Sorrento – A Spritz in the Marina Grande

In Sorrento, the main marina is a nice spot away from the hustle and bustle at the top of the cliffs.

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To get there, walk down the winding and ancient Via Marina Grande, and it’s continuation Via del Mare.

It’s very atmospheric, especially at night, and by day you can watch the fishermen at work…

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…while their guard dogs watch their nets.

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There are a few restaurants down here that seem cheaper than the ones at the top of the hill.

Trattoria da Emilia (Intermediate C+), 62 Via Marina Grande (front entrance on Via del Mare, on the harbourside), www.daemilia.it

This place is mentioned in a couple of guides, which is understandable as it’s a nice spot on a terrace raised above the waves. It’s friendly, cheap and very popular, but I was a little disappointed by their food.

In 2008 I had Cozze al Limone (C), Gnocchi alla Sorrentina (C) and Pesce de Golfo (B), a tasty and very large plate of local, small fried fish and squid, which I surreptitiously shared with a friendly local cat. To finish, Fantasie de Limone; a lemon custard covered bun with cream (B).

This was helped down with an incredibly cheap (€5) litre of a local red (Vino de Angelis) which was decidedly average (C). Although everything was perfectly edible, I couldn’t help comparing Da Emilia unfavourably with Il Leone Rosso where for the same money (€35) the food was much better. It’s all about the location really.

Didn’t think I would go again but I did in 2015 and had a similar experience. The Antipasti di Mare was pretty good (B+) and the house white was drinkable (C+). However I couldn’t quite get my head round the fact that, in a restaurant in its spiritual home, you couldn’t get a chilled limoncello (B). Service was okay.

On a more positive note the same people own a bar just to the left of Da Emilia (as you’re facing inland) where in 2015 my friend Luke and I had the best Campari spritzes I’d ever tasted (and I’ve had a few), which underlined that the likability of this drink depends so much on the quality of the prosecco used.

Having a table out on the quayside with a view of the gulf definitely added to this perfect moment.

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