Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day 6: Naples, Pompeii, Amalfi Coast

We arrived at our first port of call, Naples, Italy, early Tuesday morning. My parents, Todd and I got off the ship and met our private tour guide for the day. It was great using an outside company for the day instead of the tour provided by Royal Caribbean because we didn't have to ride a charter bus and had more say in what we wanted to do.

We started the morning in Pompeii, a partly buried Roman city near Naples. Pompeii was destroyed and buried by Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD and was discovered in 1599. They are still excavating and uncovering parts of the city today which is incredible to think about. In history class growing up, I never realized how big Pompeii actually was. We spent 2 hours walking around and barely scratched the surface. It's amazing to think that the ruins we were looking at were about 2000 years old. In the United States, if we went to a historical site, we'd think it was really old if it was 300 years old, but in ancient cities in Europe, historical sites are thousands of years old.

View of Mt. Vesuvius from Pompeii

Ancient ruins

Family photo before it started to get really crowded with tourists
Amphitheater
The last site we saw in Pompeii was the Garden of the Fugitives. In 1961, 13 hollow spaces left from decomposed bodies were found and filled with plaster to make casts. It was amazing to see the detail from the bodies, you could even see their facial expressions.

Garden of the Fugitives

We left Pompeii and headed for a drive along the Amalfi Coast. We stopped at several towns, including Ravello and Amalfi. Despite the roads being very curvy, the drive was beautiful. I will admit though that I was glad I took motion sickness medicine beforehand!

Just starting the drive along the Amalfi Coast

Stopping for a quick picture

Shopping at the ceramic stores in Ravello

Lunch at San Giovanni between Ravello and Amalfi

Best gnocchi ever, it literally melted in my mouth

You have to have real pizza in Italy...it was the best pizza ever (notice a trend here?)

Todd & I enjoying real pizza

No meal in Italy is complete without wine & limoncello

The view from lunch

Beach in Amalfi

Todd & I

Plaza in Amalfi with lots of cafes & shops

My Mom & I at the church in Amalfi

Gelato...yum!

Fruit stand set up along the coast

Gorgeous view

Another one of Todd & I
We had a long but great day in southern Italy on Tuesday. The views along the coast were breathtaking and exactly how you imagine the Amalfi Coast to look like. Since we had such a long day, when we got back on the cruise ship, Todd & I skipped dinner in the formal dining room and grabbed a quick dinner in the cafe before calling it an early night. We knew we had a busy next couple of days in Rome & Florence.

2 comments:

marathonmaiden said...

i have just decided that i am replicating your trip. i don't know when or how or anything like that but i'm way jealous. and we haven't even seen all of it yet!

Anne said...

Looks gorgeous! I want to go on all of the trips you have been on this year!