S: Two Goughs and a Seager in Sorrento April 2012
FC: Two Goughs and a | Sorrento | April 2012 | Seager | in
1: ITALY | Italy is calling. We pack our bags (only slightly bulging) and set off for 10 days in Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast, followed by 4 days in Rome. Our plan is to see as much as possible, eat as much as possible, drink as much as possible, and shop as much as possible. We might also swipe some ancient marble from Pompeii, take inappropriate pictures with some statues, rappel into Vesuvius, teach some local girls about the Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, steal some hand towels from a former insane asylum, see a bunch of dead people, and eat Popaea's rosemary. Oh, and drink in public.
2: It was a long flight, yet somehow we kept smiling. probably because of Toots' grand exit from the plane. It was a slightly unorganized transfer to our hotel via two mini buses but the pit stop at the service station threw us head first into Italian dining - bread, oil and vinegar. Once in Sorrento, none of the travel hassles mattered. With a hotel on a cobbled side street and a bottle of wine, we were living La Dolce Vita.
3: When the sun finally broke through we found a park for a wine break.
4: NAPLES | Not our favourite city, however the National Archeology Museum was outstanding. What made it so remarkable was the ability to touch most of the exhibits. Of course we pushed the boundaries a teeny tiny bit. After the museum we visited the Duomo (and the fake Duomo), then took a subterranean tour of the aqueducts. The tour concluded by taking us to an ancient amphitheater, buried in the basement of a few houses! Only in Italy.
5: After a long day in Naples we hop on the train to head back to our home in Sorrento. But wait, why is Vesuvius on the right side? Shouldn't it be on the left? Uh Oh. We're on the wrong train! Not a problem for two Goughs and a Seager! Check the map, hop off at the next station and do a quick train transfer. Ok, so it wasn't quick at all, but at least we made it home! Time for wine.
6: HERCULANEUM & OPLONTIS Back on the Circumvesuviana train to visit two of the towns preserved by the 79 A.D. eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. It's culture week in the area so attractions are free and many helpful guides are available to answer our questions. Lucky for us we managed to avoid getting kicked out for our inappropriate behaviour: demonstrating the function of the ancient bars, eating Poppaea's herbs, claiming that Flanders Fields is in fact in Herculaneum, and general pillaging.
8: climbing | VESUVIUS | It took us a little longer to get to the summit due to a bus strike half way up the volcano. While we waited for the strike to end, we watched the clouds roll in. Between the fog and the avalanche of bambinos, rappelling into the crater sure was tricky.
9: POMPEII The largest archaeological site from the 79 A.D. eruption. It's a fitting place to spend the afternoon after climbing Vesuvius. Time to dry out with some wine and do a little pillaging!
11: THE AMALFI DRIVE The Amalfi Drive is the conventional name of a stretch of road which runs along the Amalfi Coast between Sorrento and Amalfi. We travel this road by bus on the days spent visiting the nearby towns. It is a taxing ride though. With all of the twisting and turning through the cliffs, most of the bus suffered from motion sickness. | AMALFI COAST
12: AMALFI | the amalfi coast | 19 APR 2012 | Getting to Amalfi is an adventure. Our snarly bus driver's insistence that the bus was NOT going to Amalfi has us worried we are heading to Naples. The afternoon is overcast, but thankfully it only rains while on the bus. We visit another church (which is closed) and have a late lunch - apparently the cutlet is not very good - before another bus trip back to Sorrento. A slight delay with our bus breaking down, but a backup is quickly provided. Got to love Italy.
13: CASERTA Back to Naples to catch a train to Reggia di Caserta. The Italian lesson for the day is that "Cancello" does not mean canceled. Do not assume there is another transportation strike when you see this word on the schedule boards. It's just an Italian town. | Note: Fish do not eat oatmeal
14: RAVELLO Finally a sunny day! The very long Amalfi Drive is spectacular, nearly making up for the motion sickness. The road was originally built by the Romans, and the greater part of its route is carved out of the side of the coastal cliffs. The Villa Rufolo is our first stop after a transfer in Amalfi. Such a beautiful spot. Everywhere we turned there was something stunning to look at. Even lunch in the town square offered magnificent views. Lots of pigeons mind you, but amazing views.
17: CAPRI During our hydrofoil ride to Capri we summon the Native Canadian spirits and beg for another beautiful day. There's no rain, but the clouds stick around. The morning is COLD so a cup of coffee is needed before we tackle some shopping. Scarves with the "Capri Clasp" and linen are everywhere! We attempt to get into the Blue Grotto, but choppy water forces us to have a picnic instead. Too bad, but that just means we'll have to come back!
18: Out last day in Sorrento. After ten days of pasta dinners, football games at the local pub (Go Barcelona), shopping for tea towels and wine stoppers, visits to our jewelery boy for bangles and baubles, wine and bread on the balcony, visits to the Pope's Square...the English Arms pub never did open up! We did manage to get inside the lemon grove though. Apparently it's a common place for the locals to walk their rabbits. Later on we encounter an English speaking cat and the world's oldest arch. | SORRENTO
21: ROME A slightly awkward trip to Rome with all of our luggage, but the Abitart hotel makes up for any inconvenience. Now, lets see as much as possible!
23: rome & vatican city | This city is amazing. So much to see and do, and we try to see and do it all. Our first full day in Rome is a public holiday, so a few things are closed or extremely busy. We manage to still have a busy day of site seeing...and scarf buying. The church of a billion bones (decoratively displayed) was a nice touch. The next day we try Vatican again (too long of a line) and explore ancient Rome - Forum and Colosseum. A quick visit to the Pantheon and Piazza Navona before our surprise haunted tour of Rome. Too bad we didn't check the subway schedules though. Early closures result in a wild tour across Rome by bus. On day three we finally visit St. Peter's and take a last look at our favourite spots with a guided tour.
24: Arrivederci Italy... until next time....