Pompeii and Sorrento
When we awoke on Tuesday morning, the Norwegian Epic had already docked in Naples, known in Italy as Napoli. Poor Napoli … cruise ships arrive daily into her port and bypass her for her smaller and prettier sisters, Capri, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast and for the spectacular remains of Pompeii. We were no exception. We chose and excursion called The Flavours of Sorrento and Pompeii. We had a quick breakfast then boarded bus number 19 with our guide Cinzia and headed toward Pompeii, about an hour away. Even a history-hating student like I was fascinated by the story of the thriving city of Pompeii being buried under 20 feet of volcanic dust during an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. The remains of the city are high on a hill above the parking area for the buses and required a walk up the steeply inclined stone road leading to the entrrance. Cinzia, probably noting the age of our group of cruisers, kept telling us, Piano, piano (slowly, slowly). You are on vacation. The climb, of course, was worth it … the remarkably preserved buildings, streets and artifacts give incredible insight into community that was buried under the ashes and the plaster casts of victims, including a pregnnt woman and a dog tell of the tragedy. We saw houses, bakeries, wine shops and even the remains of a brothel.
After spending the morning at Pompeii with Cinzia providing an excellent background on the artifacts, we boarded the bus again for a one hour drive along the Amalfi Coast to the beautiful seaside town of Sorrento. Sorrento is everything you would imagine in a charming and romantic town, views of the cobalt blue Medditeranean Sea, narrow streets lined with shops and cafes, historical buildings and excellent restaurants. We stopped and had pizza and
beer at one cafe during our free time and bought some lemon confections for which the area is known. After our free time we bussed to a local farm where we were shown how various cheeses and olive oils are made, then treated to a lunch of antipasto and pasta. My Inner Curmudgeon insists that it’s not really a working farm, just a tourist trap, but it was fun … and delicious either way. After lunch, we got to sample Limoncello liquour made form local lemons. We then reboarded our bus and made it back to the Epic in time for dinner in the Manhattan Room.
This, of course, brings to an end our Mediterranean cruise. Back in our stateroom, we were treated the moon setting over the Medditeranean, a beautiful sight to end our stay. Tomorrow, we’ll take a shuttle to the Hilton at the airport for our flight home on Thursday Morning. We’re hoping to make one more trip into Roma once we check in. I’ll be posting about that and our flight home as time and internet access allows.