Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sorrento: The grape festival

       


  The festival of Grapes is a cultural event that takes place in the early fall just a thirty-minute shuttle ride from Piazza Laro in Sorrento. A completely outdoor festival complete with wine tasting,
Italian festival foods and of course, live music make it a season staple for locals as well as tourists.

           
Two new stories from Santa Anna Sorrento Lingue 
by Shannon Devaney

Grape Festival in Sorrento



           The light display which I realized seems to be used at all local festivals lit the way from the drop off point up the path to the festival entrance. It was there that long tables filled with candy, cheese, meat and other festival goodies were laid out for sale. A small table distributed samples of red wine from a plastic jug, and a small group of young Italian children stomped on piles of grapes that would later be used for making white wine, giggling the whole time.

            Food was also available. Up above the hustle and bustle of the festival grounds a catering staff prepared one of two Panini’s for festival goers who bought a meal ticket for 4 euros. Sandwich options included either a pork or sausage sandwich with sauteed broccoli on top all on a think Italian roll. Though the line was long, it was well worth it for the warm sandwich on such a chilly October night.

            Neapolitan folk music was the highlight of the night for most guests. The excitement from the band emanated through the audience as they played. The upbeat songs and interactive band members who went into the audience brought a personal lively twist to the show. 

           Fall is certainly overtaking Sorrento and everyone in town is loving it. Free festivals, delicious food, great music, what else could you ask for? Fall in Sorrento truly is wonderful!

I’ve been told more than once that late summer/early autumn in Sorrento is the height of tourist season. The small side streets as well as the main street are constantly cluttered with tourists and the occasional local. When spending the day shopping in Sorrento there was one very important thing I realized. No one knows exactly where he or she is going or exactly what he or she or she is looking for. Everyone is content to wander the small side streets looking at scarves, oils, toys, fruits and vegetables and so on, spending their morning/afternoon going into tiny shops, try free samples of food and drink, and really living in the southern Italian culture.

Shops are filled with souvenirs such as paintings, wine, ceramics, clothing, Italian leather bags and other accessories. Most shops are packed with these items and therefore can keep you busy all afternoon going from one to the next. Prices also vary depending on where you buy things and how much of something you buy. 

My personal favorite thing that is sold in many small shops on the small side streets of Sorrento are the oils. Olive oil, balsamic oil, lemon or citrus oil, garlic oil, the list goes on and on. 

One small shop I found on my shopping adventure yesterday was soaps and candles. Lemon scented ones seemed to be the most popular while there were other citrus scents available. These candles and soaps would be the perfect take home gift. They are solid (no need to worry about the liquid constrictions when flying back home, they are light so they won’t weigh down your suitcase very much, and they are small, so they won’t take up much space in your bag. 

All of these are positive aspects of bringing home candles, soaps or other body care products sold and made in Sorrento that can truly embody the essence of being here and experiencing the lively atmosphere of life in Sorrento.

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