Ferragosto – 15th August - Italian Bank Holiday and day of madness, the sun-seekers hurtling down to the beaches in their cars, like lemmings jumping off cliffs.
However not all of us are on holiday (in fact an awful lot of people work here on Ferragosto), so I thought I would combine the useful and the enjoyable, (l’utile e il dilettevole), as they say here, by walking part of the way to the office rather than battling the traffic.
I left the car in Massa Lubrense and set off along the narrow road from behind the Post Office direction Sorrento. It took me an hour, and in all that time I met just 2 cars and a couple of mopeds. No one on foot. There was quite a bit more steep uphill than I remembered, but it didn’t matter since I was mainly in the shade, walking between the high tuff stone walls. It was very peaceful, not too hot, and although for the most part of this route the views are not spectacular, it was most enjoyable.
Not too many flowers around now, since the recent heat has quickly dried everything out, but the bougainvillea resist, lending a splash of colour here and there. Lemon groves alternated with olive groves and as the lane dropped steeply down, the view opened up before me: Vesuvius, Marina Grande, Sorrento perched on its cliff stretching into the distance, the ridge of Faito providing the backdrop with Monte Comune and Monte Vico Alvano with its iron cross to the right.
Hours later, I returned to Massa Lubrense following the same route, a cool breeze accompanying me all the way. I got back to my car refreshed, almost as if I too had been on holiday today.