For Part I of our trip, click here.
Day 4 – Pompeii and our Anniversary Dinner
After our long, adventure-filled day in Positano, I wasn’t sure I would be able to move for like a week. But then I remembered that I was in Italy and I can sleep when I’m dead. We did take it easy on day 4. We spent the morning stuffing our faces at the breakfast buffet (I had two full plates and 3 cappuccinos – seriously), and then we spent some time exploring Sorrento.
We did some shopping, scoped out the ferries to Capri for the following day, and eventually waited for our ride over to Pompeii. Our driver (again, so fancy) was like a tour guide. He told us about how fertile the soil is in this area, which is why everything is locally grown and can grow year-round. As a nutrition/food lover, I thought this was incredible and immediately wondered if I could move there. But, my thoughts were interrupted by a crazy moped driver weaving in and out of traffic. The driving is crazy in this area of Italy, and not once did I see a cop patrolling it. On the other hand, I never saw an accident either. Interesting.
Pompeii was a really cool place to visit. The small town was buried in ash when Mt. Vesuvius erupted back in AD 79. Think about how long ago that was. They are still excavating! Its amazing. Although many people had time to escape, thousands died when Mt. Vesuvius erupted. Years later, many of the bodies were found frozen exactly where they died. Many buildings still stood as well. Its like the city was preserved by the ash. I thought a couple of hours would be plenty of time to see the whole thing, I really wish we would have had more time. Had money not been a factor, a private tour guide would have been wonderful as well – and we wouldn’t have looked so nerdy with our audio guides ;).
After visiting Pompeii, we had reservations at a restaurant called Doña Sofia. The restaurant is difficult to find, so they send someone to pick you up at your hotel. That may have been the craziest ride of my life, and Devin and I thought for a second that we were maybe being kidnapped. But, we eventually arrived at Doña Sofia and were seated out on the vine-covered patio. I did notice that most of the majority of the restaurant patrons were American, which is a something we like to avoid normally (we do our best to find popular place among the locals). We didn’t mind for this meal, because it was so, so delish.
Not pictured: Tiramisu. I got a little carried away and dug in before I took a picture.
We tried to do the traditional Italian meal with all of the courses, and I wanted to fall over by the end. I would have been just fine with gnocchi…and the dessert. But bruschetta, gnocchi, fish, stuffed zucchini flower, wine, tiramisu and limoncello? That spells food coma.
Day 5 – Capri
Our day in Capri began in a hectic way and ended in a hectic way. When we arrived on the island, all we could see were crowds. We wandered. We wasted time. We were grumpy (eek). After getting our bearings, we decided to take a boat tour around the island, with a stop at the Blue Grotto.
Okay. Regrets are a no no for me when I travel BUT if I were to go to Capri again, I would do something different (that might be the definition of regret – oh well). There were banana boats for rent for a very decent price that you take out yourself for two or four hours. They even came with coolers for snacks/drinks. I was leery of these tiny boats because 1. The guys renting them out seemed shady, 2. It is a very tiny boat in a very large ocean and 3. I was feeling like a wimp I guess. When we were out on our large boat full of people on a tour, we saw SO MANY PEOPLE on the tiny banana boats. Oh, it gets worse. These non-wimp people were able to stop and swim wherever they wanted – including the grottoes (minus the blue grotto). We were not allowed to swim on our tour. I feel like we missed out on such a cool experience. So, next time. Next time the banana boat is MINE.
Next time we will also see the Blue Grotto, because did not end up seeing it on the tour. The wait was so long that our boat would not hang around and wait for us to go in. Another bummer. Another reason to return and probably again get the banana boat.
After our boat tour, we jumped on a very crowded bus and headed to Anacapri for the shopping and the chairlift. There was a short wait, but it was worth it.
Again, we found ourselves waiting for the last buses of the evening to get back down to Capri – only this time, everyone was waiting for the same buses. Europeans are notorious for cutting in line, and we saw this first hand in line for the bus. It was mind-blowing (and frustrating) to see them sneak their way to the front.
I have to say, I expected to love Capri more than I did. My dad had visited back when he was in the Navy, so I was excited to see the island he always told me stories about. Don’t get me wrong – Capri is gorgeous, but it was also crowded and touristy. Maybe we needed more time to explore (we were only there for the day). Maybe we should have done as others suggested and spent the night on the island – there are many “day travelers,” so a lot of travel bloggers claim the island is best seen at night when the day travelers leave. I totally believe it. Either way, I wouldn’t say I disliked Capri in any way and I would love to go back and see more of the island.
That brings us to the end of our time in Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. We were so sad to leave, but excited to get to Rome!