You never notice how relevant internet is in your life until you don’t have it. Traveling and living in a foreign country can often make for a disconnect to the online community. While disconnecting is great, having WIFI abroad can be important for communicating with your friends & family, getting your work done, and saving your data so you don’t get charged a ridiculous amount of money from AT&T or Verizon.
Here is an insight into the internet culture in Sorrento and a guide of places all of which have free WIFI :
When you’re walking to or from class on Via Luigi de Maio:
The French aesthetic makes this modern chic café the perfect place to stop for breakfast or lunch on class days. Puro serves great coffee and even better toast sandwiches with an option for gelato. If you want a good and cool “Italian coffee, sunglasses” Instagram post, definitely go with Puro. “We love Puro” and so do I.
When you want a home cooked family meal:
If you’re not staying in a home-stay this is a great place to be fed like you are. By now you’ve probably had De’Franco’s pizza (not on the list, but very well-known in town). Two doors down is a family run restaurant that serves some of the best cuisines in town. Go for the specials when ordering food. Call your parents after you eat. The owners encourage being connected with your family.
When you’re in between Sorrento and Sant’Agnello:
Open all day, Banana Split is a place to be and often. The owner, Luigi, and his family truly take care of their customers. This is also where to go if you miss your pet. The family dog, Split, is an old, lazy, overweight golden labrador retriever who walks around the bar in a security guard vest and rides home with his mom on a vespa. Befriend this family, they’re great people.
When you want to have a long gourmet lunch close to Sant’Anna:
Inn Buffalito isn’t the obvious first choice for lunch, but it should be. Their menu is unique and special. The above picture is of an avocado salad in a parmesian encrusted bowl. Insert heart eye emoji. Every meal is perfectly crafted and the aesthetic looks very hip barn-yard with classic mellow Italian music. Inn Buffalito is a little on the pricey side, but worth every penny if you want a good meal.
If you want to “get your tan on” while simultaneously doing work:
Leonelli’s Beach Club.
While it’s nice to lay on the public beaches for free, some days it’s worth a couple of euros to lounge privately at one of Sorrento’s beach clubs. Sant’Anna students get a discount at Leonelli’s. 6 euro for a chair on the beach with an umbrella and 8 euro for a sun bed on the boardwalk out on the rocks above the water (which is actually where I am writing this post.) The staff is very friendly and the views of Sorrento’s cliffs and the Sorrento coast waters remind you that life is great.
While these opportunities are all wonderful, WIFI culture isn’t the same in southern Italy as it is in our home countries. People aren’t consistently on their phones, snapchatting or posting a picture of every meal. Italians enjoy simplicity and seizing the moment as is with nothing to document their lives except memory and pure joy. These hotspots are great, not because they have wifi, but for the people you meet when you’re hanging out in them.
Remember, you’re in Italy.
Get off your phone and simply be in life’s moment.