Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Amalfi Coast

The weekend adventures continue! I just got back from the Amalfi Coast, where I visited Sorrento, the island of Capri, Positano, Pompeii, and Mount Vesuvius. During our stay at the “Spicy” Hotel in Sorrento, we took day trips to Capri, Positano, and Pompeii. The first day, we took a ferry to Capri. During a breathtaking boat ride around the island, where we saw the rugged cliffs of Capri, we stopped at the Blue Grotto, Green Grotto, and White Grotto. The most amazing was the Blue Grotto. We got into little boats and went into a little cave opening, which opened up to an enchanting cave, 80 meters deep, with glowing turquoise waters. While circling the cave, the Italian men rowing the boats began to sing, their voices echoing throughout the cave.

All the boats had to fit in that tiny cave opening! All the passengers had to lay down to get through.

After the boat ride, we went to have lunch overlooking the water, where I had the best spaghetti of my life. The Amalfi region is known both for their lemon and tomato production. After lying out on the beach for the afternoon, we went back to do a lemoncello tasting before returning to our hotel on the mainland.

Capri is beyond gorgeous. Look at that clear blue ocean!

The next day was primarily a beach day. We drove to Positano and were blessed with perfect beach weather. The ocean was warm enough to swim, and the water was clear blue. At lunchtime, we got a local specialty, mozzarella wrapped in lemon leaves. It was a heavy meal, basically consisting of solid cheese, but it was delicious!

Positano Beach. I would love to live in one of the houses on the cliff here.

There is a little shop in Positano where we got custom made sandals. The shopkeeper custom sizes each shoe, and you can choose any style and color that you want, and then pick up the finished product at the end of the day. 

This talented man custom made my sandals!

After two days spent relaxing on the beach, we headed to Pompeii. It was amazing to see such an expansive town, preserved for over a thousand years. Even the brilliant reds and yellows of the ancient frescoes remained much as they had been almost 2000 years ago. We spend a good deal of time in what was once the red light district of Pompeii, where there were self-explanatory pictures explaining the different services offered.

Our lovely Pompeii tour guide
Ancient pedestrian crosswalk
Even the illiterate can hire a prostitute.
All you have to do is point to a picture!

City center of Pompeii

After the tour, we all enjoyed beer and pizza...the classy way. We even had forks and knives! 

A little different than Domino's and Blue Moon

Next, we headed up to climb the still-active Mount Vesuvius. Once at the top, we could look down into the crater and see parts steam coming from rocks inside the volcano.

Note the steam. This one's still active.
Climbed to the top! 

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