Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Weekend down south: the sites

Last weekend Luke and I left the blistering heat of Rome, and instead went to the blistering heat of Positano, Pompei, and Napoli. The train from Rome to Naples was a smoldering 100 degrees for the majority of the trip. The train from Naples to Sorrento was a million times better and gave us our first views of the water, Vesuvius, and the beauty of the Amalfi Coast. From Sorrento we hopped a bus to Sant'Agata where we stayed in a room we found on Airbnb.

Sant'Agata is a tiny town up in the hills with no tourists. It was crazy! There are tourists everywhere (especially Americans) and to be surrounded by actual Italians... it was shocking.

The next morning we headed to Positano for a day on the beach. The drive over was the most breathtaking and horrifying bus ride I have EVER been on. Amalfi drive winds along the top of cliffs overlooking the azur blue water and every other turn I thought the bus was going to fall over the edge. Luke, however, loved it.

Positano was like nothing I had ever seen before. It's one of the most vertical cities in the world, and the bus drops you off at the top and you have to make your way down to the ocean. There was one main road that wound all the way down, but we picked our way there taking stairs that looked like they were about to lead into someones house! There was basically no signage, but we were heading down, so it had to be right. Somehow, after about 20 minutes, we were spit out onto the main shopping area just above the beach. We made our way through thin archways that were overflowing with clothing for sale, stalls fitting handmade leather sandals to your feet, and hundreds of lemons and bottles of limoncello. Eventually the world opened up and there was the beach! Unfortunately a rock beach. But we did some swimming, a hell of a lot of people watching, and got some sun. After a few hours we wandered around a little more, then headed back to Sant'Agatha.

Can you spot Luca in this picture?

The next day we went to Pompei. Again, it was blisteringly hot and sunny and kind of awful. Pompei actually has a good amount of shady places to sit though! I was blown away by the amount of ruins that have been excavated and the fact that so many are still underground. There were frescoes on the walls, baths, bodies covered in ash, a gorgeous piccollo temple, and lots and lots of rocks. 

And we ended our trip with a few hours in Napoli. I took no pictures, because we somehow only saw rundown closed shops and restaurants, garbage strewn across the streets, and a market made up almost solely of stolen goods. The whole time I felt like there must be something good in Napoli, but I didn't see it =-(

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