Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sorrento, Positano, and Pompeii

 When the alarm went off at 6 a.m. I wasn't sure I was ready for this adventure, but by the time Stefano our driver picked us up, I was fueled with 2 cups of coffee and a slice of cold leftover pizza.  Not an auspicious start, but we hopped into the gorgeous black Mercedes and were on the Autostrada in no time at all heading south.  Our day would consist of going to Positano, having a bit of a walk about, then lunch, then heading back up North to Pompeii for a 3 hour tour (have I heard that somewhere before?)  This photo is Sorrento, the first of the towns on the Amalfi coastal drive.  It was cold, windy and rainy when I took this photo, I think Stefano just wanted us out of the car so he could smoke! 
Back in the car, we watched in horror as buses and cars tried to navigate this narrow, twisty coastal road.  One car actually destroyed one of its wheels as it was trying to navigate its way around a bus.  This is why you don't drive this yourself---hire a driver. 

I saw this church from the car, and had to have a photo

If you haven't guessed, Positano is famous for its Limoncello made with Sorrento lemons

And Ceramics

Positano is a tiny town, stuck into the rocks above the beach. We walked through some shops and then stopped at Max's Restaurant for lunch.  I had the scampi with homemade tagliolini and Dr. C. elected to go the rigatoni with ragu and meatballs route.  Back in the car with Stefano, and careening back around the curves of the road back to Naples, we got to Pompeii at about 2:30 and didn't leave till 5:30---quite a place, and a story. 
So much of what is here was frozen in time, when the volcano exploded, it was discovered in the 1700's and wasn't excavated until the late 1800's.  The ash and mud was over 20 meters (think over 20 yards) deep---my question is where do you ever start to unearth all of this?  I can't imagine it.  As of this day, 1/3 of Pompeii remains untouched.  Here at the Academy we've met some archaeologists who are working out here in conjunction with their universities and discovering new things almost everyday.  Pompeii is the third most visited site in all of Italy.

The modern sculptures were designed by a famous Italian artist who never saw them placed in Pompeii.

The amphitheater

Our guide Loretta

Being a soprano, she decided to show us the acoustics of the amphitheater

This is the corridor leading out of the amphitheater, the original graffiti is still there carved into the rock

This would be where small shops were

The original McDonalds, a fast food place where the food was kept warm in terracotta pots

Terra Cotta pot

This was probably a senator's house

The Dining Room

The Forum

The Baths

A look down the street; the three blocks were to signify that there would not be any chariots allowed on this street

I have tons of other photos of this amazing place, but this will give you an idea of what there is here.  Most of the artifacts are in the national museum in Naples.  Dr. C. and I always try to get a private (2 to 6 people) tour and today we had Loretta all to ourselves and she was awesome.  We reserved the tour through this company, and it was a great day.  Grazie Stefano and Loretta.  Ciao for now. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing. I so excited to experience Italy through you vicariously.