On Saturday we toured Pompeii. The city was massive, and we could see Vesuvius towering above it. There were many beautiful frescoes that had been preserved under the ash since 79 a.d. The Romans were very advanced engineers and had had many clever methods for heating the public baths, avoiding sewage in the street, etc. At lunchtime we visited a winery on the slopes of Vesuvius and had a delicious meal paired with our wine. In the afternoon we visited an active volcano with steam vents spewing out of the ground. The soles of our shoes nearly melted from the thermal heat. Before heading back to Salerno, we learned the subway system in Naples and found some spectacular views.
11 August 2017
On Friday we went to Sorento for cooking school. We spent half the day figuring out how to take the train from Salerno to Naples, catch the bus from the Naples train station to the Naples airport, and wait in line for a rental car to drive to Sorento. It was well worth it! We met crazy Chef Carmen, and she taught us how to make linguini from scratch, filet a sea bass, and clean a calamari. The food was delicious, and the company was even better!
10 August 2017
On Thursday we took the ferry to Capri then had a four hour tour which circumnavigated the island. A really nice couple from Detroit to join us, Sandeep and Vera. We transferred from our motor boat into a row boat about half the size of a canoe (six people total.) We had to lie down flat so that our captain could fit us through the opening to the blue grotto, a large cavern cavern formed by the water. The water glows bright blue from the sunlight shining through the small opening. We visited many other grottos and swam in the Mediterranean Sea. We also saw the Alfa Nero, a 250+ ft yacht owned by a Russian billionaire who made his money in fertilizer.
9 August 2017
Day 2 we drove up to Castello di Arechi, a medieval castle at the top of the mountain in Salerno. Passed a few horses along the road. Although Italy is in the middle of a heat wave, the views at the top made the hike worthwhile. We also visited the Cathedral di Salerno. Construction began in 1058. We were happy to visit the crypts because the temperature dropped about 20 degrees. We also had real, authentic pizza from my mom's new Italian friend. It was molto bene! Still recovering from lack of sleep, so I forgot to get pictures of the food.
We had dinner in Salerno at the wine bar of another my mom's new Italian friends. He shaved the meat in front of us. It was delicious! This place had a/c which was a nice treat for Jeffrey who sat in front of it. For desert my mom fed us chocolates in bed. That's service right there! Thankfully our apartment has two a/c units. The owner specifically asked that we be thrifty with it, but there are some luxuries that Americans do not want to give up.
Wednesday we drove to Pietrapertosa, a town at the top of a 3,000 ft mountain. Our intention was to ride the zip line at the top, but once we saw the drop, we decided to eat lunch and drink wine instead. We took a hike with amazing views of the Dolomites? I'm not sure about the mountain range. The language barrier made it tough to figure out. It turns out that driving back through the city was at least as dangerous as the zip line.
7 August 2017
Our first night in Italy! My mom introduced is to the aperol spritz. Yum! It is our new drink of the day. We put our feet in the Mediterranean Sea and had pasta for dinner in Terracine. We were up awake about 36 hours at this point, so my photo taking and blogging we're not up to par. They get better by day three.