Sorrento Italy about 1892

SORRENTO, ITALY — On the southern shore of the enchanting and incomparable Bay of Naples lies the village of Sorrento. To reach it from Naples one rides along a winding road cut in the brow of cliffs 200 or 300 feet in height, which constitute a glorious frame for that lovely mirror which holds reflected in itself visions of surpassing beauty! These wave-washed bluffs are covered with villas, convents, groves and gardens which become especially numerous and attractive on and about the wooded point projecting from the shore and called Sorrento. It is no exaggeration to say that in spring and autumn this is a perfect paradise of beauty; for it is surrounded with orange and lemon groves gleaming with shining leaves and fruit of gold. As one inhales here the soft air laden with the breath of blossoms and hears the choirs of nightingales which chant here through the spring, he realizes that his youthful dreams have been fulfilled, and that at last ITALY seems all that he fondly fancied it in childhood! The hotels of Sorrento line the cliff which overhangs the sea, and behind them are luxuriant gardens and orange groves. The population of the place is quite prosperous, being chiefly engaged in straw-plaiting, lace-making or olive wood carving, in which they are proficient. It was in Sorrento that the poet Tasso was born, in a house now used as a hotel, from which the view over the Bay towards Naples and the islands of Capri and Ischia is indescribably beautiful. (from John L. Stoddard, Glimpses of the world; a portfolio of photographs of the marvelous works of God and man – 1892)

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