Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Amalfi Coast: Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento

Remember that time I went on an amazing European vacation and forgot to recap probably my absolute favorite day of the trip? Yeah me too. That being said, it's time to talk about Naples, Italy.

This was our last stop on the cruise, but luckily not our last day of the trip since we still had time in Rome ahead of us! Now, I love Rome, but the Amalfi Coast has stolen my heart. I think a trip back to Italy just to explore the Amalfi Coast is in store!

We bought an excursion through the cruise when we docked in Naples and I think we picked the best one possible! We started the day with a short bus trip to Pompeii. Pompeii was an Italian city built originally in the seventh or sixth century BC. The Romans invaded and took over in 80 BC. In 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted and Pompeii was covered in about 15 feet of volcanic ash, pumice and other debris. The city itself was lost for roughly 1500 years before being rediscovered in 1599.

The most amazing thing about walking the streets of Pompeii was learning about the culture of these people and how civilized and quite modern they were! Now we'll let the pictures do the talking!


Outside the city gates


Courtyard upon entering the city



JP and I were notorious for wandering away from the group. What can I say, we're adventurers. As we were walking into the amphitheater, JP disappeared. Then I found him up there!






I wouldn't mind seeing a show there!




Fun Fact: The streets of Pompeii also doubled as their sewage system. As you can see, the streets slope downward allowing a natural flow of sewage out of the city. The large stone blocks seen by the gate were used to cross the street without stepping in poo! The gaps allowed the horse drawn carriages to pass through.


The smaller theater that I snuck away to get a peak at! It's empty!




This was Pompeii's equivalent to "fast food". Those circles were used for cooking and heating food to buy on the go!


Preserved pottery in one of the homes!

Now I'm going to show y'all some pictures from a wealthy family: The House of Faun.




The walls in Pompeii were all painted frecos. Red, yellow and blue were the most common and created using natural elements. Blue was the most expensive color to create, so the more blue in a home, the more money they had.


Courtyard


Bath Room


Bedroom with some artifacts...including human bones!




All along the streets were public fountains with fresh drinking water. The original pipes around the city were made of lead which is probably one of the reasons the early Roman lifespan was only about 40 years!







This is a plaster cast of a victim from the Mount Vesuvius eruption! The skull, teeth and fingernails are all completely visible. It is amazing how well preserved not only are the remains of the bodies, but the remains of the city as well!

I highly recommend touring Pompeii if you ever visit Italy and have the opportunity! After our tour, we were off to Sorrento! But not without a pit stop for amazing pictures or the Amalfi Coast!







We were dropped off in Sorrento with about 2 hours of shopping time! We ended up with some Lemoncello and lots of goods from the leather store! We also spent some time just exploring the beauty of this city. Can I move there now?








Do you see those mutant lemons and tomatoes?!




Seriously, I just want to pack up and go. I'll learn how to drive a moped and everything. I am simply in love with this town!

After Sorrento, we hopped on the bus and headed to a farm in the mountains to learn about making olive oil, lemoncello and cheese! Then we had the most amazing homemade Italian lunch that I would call the best meal of the entire trip hands down.











Mmmm...wine!


"Restaurant" at the farm!


Yes, we bought A TON of that lemoncello! 




This is Maria and she makes cheese! All the mozzarella we had at lunch was made by her! Now, I am not a cheese lover. In fact, if cheese is cold {aka not melted} I usually won't eat it. Not this though! Holy mozzarella, it was so amazing!

Lunch was lots of wine, mozzarella, tomatoes, salami, olive oil, fresh bread, pasta and lemon cake. It was simple and delicious and I want to eat it over and over again. The best part is that everything was made right there at the farm! Take me back...

So there you have it. Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento and the farm. I really do plan on returning to the Amalfi Coast. I want to explore and see more!

Have you been to Italy? If so, where?!
If you had the chance, what city in Italy would you want to visit?

Until next time...
With love and God bless,

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