A hotel in Sorrento – and a Room with a View

June 5, 2009 at 12:26 pm (Italian journey, Italy, Travel)

For our stay on the Amalfi Coast, our group was put up at the rather extravagantly named Grand Hotel Cesare Augusto in Sorrento. While somewhat less than actually grand, it was certainly more than adequate:




My single room was cozy and inviting. This  was fortunate, as I caught a nasty cold on the second of the six nights we were to be at the hotel, and thus I ended up spending more time in my room than I had planned. Still, I managed not to miss much, and since I love wandering through hotels, I was content.

The “Cesare” boasted two outstanding features: a rooftop swimming pool and a lovely back garden. Next to the pool was an outdoor eating area, where one could obtain light fare. Toward the end of our journey I spent some time there, writing and recuperating and working on my notes. For the most part, I was alone. This kind of time does not figure in when a tour schedule is put together.  Jean and Connie were spending the day in Positano and I would gladly have gone with them had I felt well enough. As it was, though, the time I spent writing, relaxing,  and reflecting at the Cesare’s Roof Snack Bar was a welcome restorative.

I also sat a while at a table on the terrace behind the hotel. There were flowers everywhere, in the most intense colors. This garden must take a great deal of tending. We’d been in Italy slightly over a week and it hadn’t rained once, although it had rained plenty just before our arrival. Thus sun poured over us, in such a kindly way, with the accompaniment of gentle breezes. ( I’m remembering these moments especially wistfully right now: for days it has done nothing but rain here in the Baltimore-Washington area.)

Here is what my room looked like: cesare4. Beyond the windows on the left was a little balcony: balcony. It afforded a pleasant view of the fruit trees under cultivation across the street, and the mountains beyond: view1

view2 By this time, I was starting to feel like a character in a Merchant-Ivory film. Italy being the land of glorious music, I kept hearing in my mind “O Mio Babbino Caro,” from Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi.  This is the aria that famously serves as the accompaniment to the opening credits of  A Room with a View. Here, it is sung by the incomparable Kiri te Kanawa:


  1. Mibsy said,

    This hotel room and terrace look absolutely idyllic, and remind me of many rooms I stayed in in my traveling days. Believe it or not, I have never seen the movie, A Room With a View, and today I stopped by two local libraries to check it out, and both library copies were already checked out by someone else…but this video clip has certainly inspired me to see it as soon as I can get ahold of it!

    • Roberta Rood said,

      You will be glad you persevered once you have seen Room with a View, Mibsy!

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