Just a brief column this afternoon before I close up my workshop and go to Mass and dinner.   I’ve spent part of the morning and part of the afternoon working and in between I went to down to the port area of Sorrento to look into boat times to Positano.

Because there are fewer tourists and visitors this year, it turns out there are also fewer boats available to go to Ischia, Capri, Positano, Amalfi and Naples. I am happy I went because actually there are only two boats each day to Positano and two boats day back to Sorrento. I had a lovely lunch at a delightful restaurant I know at the port and then came back to my hotel to work on this week’s Vatican Insider and also on this column.

There’s a lovely public park not far from my hotel and near the church of San Francesco that overlooks the Mediterranean and all the beaches several hundred feet below – not sandy beaches as you will see in the photos. There is an elevator and it costs one euro to go down the several hundred feet from the city park to the beach area That’s what I did (as you see in a photo) prior to my going to the port for information on boats to Positano.

I have a bit I want to say about how people, that is to say staff in hotels, restaurants etc. are dealing with new restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic, in addition to things like the obligatory masks, having hand sanitizer available, sanitizing tables and chairs in restaurants, etc.

My hotel, for example, has a buffet breakfast but instead of each guest handling food and plates etc. we indicate what we want and we are served. Also, we guests keep our room keys until the day we leave because if we returned them every night to the hotel they would just have to sanitize them. Interestingly enough, in the morning in the breakfast room individual portions of cereal are in small plastic bags with ribbons tied around them so there aren’t a lot of people touching cereal boxes or bowls.

An interesting thing for me is receiving communion. I have been to two different churches, San Francesco on Tuesday and the Sorrento cathedral last night and in both cases. the priests came down the center aisle to distribute communion to the faithful who were seated at both ends of each pew. There was also a lay minister helping with the Eucharist. The priest wore masks they did not wear gloves.

Well on that note I will close this column and post some pictures and then I’m off to Mass!