Sorrento - Aminta Love Story
For those of you that know me can attest to the fact that I'm a hopeless romantic. Tell me a love story and most likely you'll find me looking at you doe-eyed with sparkles in my eyes. This is exactly what I experienced when I arrived at the Grand Hotel Aminta in Sorrento. Our first evening we sipped on wine amongst the hotel's olive groves, watched as the sun set over the Bay of Naples and listened to the love story of Aminta. The hotel is an establishment, not only with a 56 year history, but a namesake also inspired by one of the greatest 16th century poets, Torquato Tasso. Aminta being a shepherd boy and his tale of love. Not coincidentally the Grand Hotel Aminta is also home to Dafne Restaurant, Dafne being a character in the play, making it a perfect pairing to the hotel and in true Italian fashion keeping the romantic tale and the legacy of the late poet alive. My heart was already fluttering from being in Italy for the first time but knowing the story behind the hotel's name sent it soaring.
After a short ride through the curvy roads and past the flurry of silvery green olive leaves we were welcomed by the Grand Hotel Aminta. I imagine it being there for the past 56 years with visitors looking up at it in awe upon their arrival. Our home for the next few days was a corner balcony room with views of the Sorrento coastline and Mount Vesuvius looking back at us. The views were all around us whether we soaked in the tub decorated with blue and white tile walls (beginning my obsession with Italian tiles), luxuriated in bed after a sun soaked day or enjoyed the sunrise/sunset from our private balcony.
Lucky us, when we weren't eating pizza or ham and mozzarella sandwiches (story about this later) in town we were dining at Dafne and enjoying THE #1 restaurant in Sorrento and one of the top 10 restaurant views in the world. As mentioned before the property has its own olive trees so prior to every meal we enjoyed bread and their house olive oil. This was most definetly the best olive oil I had during my time in Italy and ever since watching "Under the Tuscan Sun" had always wanted to run olive oil along my lips! To Do List: Have an "Under the Tuscan Sun" moment - CHECK!
Another thing you won't want to miss in Sorrento are the lemons, you certainly won't be able to miss seeing lemons the size of your head and trying the liquor, Limoncello, that Sorrento is famous for. Although it wasn't on the menu, I requested a Limoncello martini and ended up drinking that nightly. I requested they add it to the menu and call it the "Alina Martini" or... "Alincello" has a nice ring to it also! ;)
If you haven't had enough Limoncello you can also try the desert they are famous for. I don't remember the name of it but you can't miss it...literally. Do yourself a favor and just order it - even if apples or deserts aren't your jam. You won't want to miss the visual spectacle of apples being flambéed with limoncello and the sugary goodness topping the cake similar to what a Mount Vesuvius eruption must look like. As a photographer I love when my dining experiences can stun me visually as well.
If you're considering a stay in Sorrento to start your Amalfi Coast journey send me a message for more information. I truly believe that the Grand Hotel Aminta Sorrento provides everything you would want in your Sorrento experience - views, locally produced fine dining (did I mention olives and lemons?!?!) and most importantly a multi-generational family owned establishment with top notch customer service!
Excerpt from Aminta play, translated to English:
"...you neither think nor know how one's breast the fire of love can burn, if it's a breast of flesh and not of stone, as yours is made; because if you had known you would have loved a man who loved you more than he did love the pupils of his eyes, more than the soul, which animates his life. That I believe for I have seen and know."
SLEEP / Grand Hotel Aminta Sorrento
EAT / Dafne Restaurant
Up Next: Beach time! Put your SPF on now!