Date: Monday, August 4, 1958
Place: Rome – Sorrento
Weather: Hot (As usual)
Woke up this morning with a bigger ear-ache than yesterday so after breakfast, John, Judy S. , and I took a taxi (24 cents) to the C.I.T. office where the man in charge called a dentist. When we got there he spoke no English, but he looked at my tooth and it wasn’t that. I had visions of having it yanked out then and there. He gave us the name of a doctor around the corner, but he was busy and told us to come back at noon in very broken English!
After this charming episode and one wasted morning we trooped on to the American Express, passing a neat American restaurant featuring hamburgers! The place was full of Americans busy getting money and checks, and I waited about half an hour before getting my two-hundred dollar checks changed into 10’s and 20’s. While I was waiting for Judy S., whose money came at last, I was talking to this real cute boy from Minnesota. Then we went to the American Medical Society (finding it after pointing out the address to 50 million Italians) and the Dr. there was from Brooklyn. He looked at my ear – it was inflamed, my tooth, and my blister. Said he would give me a complete over-hauling – a shot of penicillin and a prescription for some drops. (The Dr bill came to 4000 lire – $6.40). Then Judy H. and I rushed back to that restaurant and had the best lunch ($1.32) – two hamburgers, two glasses of ice-tea, and lettuce and tomato salad.
Back just in time for the three hour train ride to Sorrento. Hyde played nurse with the drops that Dick and Sue went into town to buy ($3.04)!
Sorrento sits atop a line of limestone sea cliffs overlooking the Bay of Naples. The town has been called the Land of Mermaids or Land of the Sirens, referring to the mythical creatures with alluring voices that drew sailors to their deaths. It is said that Homer’s Odyssey was referencing Sorrento when he described the sirens’ lair.
Sorrento is perhaps better known as the birthplace of Limoncello, a liqueur and digestive made from lemon rinds, sugar, water, and alcohol. Traditionally, the Femminello St. Teresa lemon is used for producing the liqueur because its zest is high in lemon oil. While the exact origin of the Limoncello recipe is unknown, some believe that it originated in a convent or monastery.