We are renting an apartment on the outskirts of Sorrento in the quaint and oh so friendly town of Torca, Massa Lubrense. The thing I love most about staying in an apartment outside the typical tourist paths, is the daily adventuring of “real” life.
Yesterday we wanted to make a picnic for lunch to take to Pompeii and prepare something for dinner that required very minimal cooking supplies (like a stove). Our only goal was to make a caprese salad, tomatoes are silly amazing right now. We first hit the frutta e vedura stand to purchase said tomato, the size of my outstretched hand, and Eddie picked an apple, peach and pear for snacking. We grabbed greens for a salad and sparkling water. When I went to pay the women took one look at our apple, walked back to the box and chose a more desirable piece of fruit. No question, no conversation. No way we were leaving her business with subpar selection. “Grazie” and “ciao ciao” were exchanged three fold and our shopping continued up the street.
Pane, of course, was cut from a larger loaf and sold to us for .50 euro, mozzarella purchased from the dairy shop was JUST made, the owners hands still wet and cheese making vats visible from the sales floor. Our meal was simple but wonderful. Fresh bread and cheese, a few slices of local salami from the husband and wife’s shop who had 18×12 photos of their beautiful daughters framed on the wall. Each store presented a new experience, a view into the pride of their business.
My friend asked, does it feel like you live there or like you’re vacationing? My answer is that we are adventuring, flirting the line between local and visitor, not completely tourist.