Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pompeii, Sorrento & Capri

"You will learn more about Italy being here to see, to breathe, to touch, than you will learn in an entire semester."-Mario (our Capri tour guide)
The day began early with a 6:30 AM wake up call and we started our drive towards Sorrento.

We learned that the mafia is still very much active in the Southern part of Italy.

Along the way, we stopped at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Pompeii.
We had the place practically to ourselves and it was lovely.
Paved streets, bakeries, restaurants, brothels, the House of Faun.
We learned a little about the city's history and the eruption that ultimately lead to its demise.
It was absolutely heartbreaking to see the plaster casts of victims who were buried alive in ash.

We enjoyed lunch across the street then set off on a scenic coastal drive.
We checked in to our hotel and had a beautiful view of the mountains and a church from our window.
The weather was so perfect and warm.

SorrentoWe had some free time to explore Sorrento.
It is a cute little city with lots of alleys and lit streets.
It's famous for the production of limoncello, a sweet digestif made from lemon rinds, alcohol, water and sugar.
Limoncello shops were everywhere.

We had a pizza night and were served by a kind waiter named Francesco.
We dined on bruschetta, buffalo mozarella, 3 different pizzas and lots of wine.Following pizza night, we explored Piazza Tasso a bit.
Along the walk to the bus, I got to know Beth, Dani & Meghan, 3 girls from Australia who (along with "Boobie" and Marika) ended up becoming some of my very closest friends on this trip (from here on out I will refer to them as "the girls").
After the bus ride, we walked to a little bar in town where we drank beers and played pool (I won!).
We also got to hang out with locals who taught us some Italian words and phrases.

The night ended with Barry, Brett, Mandi and me sitting on the roof outside our window talking and admiring the view.

CapriThe next morning we walked what felt like a million stairs (I was sore for the following 3 days) to get to the port and take the boat to the island of Capri.
The weather was very foggy.

We got a tour of Anacapri and Capri from a very knowledgeable local named Mario.In the afternoon, the girls and I explored the local shops and enjoyed salad, a huge pizza (each!) and drinks for only 12 Euro.

Capri was beautiful, but it would have been a more enjoyable day if the weather were nicer.
I'd like to go back sometime in the spring or summer to experience the island and the famous Blue Grotto.

After more stairs (ouch!) we were back in Sorrento.
We enjoyed an apperitif and appetizers before a risotto, salad and egg omelette dinner at the hotel.

The night ended early after some time at the local bar with beers and a few games of pool.

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