So in my last blog, I talked all about our time in Rome! Rome was really great but I think it’s also kind of touristy. I was there in the off season and I honestly cannot imagine how crowded and busy some of those places are in the summer time!!
After Rome, we took a mini break from exploring the country and just kind of explored Naples for a few days. I didn’t take too many photos as I didn’t bring my camera when walking around in the city because I didn’t know where we might end up and parts of the city aren’t that great. We decided to go to Sorrento, which is just a ferry ride away! Let me preface this by saying.. I LOVE FERRIES! Don’t ask me why, Zack doesn’t get it.. my family doesn’t get it but I have always love them. There is just something awesome to me about a boat that you DRIVE YOUR CAR ONTO and then get to ride with! I was born in Seattle and I have spent a lot of time there and it was pretty much a requirement any time we went, that I get to ride at LEAST one ferry.
Well the ferry was just a walk on one (which doesn’t make it less cool), and took about 45 minutes. There was also a freaking castle right across the street from the Port. It was cool to get to see Naples and Mt. Vesuvius from the water and then arrive on the Amalfi Coast. It was a little foggy when we got there as it was still pretty early so I couldn’t get great photos of the coastline but if you haven’t ever seen it, google “Amalfi Coast” and it’s SO gorgeous. It almost reminds me a little bit of how they always show Santorini in the movies.. all the beautiful buildings on the side of the cliff/coast. However, the architecture to me looked more Spanish than Greek.
When you step off the ferry I was a little overwhelmed with how beautiful it was. Then, I was overwhelmed by the cliff we would now be climbing, to reach the city. Now when I lived in Phoenix I used to hike, ALL the time. However, 3 years in flat Virginia Beach has left those legs far behind and I wasn’t looking forward to the climb. We made it though and were greeted by a beautiful, CLEAN city. Zack and I decided that Sorrento, was the Beverly Hills of Southern Italy. We ate our only English breakfast in Italy at this cute restaurant overlooking the coast. Italians love their pastries and espresso, and while I didn’t mind eating Cornettos/Brioche (kind of like a slightly sweet, less buttery croissant.. SO yummy), it was nice to have a breakfast with orange juice, and eggs, and prosciutto. There were orange trees everywhere and I could tell that the juice had just been squeezed. Then, we walked around the city and the shops just taking in the lovely atmosphere.
photo of me taken by my lovely husband 🙂
After wandering around for a bit, we found our way to the train station and we were on our way to Pompeii! I am a little bit of a nerd sometimes and I love learning and school, so going to see these ancient ruins was going to be fun. The day was also kind of ominous, it was threatening to rain and so it was dark and cloudy and made me feel like.. this is how it was when the city was decimated! But let me say.. Pompeii.. is AWESOME. It’s so amazing how old some of the ruins are and how great the condition is despite, you know.. being ravished by boiling hot lava almost 2000 years ago.
One of the first things that made me really say WOW was the room where all the relics that have been found on digs, etc were. All these jugs, pots and tools are in there. But also among the shelves are people. Mummified bodies of people caught and frozen in lava. Some were in crouched positions, it was amazing, and it made us wonder how many people they have found in that state. As we looked at them, Zack reminded me again that Vesuvius is still an active volcano, and that it’s well past it’s estimated eruption date. So fingers crossed that he will no longer be in Italy when she does decide to go!
The size of Pompeii was also amazing, I knew that it was a city, however you don’t really realize the scope until you are there and start walking around. What’s also cool about it is you can go in many of the ruins, touch the stone, etc. Zack and I didn’t get a map as we thought it was fun to kind of guess what each thing could have been. There were a fair amount of people there however we managed to wander down a long street that no one else seemed to be on. There was a big arch at the end, which was gated off so we couldn’t go inside but we wanted to see inside it. It was so weird to us that after 10 minutes of walking down this road no one was following us, and there was no one in the direction we were going. It was almost like we were in an area we weren’t supposed to be. We definitely weren’t though, I think most of the people just had not ventured as far to that side as we had. Unfortunately, there was nothing past the archway.. but it was still cool to experience part of the city exclusively.
After a few hours (you could spend all day there, however we really thought it was going to rain). We headed out, grabbed some lunch and took the train back to Naples. As soon as we reached the Navy base, it did start raining so we gave ourselves a high five that we timed the trip perfectly.
The next night was New Years Eve, and we had been told by other guys who have done this deployment that it’s amazing in Naples. We just needed to go to the roof of the building and there would be an amazing 360 degree show. They were so right. There is no way to describe it, and it just seemed to go on forever. I don’t think ANY of it was put on by the city either.. just Neapolitan people setting off fireworks. I think we stayed on the roof until about 12:45 and it was still happening and we could hear fireworks until about 2am. I took a very short video to my phone and all the videos I have seen online don’t do the show justice because it’s so awesome but this is closest probably to the show I had. I did not take this video, I just found it on youtube.
It was an amazing way to finish off my Italian journey. I’m so glad I got to experience Italy with the love of my life. Next time we go I think we will try to experience the Northern half of the country. Florence, Venice, Verona, Milan.. you are on my radar now. I have always loved travelling but I think now that I have been to Europe once, I HAVE to go back!!
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