What A Life

Trip Start Sep 02, 2010
Trip End May 13, 2011

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Flag of Italy  , Campania,
Friday, May 6, 2011

We arrived in Sorrento in the evening and the owners of the apartment we were staying at came to pick us up and take us to the apartment. We were actually staying in Meta, which is about 5km outside of Sorrento, 2 towns over, and as we found out on the last night, an hour and a half walk away from the city center of Sorrento. The apartment was absolutely bueatiful with a great view over the water. We were right on the beach, just across the street. We had two balconies to enjoy, a big family room, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a kitchen. We went out of pizza dinner once again tonight, then went back to get ready for the next day.
Day 8. Sorrento is part of the bigger region along the coast called the Amalfi coast. All of these towns, Sorrento and surrounding ares especially, literally sit on a cliff overlooking the sea. There are very few places that sit on sea level. There are a ton of stairs everywhere, but nowhere near as bad as Amalfi will be. From Sorrento you can see Capri and Mt. Vesuvius, the still active legendary volcano. We met our visiting professor, Lenore Baigelman, who is the owner and architect, along with her husband, of Circle Architects in Chicago. She was great! She was just like a mom, with kids of her own (one named Samantha) and I plan on keeping in contact with her :) She was extremely nice and worked in some little extra things we wanted to see and do into the schedule. Today we started our sketching and enjoyed the scenery.
Day 9. Today we went to Naples. It was my least favorite city out of any city I've ever been to. It was full of shady people and the piles of garbage on the streets were massive. Probably the amount you could fit into a commercial sized trash container could be seen sitting in a huge pile on the street. And when it rained, absolutely disgusting. The buildings we saw and sketched were pretty cool and it was interesting to walk through the streets. We also got to go higher and have a quiet view of the city below us. That was pretty and relaxing.
Day 10. Today was dedicated to Pompeii. We took a half hour train ride to Pompeii, the ancient Roman city that had been dug up from under the ashes of the volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius....a long time ago. Our guide was an archaeologist and he took us through some of the baths and the rest of the city and pointed out many interesting features of the city. We were expecting a few ruins, but this was an actual city. It was extremely big and never ending streets of houses and baths. The number of stray dogs there was also a noticed aspect of this city. As we found out later, stray dogs are allowed to be there, encouraged if you can say so, to be there. Dogs were a large part of the city thousands of years ago and today they are still present and taken care of by the administration.
Day 11. Today we took a boat to Capri. The jet boat was about a 25 minute ride. Capris was gorgeous. We started out with a private boat ride around the island. We had three boats to hold our group of 18. They were small and you sat at the front of them on cushions. The water in some places were the most amazing shade of blue. Bright blue, like what could be seen in the Blue Grotto. We reached the Blue Grotto by boat but the wait was an hour and we only had so much time in Capri so we decided we could pass it up. But the entrance into the grotto is by a smaller canoe type boat and you go into the grotto with the boat. He have to lay down flat in the boat to even get in because the water level is too close to the ceiling. We got to the top of this mountainous island and walked around the city. We ventured off into the residential areas with the cutest pathways (also no cars here) and beautiful views of the town and water. At one point, looking straight down over the cliff into the clear blue water was so high and steep it was almost hard to perceive with your eyes.
Day 12. Happy Easter! We had the morning off today. I went to church in a small local church in Meta and then spent the rest of the morning on the beach. We went into town that day, unfortunately, for 2 hours of sketching. We had caught the last train into the town and, before our hike back home that night we stopped for pizza. It was an hour and a half walk.....
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