Amazing Experiences

06.17.2013 | Culture and Society

Since we’re towards the end of our trip, we were given a three day weekend in order to do some exploring and traveling on our own. A small group of us had decided that we were going to go to Southern Italy during this time and figured we would extend the offer to the rest of the group—it would be an expensive trip but we were sure that it would be worth every penny.

We ended up having a lot of people join our group and after speaking to our hotel manager, he suggested that we find somewhere to stay in Pompeii.  So, our plan was to take the train to Naples, then transfer trains and go to Pompeii.  Then, we’ll spend a day in Pompeii, head to Capri island and Sorrento on our second day, and on the last day we’ll go to the Amalfi Coast and leave from there to head back to Florence.

We had to leave super early in the morning in order to head to Naples.  For the most part, everyone was going to be traveling together, however some people were going to meet up with us later.  The train ride wasn’t bad at all and I kind of wish that we had an established train system in the States because it’s really nice for traveling and not all that expensive.

Once we arrived in Naples, we found our transfer train (which was pretty much a subway) and headed to Pompeii.  However, our train broke down about halfway there, so we had to wait a while for a new “train” to come pick us up.  Luckily, this didn’t take up too much time and soon we were arriving at our hotel in Pompeii. 

This hotel was so much nicer than our place in Florence!  We had shower doors, more space, and a terrace attached to our rooms, which gave us a beautiful view.  First, we all had dinner together in the hotel’s restaurant which actually had really yummy food. And then we set off to discover Pompeii.

I was extremely excited that we were here, because I have been wanting to go here ever since I had learned about the city in the fourth grade.  We got our tickets to go into the old part of Pompeii and I was not expecting how big it was!! It was going to take us a while to explore the ruins. And I actually ended up going there another day as well, so that my other friend could see it (she came later).

I was truly amazed at how preserved everything was—there was pottery still intact, artwork, and of course the bodies that had sadly been covered with the ash. We saw all kinds of different areas like a brothel, bakery, and cemetery and it really makes you wonder what their everyday lives were like.

On the second day, we headed to Sorrento and Capri.  Sorrento was gorgeous—they are known for their lemons so there were lemon trees everywhere and lots of other greenery. We didn’t stay in Sorrento long though, because we really wanted to get to Capri.  So, we bought our ferry tickets and were on our way!

The ferry was making me a little sea-sick so fortunately it was not a very long ride.  Before we knew it, we were arriving on the island.  It was absolutely beautiful and I had never seen anything like it before!  The water was so clear and blue and the shoreline was rocks instead of sand (which was actually a little painful, but still really pretty, and you learned to get used to it.)

We all slathered on our sunscreen, set up our towels and then proceeded to go into the ocean.  The water was a bit chilly but we really didn’t care because with a view like that, there was no complaining.  We laid out on the beach pretty much the entire day, before taking the ferry back to Sorrento and then the train back to Pompeii.  Why rush the day when you are literally in paradise?!

Then, on our last day, we had a change of plans.  Although, the whole group decided to go to the Amalfi Coast, my one friend and I decided to stay behind and make plans of our own.  After researching, we had found that it was very difficult to catch a bus in the coast and we didn’t want any troubles with needing to return to Florence that evening.

So, we decided to go to Old Pompeii for a little while, and then we went to Salerno, which was where our returning train was going to be leaving from.  We figured that pretty much anywhere in Italy was beautiful so we would definitely be able to figure out something to do while we were there. 

Basically, we ended up staying on the beach the entire day and although we were gritty from the sand (yes, this beach had actual sand!) it didn’t make the returning train ride too terrible. One thing that was kind of strange was the fact that it was not a common tourist area, so everyone on the beach was Italian—which was quite the experience!

This weekend was pretty much heaven and I am going to miss our comfy hotel and the beautiful beach areas!!

Photo Gallery