My crap holiday in Italy



linedividerGroping for a reason to love Sorrento

Sorrento, Italy … ‘the public beach was disgusting and an extortionate fee was payable for anything else’.

The school holidays had begun and my 16-year-old daughter was bored. Her elder sister was working, and her father had moved out. Mustering a brightness I did not feel, I said: ‘Let’s go away.’ That afternoon we were in the travel agency, considering two last-minute cheapies departing the following day. ‘Ooh, Sorrento is very nice,’ the assistant breathed rapturously. ‘It will be ideal.’

It wasn’t. I’d never been to Italy before, and she failed to warn me about two crucial things: the beaches and Italian men. On our first day, we set off to the sea but the public beach was disgusting and an extortionate fee was payable for anything else. We decided to explore the main drag, but were each groped black and blue. At one point, as I bent to catch what a wrinkled, toothless old man was saying, I realised that he was offering me sex.

Later, as we investigated the delightful alleys leading down to the Bay of Naples, we were pursued by a Casanova who offered to show us both the sights – and the contents of his trousers. And that evening, as we strolled into town, we were surrounded by a gang of youths on Lambrettas, urging us to have sex with them. ‘I’m 34, and this is my daughter,’ I protested. ‘It not matter. We have you both!’ they assured me.

We took refuge in the nearest bar, where we met two likely lads from Birkenhead. Their heavy gold chains, tattoos and vests were slightly off-putting, but they were friendly and made us laugh. After a couple of hours, it seemed safe to leave. Halfway back to our hotel the baying scooter mob surrounded us again. ‘Hey, lady,’ they wheedled. ‘We come to your room for fuck!’ Under my breath I muttered to my daughter: ‘Take off your shoes, and when I say go, run like hell.’ We made it back intact – just.

Next day we ran into our drinking partners of the previous night and told them the sorry tale. They promised to look after us, and so we spent the rest of the week under the protection of a pair of Liverpudlian drug-dealers.

On the last day we bought a music box. Only later did I realise that the charming traditional tune it played translated as ‘Return to Sorrento’. As Miss Doolittle might have said, ‘Not bloody likely’.

Alison Howard on the Guardian travel section 2007


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About Carl William Brown

I'm Carl William Brown a holistic teacher, a webmaster, a trader, and a writer of aphorisms and essays. I have written more than 9,000 original quotations and at present I'm also working at my only novel, Fort Attack, which is also a wide and open blog project. At the moment I'm teaching English in a secondary school, but up to now I have done a lot of other things as well, both in business, educational, sport and social fields. Some years ago, in 1997 following the examples of the Rotary or the Lyons Clubs I founded the Daimon Club Organization to promote every sort of activities, creativity, art, literature, new technologies, informatics, business and marketing, public health and education and to meet new friends with these kind of interests.
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