaissance period. The Circumvesuviana train departs from the lower level of the Naples’ Piazza Garibaldi train station. No lift, no escalators, old style platform, narrow-gauge rail link and weird youngsters around trending in all sorts of clothes.
It was late evening and didn’t seem very safe to be part of that crowd. However soon figured out that an Italian woman (who was scolding her son some 10 ft away from us) was also going to Sorrento. We simply decided to tag her.
And then, came a Sinhalese woman and we started talking. English is a problem for many in Italy including Srilankans staying there but she somehow tried her best to give us information considering India is Srilanka’s neighbor.
I had hardly absorbed, and a train entered the platform. The Italian lady, her son & the family boarded the train and before I could do anything, my son just jumped onboard the train (he thinks that he knows and can manage most things in this world, except for eating by himself, keeping things in place, getting up on time for school……).
I was still at the platform. The Sinhalese woman proclaimed ‘ This is not Sorrento train!’. Instincts took over and before me and my son could get lost in different directions, I screamed at my son to come down and listen.
Supposedly, there are more than 3 train routes from Naples to Sorrento – via Sarno, via Poggiomarino, and directly to Sorrento. This train was going to Poggiomarino!
Had no more energy left for changing trains, so we waited for the direct train to Sorrento with the Sinhalese woman who apparently was going in the same direction. Sorrento is where I was meeting my sister, brother in law and the other little brat kid – their son. I had called them on from UK to holiday with us for 3 days around Amalfi.
Throughout the laid-back train ride on Sorrento line, we kept checking all station names just to be sure. It was already dark and every station left the train all the more deserted with just a few souls inside including me, my son and the lady from Srilanaka.
After an hour finally came Sorrento and relief! My sister, brother in law and the little brat were there to pick us up. By 9 pm, we reached our apartment in Massa Lubrense, en route to Amalfi.
Next three days were mind-blowing in every way thanks to the 2 little brats. From jumping on beds, to screaming, to fighting for the same things, to wailing in public, the little ones left no opportunity to make the old and aged go bananas. However, in between managing children, we did achieve the following
Visited the ruins of Pompeii
Drove around the Amalfi coast
Went to the fabled island of Capri and its lovely blue waters.
Spent an evening under the sky by the seaside, making barbecue chicken with wine in hands and Hindi songs in the background to stir the soul.
And happily treated ourselves with amazing pizzas and varieties of pasta over lunch
P.S- For details on places mentioned above and how best to utilize your time while around there, please read – Places to see around Sorrento
After finishing off Capri by boat, we parted ways. I left for Rome with my son and my sister left for Birmingham with her family. I feel in today’s world with little time we can give to our growing kids, it makes so much more sense to holiday together atleast once a year….just to see the brats come alive in each other’s company even if it is dreadful to manage them!