Saturday, October 12

A walk to the Bagni Della Regina Giovanna

We dropped Skye off at school bright and early the other morning and decided to go for a walk down to the Roman ruins near Massa Lubrense (Sorrento). We parked the car at Capo di Sorrento and started walking down an old Roman road with walled gardens each side of it.
Every now and then there was a gateway offering a glimpse of what lay inside..long driveways, overgrown gardens and jasmine climbing up the walls. I would have loved to go in and see more.
A short walk later and we caught a glimpse of the Bagni Della Regina Giovanna, the baths of Queen Joan. This Hungarian queen of Naples was reputed to behave quite scandalously and would come here to bathe naked with here young lovers!
A natural lagoon with clear waters and a tiny shingle beach facing a small opening into the sea, it's a popular bathing spot in the summer, but today at 9 am on an October morning it was totally deserted.
Walking around the top of the lagoon we noticed this little pathway and decided to follow it.
The pathway led to this long boardwalk that stretched away into the distance and round a corner.
It was a little bit slippery and a little bit creaky, but it didn't wobble.
We stopped to watch a fisherman being stalked by a seagull..
And when we reached the end of the boardwalk we found a big rocky area and two men dismantling a summer beach bar. So we turned round and headed back again.
In the 1st century a grand seaside villa was built here, with amazing views overlooking Sorrento, Vesuvius and Naples. Nowadays this is one of Sorrentos most important archeological sites.
You can wander around as much as you like, there are no restrictions. We like to walk across the grassy top and then sit and speculate on the people that lived there all those years ago.
Did they sit there on that terrible night in 79AD and watch Vesuvius erupt into the sky?
We shook ourselves out of our reverie and followed the steep pathway down to the inside of the lagoon. The tiny beach looked so inviting, I just had to stand there for a while.
The steps down are old and tilted, branch grabbing is mandatory to keep your balance. Once at the bottom I stand on the tiny shingled beach as the small waves lap at my shoes and smile as I think of Queen Joan frolicking with her young lovers in the emerald waters.

3 comments:

  1. Beautiful!

    I am wondering how difficult it would be to get there from Amalfi or even Positano using public transportation?

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  2. What a beautiful walk and story...thanks so much for taking us along! xxoo

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  3. We are spending 4 nights in sorrento in October--thank you for posting!

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