Here’s the second half of my travel diary from Italy – enjoy!
For the second half of our trip, we hired a car and drove down the coast from Naples to Amalfi – of course, en route, we just had to stop to explore the famous ruins of Pompeii. In 79AD, this Roman town was buried under a layer of ash and pumice stone by the eruption of the nearby volcano, Mt Vesuvius. It was forgotten for centuries, until being rediscovered in 1748.
There’s so much history to be uncovered – I really recommend getting a guide to bring the experience to life, else you end up wandering around, not really knowing what you’re looking at.
For example, on this street you can see the faint markings of chariot wheels:
And, can you believe, they had water pipes installed, thousands of years ago?!
A bakery! (My kinda place…)
The classic amphitheatre, no doubt there was plenty of blood spilled here in the name of entertainment.
The street that led to the brothel – note: the phallic symbol right under the street sign.
Inside, there are various pictures, serving, almost as a menu of options to select from:
Bed and pillow, I would think there’s no explanation required:
Giggles and inappropriate jokes aside, many lives were also lost, people were trapped and suffocated in the layers of mud, ash and stone – their final moments preserved:
Peacefully sleeping, unbeknownst of the disaster striking:
Praying in his final moments?
A poor, helpless child:
A curled up dog – who looks like was struggling, perhaps tied up, trying to break free and run.
Archaeologists are still excavating – it’s crazy to think how many many more ancient relics and memories may be buried, waiting to be discovered!
Drive to Amalfi Coast
The coastal drive was beautiful. You pass dramatic cliff faces, the glittering deep blue sea, and the cutest, picturesque towns along the way.
All of the different shades of blue!!!
We had to stop numerous times for lemon granitas and to take pictures! Just look how perfectly blue the water is!!
We drove past Sorrento:
Caught some great shots of Vesuvius in the distance:
We stayed in Pogerola which is a little town located in the hills above Amalfi. The views from here are, much like the rest of the coast, stunning:
Walking around the neighbourhood, we stumbled upon little gardens on the cliffside, where the residents grow their own produce.
The classic Italian cooking heavy-weight, tomatoes:
There’s a bus that hurtles through the hills, to and fro Pogerola and Amalfi. Beautiful though it is, the town is actually quite small, and there’s not an excessive amount to see or do.
^ I love the pastel coloured houses set into the mountainside. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a wet afternoon so my pictures suffered.
Beautifully painted ceramic tiles are sold all over this region:
Nativity fountain we stumbled on:
This region is famous for its abundance of lemons and chillis, and you can find them being sold everywhere.
These things are SO big, like three times the size of one you’d find here!!
Stella Maris Restaurant
For dinner, we stepped into Stella Maris Restaurant, located on the seafront.
Lemon spaghetti – cooked perfectly and dressed in a zesty, creamy and herby sauce. Delicious!
This was dreamy! Homemade pasta, cooked to perfection with a slight chew, smothered in a rich tomato and aubergine sauce, topped generously with parmesan.
And finally, for dessert, a chocolate and almond cake, served with vanilla ice cream. The chocolate sauce was a bit needless if you ask me, but the cake was really enjoyable.
To escape the rain we found ourselves exploring the church – Cattedrale di Sant’Andrea.
I love the dramatic gold highlights on the pillars and ceiling.
The stunning coast by night:
Far from my best night picture, but a night time shot of the view nevertheless!
The town is still a lively place after dark:
For a late night treat, we stopped for some gelato, personally, I think the ones we tried in Naples were a fair bit better – not to say I didn’t gobble up what I was served!!
We hopped on a ferry the next morning to Positano, probably the most Instagram-ready town on the Amalfi coast.
The yellow, pink and terracotta houses, set in the dramatic mountains, and the glittering turquoise sea- so picturesque!
We got there early and pretty much had the whole pebbly beach to ourselves!
❤ ❤ ❤
To explore the town, you can either hop on a bus or take the (endless!) stairs, and make your way up…
Between the houses, you’re rewarded with glimpses of the glimmering sea.
And you quickly start realising how far you’ve come!
It’s both pretty and pretty exhausting!
^ Front door goals!
Exploring the pretty little shops:
Between which, you find dramatic views
and endless photo opportunities!
Saw this painting outside an art gallery, I’m sure it was WAY out of my budget, but isn’t it magnificent?
Carved into the mountainside wall at the bus stop:
But seriously, how dreamy is this view!!!
Can not get over how stunning it was!
Due to the rough seas (you can’t tell at all, can you!) we hoped to take a little boat trip to the Emerald Grotto, but it was suspended for the day.
Overlooking the beach and recommended by a friend at work, we found ourselves at La Cambusa for lunch.
Caprese Salad – doesn’t look like much but the flavours of the high-quality ingredients speak for themselves.
Tagliatelle arrabbiata – pasta tossed in a spicy tomato sauce, served with a side of chilli oil.
As much as the draw of pasta was pulling me in, I couldn’t not try some freshly caught fish. Catch of the day, served in a lemon butter sauce, topped with potatoes. So simple, but so, so delicious!
And finally, for dessert, a creamy, melt in the mouth, vanilla pannacotta, topped with burnt caramel sauce and a pair of caramelised almonds. I can’t tell you how much I’ve been craving this since!
And that brings my time at the Amalfi coast to a wrap – one more dreamy picture, because I simply couldn’t resist!