Ashes to ashes...

Trip Start Jan 15, 2010
Trip End Nov 09, 2010

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Where I stayed

Flag of Italy  , Campania,
Monday, May 10, 2010

Is it just me, or do Italians always seem to be yelling at each other? We stayed at a Bed & Breakfast (“Breakfast” is a lose term--white toast and packages of swiss rolls and possibly “Kellogg’s” a.k.a. generic cornflakes). It was sort of weird, in that the entire family (mom, dad and three grown children) all lived in the house and rented out the other rooms. So they were always there! The day that Jeff went to go see Pompeii on his own (I was having travel melt-down), I stayed in my room and heard them yelling at each other all day--or at least that is what it sounded like! It seems that even the smallest discussion- like where are the keys?--turns into a heated, passionate discussion in Italian. They also put all five fingertips together and wave them around, just like you saw in Moonstruck or Godfather. And they even say “Mama Mia” J All in all, very entertaining.

Sant’Agnello is a small town “just a short walk” (That is what was listed in HostelWorld when we booked it) from Sorrento. Well, it may have been a short walk, but it was harrowing! The old medieval walls lined the road between the two towns and they put in a sidewalk that was barely wide enough for one person--we had to be ever vigilant lest a giant tour bus mirror take off one of our heads! But once in Sorrento, it was a nice town with gorgeous views overlooking the Bay of Napoli. And lots of tourist shops. And expensive restaurants. We did eat at a couple of good places in Sant’Agnello- Da Franco pizza and Moonlight restaurant, where I had a nice fish stuffed ravioli and veal scallopini.

Once I was rested up and ready for touring again, we went to Herculean (Ercolan). This is a much smaller and only partially excavated ruin also devastated by Mount Vesuvius in the same eruption that wiped out Pompeii. It is incredibly well-preserved and they just let you walk all around it--I was amazed that we could walk on the mosaic tile floors and into the bath house. I imagine at some point they will rope all of this off, so I felt fortunate to see it up close. After seeing both the ruins, Jeff was inspired to read “Pompeii”, by Robert Harris. It was recommended by Fodor’s as pre-work to seeing the ruins--although we read it after the fact it really helped to put what we saw into perspective and put a human face on the tragedy. It is historically accurate, with a great story weaved in. I recommend it for anyone going to that part of Italy. Afterwards, we also wished we had gone to Pompeii museum in Napoli, as that is supposedly where most of the artifacts are kept.

By this time we had decided to leave the rest of Italy for a future vacation destination, but we knew we had one more place we had to see- Venice!
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Tracie Rivali on

I love reading about your experiences!! It looks like you guys are having a great time... I will be surprised if you come back to the US after all of this! :)

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