Sunday, 16 November 2014


Pompeii has been popular with tourists for over 250 years with approximately 2.5 million visitors every year. I'm not surprised- it was fascinating to see a town that had been completely buried under tons of ash after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Research suggests the whole town was buried under 20 feet of ash.
Poisonous fumes from the volcano suffocated those poor people who were trapped. Both people and buildings were covered in ashes. They simply couldn't escape.  

Due to the lack of air and moisture, objects from the city have been well preserved for centuries. During the excavation, plaster was used to fill in the voids between the ash layers that once held human bodies meaning we could see the exact position the person was in when he or she died. Consequently we had a good idea of the life in the city during Roman times as we walked around.  

This was the theatre.

Some original graffiti.

A typical street.

These stepping stones allowed the inhabitants to cross the street when the roads were full of rain water. A Roman zebra crossing.

Winebars. There were probably 60 wine bars in this street!

A doctor's surgery.

Cats eyes! On the floors of the houses.

We were able to walk through houses and gymnasiums with beautifully frescoed walls.

Plaster casts of the original inhabitants who were struck down by the fumes etc as they were going about their daily business.

The penis meant power. It meant protection and prosperity and good luck, so the citizens of Pompeii incorporated it in everything from furniture to oil lamps to clothes hooks and even road signs to direct people to the nearest brothel. Walls were frescoed with services on offer(!)

Do you think they went in and said "One of those and one of those please."

One of the brothel's beds.

The shopping forum.

At the north end of the forum stands the Temple of Jupiter.


The excavators even managed to plaster cast a dog.

It was a fascinating place.
 It sold amazing ice cream too which had to be sampled.

Our brilliant day had included a superb driver, an awesome bus ride along the Amalfi Coast, fantastic views from the bus, a delicious pizza in Sorrento, a mind boggling walk back in time through the ruins of Pompeii, (I felt quite sad, and really sorry for those poor people), wonderful ice cream in Pompeii, and 2 bottles of Limoncello. 
It was a fabulous end to a fabulous holiday.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014


It was another very early breakfast in bed day as we had to be up! 
We were docking in Naples and were booked on a tour to Positano, Sorrento and Pompeii.

It began with an awesome bus ride!
I have total respect for the bus drivers who drive along the stunning Amalfi Coast.
Somehow a road has been carved into the cliff (that, in itself, is mind boggling) and depending whether we were on the way there or on the way back, we all had arm ache clicking our cameras to get shots of the villas and hotels perched on the cliffs and of the Med, twinkling 500 feet below us.

 Our first stop was Positano on the most spectacular stretch of the coast.

The Galli Islands,that used to belong to dancer Rudolf Nureyev.

Positano, The Virgin Mary.

After a short stay in Positano we reboarded the bus and made our way to Sorrento.

  Brozie and Wills had visited Sorrento the week before we were there and had told us how picturesque Sorrento harbour was but we were pressed for time as we had had strict instructions not to get back on the bus until we had had a margherita pizza. Husb was not complaining. Strange, that.

Having had ALL the details ALL the way there, of how to make the perfect pizza including how NOT to slice a tomato but to merely squeeze it, and how NOT to use anything other than the finest mozzerella cheese (and none of this ham and pineapple malarkey and DEFINITELY NO SEAFOOD shock horror) it seemed rude not to visit his highly recommended best friend's pizza place (pizza was invented in Naples after all) so basically we didn't have long to look round.

We went inside this church...

...but didn't have time to visit the Picasso exhibition.

The cheeses were immense.

As were the lemons.

A particular kind of lemon MUST be used to call the lemon liquer LIMONCELLO 
and the recipe uses only the rind of the lemon not the juice.
There was Limoncello everywhere! Every shop! 

Naturally we bought a couple of bottles home.

I vaguely remember buying a selection of liquorice but that DIDN'T make it home. :)

We really liked Sorrento.

Next stop - POMPEII!