wk 16 – sophloz, vita bella & volcanos

And so to a week or so of real Melbournian yeehaahols with Soph and Loz, starting with a few relaxing days in Trevignano and around, followed by us all piling into a small fiat punto, and heading for some rather crazy Italian Southern roads, not least the Amalfi coast…

First stop was Gaeta where we lucked out with a rather lovely hotel that happened to have a rather reasonable 2 bed apartment, with what turned out to be some of the most gorgeous towels we’d seen. The previous residents have clearly always just nicked them, as there was a look of amusement on the receptionists face when I asked if Soph could buy a set…after lots of chatting, discovering he had spent 6 months in Melbourne, and back and forth to ensure we had the right waffle/porcini combo we had towels and could travel on to our next stop Sorrento (via a morning at the beach place over the Roman ruins, can’t believe we managed to find the lido again, yay).

We headed straight to the Santa Fortunata campsite and checked into a couple of cabins, with a view over Sorrento (think you’ll agree when you check out the photos below) worth heaps more than we were paying, and with a half decent bottle of 3 euro prosecco and red from the camp shop, set ourselves up for an evening with a view…

The next day we spent meandering around Sorrento, and having a fantastic lunch in a place tucked away from the crowds on a side street with excellent local seafood pasta, our own private table area surrounded by vines, and complimentary limoncello, perfecto (we are a bit shiny due to heat not alcohol, or perhaps combo of the two?)!

A few more gratuitous shots of Sorrento, much bigger than I remembered it, and as it turned out a pretty good base for our trips, and heaps better than overcrowded and overtouristed Amalfi…

Next up was a little bit of culture with a trip to Pompei, a first for us all, and in terms of scale and sense of history it did not dissapoint. We were lucky to have planned an entrance through the amphitheatre gate, as it meant we were without tour groups for the first couple of hours, also unfortunately senza bikes too, the website free bike service sounded fab, the look I received when I requested them confirmed rather quickly that virtual did not match up to grit on the day, probably just as well given the amazing cobblestone streets and alleys…

The scale of Pompei is just breathtaking, I wasn’t expecting quite such a grand city, with so much preserved and so many streets, lanes, villas, shops, it was quite amazing, and clearly well planned and prosperous, also intriguing to see a lot of things had been in the process of restoration from the earthquake a few decades before the eruption in August 79 AD, or perhaps I’m biased as reading Robert Harris’s Pompei, historical fiction always helpful at setting the scene, although here your imagination really does not need much prompting..

The part that water clearly played in everyday life and the fact that it reached Pompei via elaborate acqueducts was another fascinating layer, and the bath houses must have been quite spectacular, the below is the ceiling in one of the complex of rooms.

Public spaces were also easily imaginable and the amphitheatre had been reconstructed beside a gladiator school which made it even easier to picture!

What struck me the most however, and much more so at Herculaneum (more photos in the next blog), were the mosaics and paintings, quite amazing to be looking at something that was created almost 2000 years ago and is still relatively well preserved and colourful…although one of my favourites at Pompei was showing a bit of age, beautiful nonetheless…and from what I understand rather a delicacy, suprised Blumental has not attempted it with the feathers stuck back on with honey…(sorry vegetarians…it’s just part of the history of food…)

And so to Paestum beach (and yes there is a reason generally nobody stays here the night) for the evening, along with the start of an appreciation of the fact that we hadn’t stopped at marina di Eboli…we did feel staying in a campsite, in a cabin with a distinctly odd feel, where I was given sheets when asked and told only 2 towels were available for the four of us, that we were definitely down South.

And given our obvious lack of wealth, political influence, or savviness, helped by us being covered in Pompei dust and being rather grubby-looking, I knew that we would make it through the night, even after our evening stroll (on the other side ‘staring’) tour of the mini wisteria lane tent village campania style we had to go through to reach the rather tastefully rubbish strewn beach (!!!) Paestum museum and archeology to follow…should have taken some gritty images but had camera locked up (joke joke…have been beyond Eboli more than twice now…promise!!)…


2 thoughts on “wk 16 – sophloz, vita bella & volcanos

  1. Just read your last 6 or 7 blogs Marissa – wow! If envy had a scale ala richter my current envy-meter would be off scale. Fantastic photos and equally fantastic descriptions. Galapogas – amazing, festas – ridiculous fun, pompeii – stunning. Blue boys had a cracker of a win on Sunday to top it off……looking forward to more adventures and catching up when you guys finally get back here…

    1. So lovely to hear from you Dunc, and I cannot deny it has been an amazing few months, we’ve just put Sophie and Loz back on a plane to Melbourne, so wish you could pop over as well, bet Quinn is so grown up and a little girl now, hope you are all well, Loc rather excited about the win, will get him to write a bit more…off to Romania tomorrow so will no doubt be another adventure, just working out how to get to Dracula’s castle!!!!!

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