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5 weeks in Italy, continued…Orvieto, Naples, Amalfi Coast, and back to Rome

5 weeks in Italy, continued…Orvieto, Naples, Amalfi Coast, and back to Rome

Old Jan 14th, 2020, 04:03 AM
  #21  
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SusanP and tomarkot, thank you so much! I'm glad you're both enjoying this!

SusanP - I had a feeling we would like Naples, and we really loved it. As New Yorkers, it felt so familiar to us!

I have to admit a secret, though - we really didn't love the pizza there! The lines at Gino Sorbillo, a really, really popular place, were ridiculous and we took the advice given to us by someone we met in the street to go anywhere, 'the pizza is all good'. NOT TRUE! Our first pizza was so soupy you could've used a spoon to get drink the sauce! Now we've learned that pizza sauce in Naples is typically more "wet" in the center, but this first pizza was ridiculous! The second one was better and the third, at the "other" Sorbillo, was better still - but we never fell in love with Naples pizza! Perhaps a return trip will show us otherwise!

tomarkot - I'm SO glad you're enjoying this! The Duomo in Orvieto is fantastic, isn't it? And I'm thoroughly enjoying your trip, too!

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Old Jan 14th, 2020, 07:59 AM
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Love this area—thanks for the revisit and evocative photos.
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Old Jan 14th, 2020, 08:16 AM
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I also stayed at Hotel Piazza Bellini, and the best pizza I had was a couple of minutes away, Port d'Alba. So good! Supposed to be the oldest pizzeria in Naples.
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Old Jan 14th, 2020, 08:45 AM
  #24  
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Susan, somehow we missed that pizza place. We were on our way but stopped elsewhere. Next time!
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Old Jan 14th, 2020, 09:21 AM
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Just found this and will tag along. I'm in the midst of booking honeymoon accommodation for my son and his future wife in Naples/Sorrento/Amalfi area.

Excellent photos!
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Old Jan 14th, 2020, 10:40 AM
  #26  
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Thanks, sassy_cat! Congratulations on your sons’s upcoming nuptials! Stay tuned for more Sorrento and Amalfi Coast pix - it’s a wonderful place for a honeymoon.
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Old Jan 14th, 2020, 12:39 PM
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This is a terrific trip report progol so thank you very much.
We have hesitated re this area as we too use all public transport but your report is just what we needed to help plan for a visit.

Your photos, especially those of Herculaneum are excellent and inspiring.
Looking forward to the next installment.
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Old Jan 14th, 2020, 01:34 PM
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Thanks, love_travel_Aus! It's very doable by public transport. Herculaneum is a gem that is still not overwhelmingly crowded.

I will be working on the next installment very shortly!

Paule
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Old Jan 17th, 2020, 06:03 AM
  #29  
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And on to Capri!

The trip to Capri was easy as can be from Naples. There are many different boat lines that run regular ferries from two different locations - to be honest, I didn’t pay much attention to where we got the tickets, but I’m pretty sure it was at Molo Beverello. We had no problem buying them there, preferring to do this instead of reserving them ahead of time. There were not large crowds on the day we went (Saturday, Oct 5); the weather was very iffy for the weekend, so I wouldn’t be surprised if bookings were down.

We ended up, once more, taking the metro to the closest stop and walked from there. Once at the pier, we bought the most convenient ticket for the trip to Capri. The ferry was less than half full, and we were there in just over an hour!

Once there, we took the funicular to Capri’s center, known as La Piazzetta, where we walked to the very simple but charming La Tosca hotel, a rare modestly-priced hotel in a generally high end region. Ettore, the owner, has created a warm and welcoming home and was very accessible during our stay, spending time talking with us as well as giving us good recommendations for our time on Capri.
https://www.latoscahotel.com

The weather was decidedly changeable, raining on and off over the next few days. Though the ferry wasn’t crowded, there were still plenty of day-trippers, and, at times, I found the crowds of people to be overwhelming, and they impacted the choices we made on our visit. Buses, for instance, had long lines wherever we went. We enjoyed our time on Capri, but of all the places we visited, it was the place that left the least impression on us, and if there was a place I would’ve considered eliminating, it was this stop. I don’t want you to think we had a bad time – we didn’t – but it just didn’t “sing” to us like every other place on this trip.

Still, we had some memorable experiences! My all-time favorite was taking the chairlift up Monte Solaro on the Anacapri side of the island. With a lifelong fear of heights, I wasn’t sure if I would be up to doing it or not, but I did it! And loved it! As long as I didn’t move a muscle while sitting in the chair! The whole experience amazed me, though – the lines moved quickly, and the men who work the chairs have the process down, pushing each person in and out of the chair as it arrives or leaves. It’s about 13 minutes each way, just long enough! The views from the top were outstanding and I was so glad we did this.

Unfortunately, I managed to sprain my foot – walking down to the bathroom, would you believe? So walking after this was definitely limited.

In the early part of the day, we took the boat ride, the Giro dell’Isola, around the island. I had already decided that I wouldn’t bother with trying to enter the Blue Grotto, and, as it happens, it was just as well, as there was no entry because of the choppy water. Pleasant ride with the sun occasionally making an appearance, and there was some narration of the sights.

We visited the lovely Giardini di Augusto, originally the Krupp Gardens, with its terraced gardens overlooking the sea, and a good view of the Faraglioni, the very distinctive rock formations jutting out of the water. A very pretty and very easy walk from our hotel.

We had a very enjoyable dinner at Buca di Bacco, which was recommended to us by our hotel. It’s down one of the many small streets of La Piazzetta and not easy to find, but it had good food and service. We’re not foodies and I don’t recall what we ate, but we enjoyed it.

We also ate lunch shortly after arriving at the more elegant Ristorante Il Geranio. The food was excellent, the service impeccable and had great views overlooking the Faraglioni. I recommend it for those looking for a classy meal – I’ll be honest, this was a bit too fussy for our style, but it’s not their fault that we’re not exactly the luxe type.

The weather was definitely conspiring against us on the morning that we left. Although we had the option to have our luggage picked up by porters and brought to the ferry (for a fee), we opted not to take advantage of this service. Why we thought we’d do it on our own escapes me now, but it was a mistake as the walk (what a schlep!) back to La Piazzetta for the funicular down to the port was more uphill than I remembered! With a sprained ankle and fighting umbrella-toting hordes of tourists, I remember that walk as memorable – but not in a good way!

At last, we got down to the port and found the ferry to Sorrento, our next stop!


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Old Jan 17th, 2020, 06:37 AM
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Arriving in the Marina Grande on Capri



First view, after getting off the funicular at La Piazzetta



View from Hotel La Tosca
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Old Jan 17th, 2020, 06:43 AM
  #31  
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The view from Giardini di Augusto - with sun!



Taking advantage of the view!



Sometimes the blue really IS that color!



Walking through the lovely garden



And enjoying a break
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Old Jan 17th, 2020, 07:16 AM
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Such beautiful photographs, Progol - and the one of you is especially lovely. I'd like to be able to say that they remind me of the day trip to Capri from Sorrento that DH and I did about 45 years ago but my memories are pretty limited; the most vivid is of my being sea-sick on the quayside when we arrived.

Good move to stay overnight I should think so you could see it without some of the crowds.
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Old Jan 17th, 2020, 07:29 AM
  #33  
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Thanks, annhig!

And about the seasickness - I used my scopolamine patch for the ride as I had a feeling the water would be very choppy. Even with it, I was aware of the motion, but really felt okay for the trip and after we arrived. But I was prepared - and so glad I was! It was verrry choppy!

We stayed 2 nights - it was enough time, but we also need rest/nap time these days!
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Old Jan 17th, 2020, 12:41 PM
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Progol, your reports are always great, and your photos bring it alive.
I think you wrote you take hand luggage only...for a 5 week trip, wow, I need to refine my packing. I thought I was good at packing!
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Old Jan 17th, 2020, 01:05 PM
  #35  
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Adelaidean,
I’m so glad you’re enjoying this!

Yes, we take carryon only and the amazing thing on this trip was that I still only wore half of what I packed! The challenge is in figuring out which half I’m actually going to wear. But we’re pretty casual in our dress - I’m not one for dressing up. If we go to a nice restaurant, I want to look neat and appropriate, but will never be the one admired for high style!

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Old Jan 17th, 2020, 01:23 PM
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Progol, loving your report and your pictures. Really enjoying it.
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Old Jan 17th, 2020, 01:23 PM
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The boat ride around the island


The boat ride around the island









This may be the entrance to the Blue Grotto - I just remember thinking that the opening was impossibly small when we passed it and the announcement was made.



Last edited by progol; Jan 17th, 2020 at 01:26 PM.
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Old Jan 17th, 2020, 01:26 PM
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millie2112 - Thank you! I appreciate the kind words.
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Old Jan 17th, 2020, 01:33 PM
  #39  
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Chairlift up Monte Solaro


My husband was calling me to turn around but I was too frozen with fear to move. But I did it!



Gorgeous view!



Oh, those views!



And it was easier coming down! This frame is from one of our videos.
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Old Jan 17th, 2020, 04:51 PM
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I am so enjoying your report. thanks for posting.
I'm pretty certain your photo is that of the Blue Grotto. My husband made the trip inside... I sat outside and watched.
Have you ever been to Mount Pilatus in Switzerland? Chair lift on steroids....
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