Italy trip – Pompei, Sorrento, Amalfi Coast, Florence, San Casciano

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We arrived in Rome on time at 9:25 AM on the 30th and were picked up by our driver shortly thereafter. The first day in Rome was catchup day as we transitioned to the 7 hour time difference. So, we ventured out to see Rome in the area of our hotel (the Empire Palace). We visited the Spanish Steps and scoped out the good shopping for when we return the week of the 12th.

 

Got up early on the 1st to catch the train to Naples at 10:10. Arrived at Naples at approximately 11:25 and were picked up by Tony of Aldo’s Limo service. Tony took us to Pompei for a two hour visit. Words cannot describe what we saw at Pompei, so we took over 200 photos that I will put on SmugMug as soon as I get home to San Antonio and a good internet connection. It is hard to believe how advanced the people were some 2,000+ years ago. The following are a few photos from Pompei:

 

 

 

We checked into our Hotel in Sorrento, “Hotel Sorrento” on the 2nd and were very pleased with the hotel. It was a little hotel with a great view of the Bay and located within walking distance of the main shopping and restaurant district in Sorrento (Very important with Vicki and Ann). The photo below is from our hotel room balcony:

 

Tony of Aldo’s picked us up at 9:00 AM for the trip to the Amalfi Coast, which took a full 9 hours to complete. The coast was as advertised and we went as far as Ravello (“town of music”) and through Positano and Amalfi on the way. At Ravello we met up with Aldo, the owner of the Limo service and the brother of Tony. The following are a few photo’s of the Coast and you will find more on my SmugMug website after we return to San Antonio:

On Thursday, 5 October, we checked out of our hotel and took the Ferry to the island of Capri for a two day stay at the Relais Maresca hotel where we had a Sea View Room. On the first day we took the tram up to the town Center of Capri. We capped the day with dinner at an excellent restaurant, Il Geronmia. The dinner would have be great, with a great view, except for the Asian woman next to us who chained smoked even while she ate her dinner! The second day was primarily spent in AnaCapri, another small town on the island. We all agreed that this town was much more friendly then the town center area and Vicki and Ann found the shopping great. We took the chairlift to the top of the island and capped off our day trip with a purchase of shoes by Vicki from a local Capri shoemaker (see the photo below). Vicki’s friends will not be surprised that she bought some Italian shoes! The following is a photo with di Antonio Viva who made her shoes while we waited:

On Saturday, Oct 5, we left the beautiful island of Capri for Florence. The day started out very uneventful with a 45 minute ferry ride to Naples to catch the train to Florence. The rain started during the ferry ride and the little black cloud began to follow! ll was well until we got to the train station in Naples when Bill realized that he had left his backpack on the ferry. He caught the same Cab back to the ferry terminal and was informed that his bag was found, but it was on the ferry returning to Capri. So, Bill missed his train and had to purchase a ticked on a train arriving at 5:51, instead of 2:15 in Florence. We suspect that Bill planned this out so that Larry would be the only authorized driver of the Hertz rental car for our week in Tuscany!!! Or, as Ann had both of their bags, she had a different speculation. As you can see, Ann missed Bill on the train trip:

So, the sequence to our adventure today ended up with Bill getting to Florence at 6:00 PM amd we were in the rental car by 7:00 PM. We began the trip to find our Villa in the dark and quickly found that we were lost! Combination of a poor navigator (that was Larry) and foggy conditions. We stopped at a little local cafe to seek directions and quickly gained a friend who was willing to try to lead us to the Villa (He was a local). After 1/2 hour of following him we both concluded that it was not going to happen. We thanked him and tried to pay him for his trouble, which he refused, and struck out to find a hotel. We found a small hotel in the little town of San Casciano by the name of “Mary’s Hotel” and secured two rooms for $67 Euros/night! The hotel closed at 9:00 and the desk clerk had to call her sister so that I could talk to her as the desk clerk did not know english! The town was very quaint and we ended up at a local restaurant on a Saturday night with the locals! What a great experience. Will add some photos on the next blog.

 

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