Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Santa Fortunata Sorrento Italia

Dear Art Lover,

     I left Florence, Italy, with a large wide, but narrow box containing nine paintings (three on wood panels), surrounded by clothes and black squid-ink spaghetti for my family.  My backpack had all of my electronic gadgets that I needed for work in the US and a big pad of paper with two boxes of pastels.  That was my idea of traveling light for my flight.  In addition, I had an extra bag with food and random things that I anticipated using up during my last couple of days in Italia for a while.  After a train ride to Napoli (Naples) and catching the Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento, I knew that I was not having a good time.

     A man running a luggage storage facility at the station in Sorrento saved me.  I delighted when he told me that there was indeed a Mailboxes, Etc. nearby.  He charged me only five euro to store my box of art at the station overnight.  Feeling much lighter, I walked around in the rain to buy bus tickets to go to the campground, Santa Fortunata.  This second image is right outside of the station just before a 30-minute thunder and lightning storm passed over us.

     The SantaFortunata is a campground that also has cabins supplied with linens.  Mine was in a lovely location up a dirt path with a good view of the distant volcano Vesuvius.  I was thrilled with myself for leaving that awkward and heavy box behind!  A nearby restaurant provided a light dinner for takeout as I settled in for some computer work, creating images and files for art shipping.  Soon, I was deep asleep in this lovely haven.

     The next morning the birds were singing.  I took the bus back into downtown Sorrento carrying an empty backpack.  The guys at Mailboxes Etc. went with me to pick up my art box and allowed me to remove most of the stuff that surrounded the art.  They had to repackage it all anyway and also verify that I was shipping what I claimed to be shipping.  They copied my new digital files for the Customs paperwork that allows art to leave Italia.  Everything went well.  I then met a man named Giovanni de Liso selling luggage who also created nice Italian scenic paintings.  We had a wonderful chat after I purchased a small suitcase and he gave me advice on good local places to eat. 

     Around town are several bronze sculptures by Arnaldo Pomodoro.  He is quite famous with a bronze sphere with similar geometric shapes emerging from it as one of the sculptures at the Vatican Museum.  They are all well cared for and the patina seems new to me.  This is impressive, especially for a coastal town.   
     In the afternoon I headed back to Santa Fortunata and brought my computer down to the beach at the bottom of their cliffs.  It was so relaxing to make “my office” at the edge of the sea.  It was so good to swim again and then work beside the music of the waves.

    It was the pattern during my visit for an evening storm to roll-in.  It was so exciting to be there with the wind whipping around and the rain hitting my metal roof.  The morning after was clear and gorgeous.  I would recommend this place as a great home base for visiting the areas around Vesuvius, such as Pompei (Pompeii in English) and Ercolano (Herculaneum in English).

Tanti auguri di buon compleanno, carissima Susanna! 


~ Kelly Borsheim, sculptor, painter, writer, teacher