• Allie and Ryan

    Allie & Ryan

  • Allie and Ryan 2

    Allie & Ryan

  • Allie and Ryan 3

    Allie & Ryan

  • Ryan and Allie 4

    Allie & Ryan

  • Ryan and Allie 5

    Allie & Ryan

Friday, April 4, 2014

Europe - Naples and Pompeii

Day 12 - Naples and Pompeii Italy

We woke up in Naples pretty excited to get some pizza. Honestly we didn't get pizza anywhere else on the trip, solely saving our taste for Napoli and Napoli alone! Luckily Naples is a port city so we were able to walk off the ship and right into the city. And walk we did!

We decided to try Da Michelle (if any of you read Eat, Pray, Love it should sound familiar) and got directions from the information center. It was a pretty far walk and when we got in the area we couldn't find it! At this point we were starving so we decided to pick another place. As long as there was a wood burning pizza oven we were good. Our destination ended up being Cafe Iris.

 It was barely 11am so naturally we were the only ones there. It was a little chilly in the morning so we opted to eat inside.
 We did sit at those tables after eating though and people watched for a bit! I got myself another orange fanta, amazing, and eagerly awaited our pizza.

Oh. My. God. It was so delicious. Probably the best pizza I have ever had.  I really wish we each had ordered one because it would so have been worth being overly full! The cheese was perfect and gooey and the crust had just the right texture.... the sauce, the basil.... all of it was amazing. Pizza Margarita ala Napoli, WIN. For dessert we walked up to the glass display and picked out what we wanted via pointing. I ended up with a strawberry profiterole that was literally SOAKED in alcohol. If we had a match this thing would have totally worked flambe. But it was still good.

Naturally Ryan had another espresso.
Afterwards we wandered back through the city to the boat. We had a shore excursion to Pompeii at 1300 so we had about an hour to wander along. We went through the city to get to the cage and chose to wander back down to the port and follow the water going back. Naples was a typical big city, if you're smart you're fine, and we had no problems exploring.

  Once we got back to the terminal we waited until our bus arrived and got on our way to Pompeii!

 The bus ride was beautiful once we got outside of the city. Below was our first view of Mount Vesuvius. We learned the volcano, pre-eruption, was nearly twice as high and most of it caved in during the eruption. It was pretty massive anyway so imagining it twice as high was difficult to do.

 When we got into Pompeii our tour first stopped at a cameo shop called Donadio for a demonstration. I never knew cameos were made out of seashells! Am I alone in this? We watched a video and then an elderly gentleman gave us a demonstration before we wandered down to explore the store.

 Ryan insisted I pick one out, and I thought he was joking. He wasn't. He insisted it would be something we could have forever and pass down one day. So I ended up buying a beautiful brooch (which can also be a necklace) of the Virgin Mary and a light blue background. It is sitting in a gorgeous box in our china cabinet across from me as I type. I am so glad he convinced me to get it. After that we made our way into Pompeii. A huge portion of Pompeii is still underground. The portion above ground gets most of the money to keep it weather proofed and preserved. Their logic is that it survived thousands of years underground so those portions of the city are perfectly preserved, so for now they will stay that way and they will work on keeping what is above ground standing as long as possible.

 I had visited Pompeii when I studied abroad about a year before Ryan and I met and this was his first visit. I was so excited to go back and share this with him. I am a total nerd for history and even though it was my second visit I had an amazing time!

Naturally our first stop was in the theatre so I had to have my picture taken in there! It was a little chilly still!
 The floor of the theatre is perfectly preserved and absolutely gorgeous. They asked if we noticed any rocks, trash, pebbles etc to please pick them up and toss them away from the floor, that is all we can do to keep it gorgeous!

The theatre in Pompeii in panorama, thank you iPhone!
Ryan has to KCCO in Ancient Pompeii!
 Below you can see the grooves in the road made by all the wagon wheels. Carts would straddle big rocks that worked basically as raised sidewalks (remember, no plumbing or sewers in most of the town) so this kept everyone above the crap. Literally. The carriages wheels would fit perfectly between the steps.

This was the equivalent of a "fast food" restaurant. The counter was found intact but there wasn't a seating area, so they used to grab and go food here.

Pompeii has a lot of wild dogs that follow tour groups around, especially kids, hoping for a snack. They're so cute!

 We also got to explore some of the villas of the Pompeii elite. The remarkable thing was so many of the villas still have the frescoes painted on the walls! Red and yellow paint were a little more common, blue paint was a big sign of wealth because it was very rare.

Parts of Pompeii are excavated even further to show another city just below the one buried in 79 AD! So an older, more ancient city is currently being discovered beneath the current Pompeii.

 Below is the family's altar to the gods where they placed daily sacrifices and tributes.

This family was so wealthy they owned a table that belonged to Picasca Longa, one of the senators that killed Julius Caesar!  Most of the murderers were punished, including having their belongings and property sold off, so having a table that belonged to him was a big status symbol of wealth and power for sure.

See, blue walls = MAJOR wealth!
After the villa we wandered a bit more and I took a ton of pictures. I am trying to not overload this post, and failing miserably.

 Of course one of the most famous part of Pompeii are the plaster casts of the people. When the scientists discovered Pompeii the ash had solidified and wherever people were left openings. The people obviously decomposed long ago but left holes in the solid, concrete like ash. One man realized if you poured plaster into the holes you would get a perfect casting of the person who had been in there. So all the casts are solid plaster, no remains actually inside, which a lot of people do not realize.

Ryan sitting around the hall of the bath house with a new friend...

Bath house
Next we went to the, um... delicate word.... ah, brothel. Pompeii was a port town so sailors came from all over the world and spoke many languages. So they would just point to the fresco on the wall to "order" what "service" they wanted. Naturally those frescoes survived and are a big deal in Pompeii (they're even on decks of cards in the gift shop. Seriously).

A cool fountain we passed going to the forum, copper piping still visible!
 Our last stop in Pompeii was the forum, the big central area of the town were markets, senates and big events happened. The slave market was believed to be there as well as many of the temples. Vesuvius is very easily visible in the background.

I spy with my little eye the top of a statue of the God Jupiter within the ruins of his temple...

On the side of the forum, in where they believe the slave market actually was, all the archeological finds are stored. Tons of bowls, vases, statues and knick knacks are visible. Below is a plaster cast of a dog they found.

One of the more famous casts people recognize. Most people in Pompeii suffocated from the ash and gasses, not death by lava like a lot of people think. This person covering their mouth and nose shows that.

This cast is of a young, pregnant woman. :(
 We were able to wander and see the casts and things before we went back to try and get some shopping done before the bus returned.

Leaving Pompeii
We hurried back down to our meeting area to get some souvenirs... the cameo (which we had to go back and pay for since their credit card machine went down), chocolate for my brother, Limoncello for us as well as a Christmas ornament made with volcano ash for us and something for Ryan's sister which she hasn't gotten yet so I won't say on here! We had some time left so we got.... another pizza! Not as good as the first but still damn good!

Afterwards we took the bus back to the boat and prepared for our last night on ship. We showered and packed before heading down to the cigar bar to meet all of our friends. Kristii and Debbie joined us at Alizar for dinner and then we all went to the buffet to be part of the chocolate party! Everything was chocolate and amazing.
I was so full but I managed to have Prosecco (with a ring of chocolate for garnish on the glass) and some truffles. And a cookie. I loved looking at all the chocolate and sugar sculptures they made too. We went back to the cigar bar, listened to our favorite piano guy, and stayed up way, way too late, but we wanted to maximize our time with everyone. All too soon it was pre dawn and we were off the ship trying for find our luggage (packed and removed the night before) and get on our bus back to Rome.

We had a long wait at the airport for the security and baggage check areas to actually open but once we got inside, got food and caffeine it was better. It was a long flight back, especially since on my spotty wifi I first got a glimpse that my aunt had taken a turn for the worst and was entering hospice, but I had a 10 hour flight before I could call my mom and talk to her. When I landed in Phili I had texts and voicemails from my mom saying to call her and that was when I heard officially.... so like I said, a long, long flight. I didn't sleep at all, just watched the movies (Enough Said and the second Percy Jackson) and read my books and ate when they offered.

Our last view flying out of Rome. Very different from when we got over land in America and it was all covered in WHITE. Snow everywhere. Luckily we got to Raleigh with no delays, but the two hour drive home became a four and a half hour drive due to the snow and ice!

But that, lovely and oh so patient readers, is the end of our world wide adventure. It was an amazing experience, a trip of a lifetime, and I am so blessed Ryan and I were able to do this together. Sorry it took me almost three months to finish the story. Thanks for reading!

You can follow along with all of the entries from our trip here!

1 comment:

  1. I have seriously been obsessed with reading all your recaps! That pizza looks AMAZING! So glad you were able to have such a wonderful trip, especially with what you had to come home to:(


Thanks for reading and for commenting. Please make sure your email is attached to your comment so I can reply. I try to reply to every person who comments, if you don't get a response check and see that you are not a 'noreply' blogger!