Four days in Italy and I am happy. It’s not a bit of wonder that Italy was the location for the getting fat portion of Eat Pray Love- there was so much nomming going on. And in fact for the first time in several years I physically wasn’t able to finish a plate of food! Partly because the entire annual production of ricotta cheese was inside that calzone pizza, but still- koodos to Italia.
When we were looking to go on holiday, we checked out the destinations that our nearest airport flies to and picked our favourite. We flew into Naples but swiftly headed out of there- imagine what would happen if some people decided to make really nice architecture look dirty and unkempt; throw in graffiti, litter and a splash of ugly 1970s buildings and you’ve got a fair idea of the city.
We were however interested in a specific attraction of the area: Vesuvius. Before you get any ridiculous ideas, I was not looking to go on holiday and climb a mountain- rather I was excited about getting to see Pompeii and Herculaneum. They were both really impressive sights, and I was surprised at how different they both were: Pompeii is a vast city, with impressive monuments and buildings but sadly much of it has been destroyed. Walking around the city though gives you a fantastic sense of immersion and idea of life in Roman times. Herculaneum on the other hand, is a small town with less impressive buildings but due to different geological factors is much better preserved, and boasts intact mosaics and frescos that Pompeii either lost to the volcano or the museum.
My favourite part of Pompeii may have been getting to see the house of Lucius Caecilius Icundus, a banker in the first century who was used as inspiration for a textbook we used in school. Unfortunately, it was fenced off for some reason and you weren’t allowed to get in and explore. Millbag and I weren’t too happy with this, and may or may not have climbed over something that may or may not have been a gate. It may or may not have been fricking awesome to be in horto.
We stayed in Sorrento, as I mentioned in my previous post. It’s in a part of the world famous for lemons, in particular these massive oedematous fruits that looked more like film props than actual food. Growing so many, they naturally have to make them into alcohol, which is where the tasty limoncello comes in.
Our hotel was class- we were staying in the top floor with a balcony overlooking the street below, and our room and shower both had this weird (awesome) ‘chromotherapy’ ceiling lighting. The place was fantastic value, and right in the middle of Sorrento, next to the picturesque alleyways and gelateri. Meaning that ice cream for breakfast needn’t just be a dream (pistachio & dulce de leche, in case you were wondering).
On one of the days we had initially planned to go to the island of Capri, and pick up some shorts. But the boat trip was a bit more expensive than we thought it might be, and instead hopped on a bus along the Amalfi Coast. Here’s a photo I took-
It was beautiful. We were a little unlucky in that we were occasionally darting indoors to avoid rain showers, but as the day went on it cleared up. Aaaand if you have to go inside a place serving gelato it’s not exactly the worst possible thing. Positano and Amalfi both had the small sloped streets and alleyways that your mind associates with Italy, and they were both lovely to walk around. The bus ride back at night offered an equally impressive sight, with the cliffs illuminated by all the little houses perched on their edges.
All in all, the whole trip was bellisimo. And much craic was had with my friends, so it’s a bit sad to be back in the UK now and knowing that I’ve gotta go do some work… Va fa Napoli.