Three weeks from my departure from Italy back to the States. I am not going to lie, I am really excited to be home. After Josh came to visit it made me a little homesick. Today I am going to write about when Katie and Megan came to visit. It is a perfect day to catch up on the blog... it is a holiday in Italy today, International workers day. It is similar to labor day back in the States. So I am sitting in a Gelateria called Amorino, sipping on cappuccino and eating a crepe. Let me take you back to March 17-19th and my shared adventure to Capri, the Amalfi Coast, and Pompeii.
Katie and Megan arrived Thursday afternoon. It was an emotional moment for me to see them get off the bus. Tears were rolling down my face. I really missed my people and it was nice to see familiar faces. I planned out Thursday evening to give them a perfect taste of Florence in one night since we were leaving early the next morning for Naples. After we dropped their bags off at my apartment we headed to La Rinascente which is a department store on Piazza della Repubblica that has a secret terrace at the top with a great view of the Duomo and amazing drinks. After that we got dinner at Osteria Santo Spirito. I had been wanting to go to that restaurant for a while because I had heard really good things about it. At that point in my stay here in Florence I hadn't been going out to eat for meals much to save my money, plus I knew once my friends came to visit I would have people to go with. It was even warm enough for us to eat outside. It was the perfect first dinner for my visitors! At night we found an Irish pub called Friends Pub and made friends with a British man and played foosball since we needed another player to make the teams even. We even learned how to talk with a British accent, well Megan did, I am no good.
The next morning we hopped on a train to Naples! Once in Naples we took the metro to the ferry. From what we saw of Naples we weren't very impressed. It didn't help that people warned us before hand to watch your stuff closely because Naples can be dangerous, especially for tourists. We waited for the ferry for about an hour. No matter how hard you plan you can't time everything out perfect. So during our hour wait we sat out in the sun and enjoyed some Italian pastries, espresso, and cappuccinos. Our ferry ride was about an hour to the Island of Capri. The weather on that Friday could not have been better. It was a perfect day for island adventures. As we were walking off the boat onto the dock we caught word that the last boat to the Blue Grotto was leaving so we jumped on that opportunity. I left my suitcase back at the dock. The guy swore it would be safe because as he said "everyone is rich here on Capri, they aren't going to steal your junk". Naturally, I trusted him, maybe I shouldn't have but my suitcase was still there when I got back. The boat took us around the "corner" of the island to men waiting in small paddle boats to take us into the Blue Grotto. So we hopped off the big boat to a much smaller boat and we squeezed through a small cave opening while laying down in the bottom of the boat to fit through the hole. Inside the Blue Grotto everything was dark except the water underneath us glowed a vibrant blue color. It was incredible, and definitely a must see if you ever make it to Capri. My pictures do not do it justice so you should google it to better understand my amazement. Back on the island we walked around what we could since we didn't have much time till our ferry left for Amalfi. We had two amazing drinks at a place that was known for their Limoncello and then we took off for our next adventure. Our ferry took us to Sorrento were we hopped on a bus to Amalfi. I still do not know how this bus fit on the small narrow roads along the cliffs of the coastline but we made it in one piece, a little car sick, to Amalfi. We looked for forever to find our hotel and couldn't find it. We were about to lose hope when a random man on the street was like "Emma?". I said yes? and how do you know me??? He said you are staying at my hotel! He recognized me from my picture through my email. So we made it safely to our hotel, the Amalfi Luxury house which was very pleasant and had the most amazing view from the rooftop. That night we had an amazing dinner at Da Gemmas. It was super fancy and was our favorite meal in Amalfi, we even were able to eat out on the terrace with heated lamps... it was quite the place.
Here are my images from Capri:
(After the pictures I will talk about what we did in Amalfi & Pompeii!)
Amalfi was beautiful. Most images of the Amalfi Coast are taken in Positano of the beautiful colorful houses on the cliff edges and the beach below it. When I booked our hotel I didn't know this. There are many cities that make up the Amalfi Coast, I thought the city Amalfi was in whole the the Amalfi Coast. So unfortunately we weren't able to make a stop in Positano. We were able see it when we drove through to get to and from where we stayed. It just gives us a reason to come back some day ;). Saturday morning we took a taxi to Pompeii. we had the nicest taxi driver who thought himself like a dad to us. He was so kind and helpful explaining things to us as we were driving through. We saw Mt. Vesuvius, the dormant volcano that destroyed Pompeii in 79 AD. This was the first Volcano I have seen in my life so it was a pretty neat experience for me.
Pompeii was pretty incredible, the city was lost for about 1500 years until it was rediscovered in 1599 and then again in 1748 when more was uncovered. It is one of the most popular tourist sites in Italy with about 2.5 million visitors a year. We were a part of that. It is incredibly sad what happened to the people living there. The extreme heat instantly killed them, it distorted their bodies to look like they were reaching out in fear but it was actually the extreme heat that caused their bodies to react the way they did. The city was preserved so well by the ash that the artifacts gave amazing insight into the life of the city before the eruption. We walked the preserved streets and even explored temple ruins and houses from 79 AD. It was quite incredible.
On our way back we stopped in Ravello to see one of the Villas, Villa Rufolo and its beautiful cliffside gardens. It was the perfect place for posed pictures. Then it was back to the hotel and time for dinner. After dinner we were exhausted and planned for an early bedtime.
Enjoy my pictures!