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Capri, Positano, and Naples trip report, plus photos (May 2013)

Capri, Positano, and Naples trip report, plus photos (May 2013)

Old Sep 8th, 2013, 05:05 AM
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Thank you bxl and Judy! Glad you are sticking with me. I have another installment. Almost done with the Capri part, at least...

<b>Capri Day Three.

Villa Jovis, Arco Naturale, Grotta Matermania </b>

Another beautiful morning. May has got to be the best time to visit! It was so serene and quiet once you left the main piazza, the weather was perfect and not humid every day - what could be better?

This was Monday and my plans were Villa Jovis and Villa Fersen/Villa Lysis, nearby. Afterwards I planned to visit the Arco Natural (Natural Arch). I was hoping to fit in the Blue Grotto as it was my last chance on this trip but I found out early that it was closed that day - perhaps due to high tides in the morning, not sure. It was serene and clear so who knows.

As I strolled up the lanes towards Villa Jovis I spotted a man sitting on a bench outside the small elementary school. He saw my camera and asked me what my plans were for the morning. When I told him he said "Villa Lysis is closed on Mondays, and, see that man walking past right now? He is the caretaker of Villa Jovis and is heading there to open it now." So my timing was pretty good - apart from the other villa that is.

For all that Capri appears, from Monte Solaro, to be crowded and crammed; so built-up you wonder how anyone can breathe, once you start heading up the hill towards Villa Jovis all that quickly falls away and the spacious villas have fences (or high walls - good for walking in the shade), gates, and huge yards full of flowers or lemon trees or olive trees or vines - or all of the above.

Photos along the way:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/skywalk...pristroll/show

Since I already knew Villa Fersen was a bust, I figured I had plenty of time that day. I still managed to make it to Villa Jovis when the caretaker arrived (and in front of about 30 German students on field trip). Once he opened the gates we quickly dispersed. Needless to say, this villa (one of twelve built by Tiberius) is huge. No tiny cramped huts for Tiberius, no siree. The villa covers almost two acres and is on many levels. It's on the second highest point on the island, apparently to offer some protection to Tiberius who was paranoid about being assassinated. He also had a lot of privacy up there, the better to debauch with. The archeologist Amedeo Maiuri (after which the main lane to the villa is named) conducted excavations in the 1930s of this site.

Funny coincidence: I didn't mention this in my "logistics" section far above, but, when I was planning this trip I almost did another tour with my favorite tour company, Backroads. I even picked the same week in case I had changed my mind about going solo versus with the tour group. In the end I did go it alone and when I was wandering around the ruins I was near a few Americans. We chatted for a bit and they asked if I was alone and I told them the story ("yes, alone, but almost went with Backroads, favorite tour company, etc."). Well lo and behold, knock me down with a feather, but this couple was with Backroads. They would have been my tour-mates had I taken that trip. It was a small group this time (I think they said 7 guests) and the morning was a "free" morning with a meetup at lunch. They opted for Villa Jovis for their morning hike. How funny is that. Later that evening I wandered past the hotel mentioned in the brochure the company had sent to me, it was maybe 3 minutes from my own hotel. Quite nice hotel, that. It was only a one-nighter on Capri for them and I think I did better planning on my own as I did.

After clambering among the ruins for a while, and checking out the various vantage points, I then left to find the Arco Naturale. But not without stopping, first, at the caffe near the entrance to Villa Jovis for an Affogato al Limoncello. It is just as good as it sounds, too.

By the way, in the below set of photos, you can see a photo that has those massive road beams that hold up the road to Anacapri.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/skywalk...gs/villaj/show

If you are still following this story, you can tell that I am covering a lot of ground on the island. Arco Naturale and the hike past the Grotta Matermania (and later Villa Malaparte) are another beautiful and very easy hike to do. All of my hikes so far are really just walks. Street clothing and regular comfortable shoes are just fine. My walk to Da Luigi ai Faraglioni was in a sundress and flip flops, for example. The Villa Jovis would not have benefited from flip flops, but the Arco Naturale hike would probably have been fine (if a bit slippery in spots from falling leaves or pine needles on the path).

First, Arco Naturale. This is apparently from the Paleolithic age and is made of limestone. It's absolutely huge and somewhat hard to photograph because the little path in front of it is so close to it with a cliff right behind you. After my viewing and photos, I went back up to the small restaurant near the entrance and had a meal of Caprese salad and wine with a nice view of the sea. When I paid the bill inside I admired the rappelling photos of the Arch and small islands next to Capri. They start them young - there was a little girl, maybe about 7, all suited up in rappelling gear. Good for her!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/skywalk.../hikearco/show

After lunch I walked down, down down (and then back up again) to the Grotta Matermania and around the eastern edge of the island until I finally ended up at the entrance to the Faraglioni.

The Grotta, they think, was originally a sacred place dedicated to Mithras. On my walk I also passed Casa Malaparte, a huge and distinctive (and very, very orange) villa, which is just about as remote as you are going to get. The only practical way to get there would be by boat, especially if you were lugging something. Even from my walking path you could not reach it, although there may be other paths on Capri from a lower vantage point. I'll explore another time. This villa was built in the late 1930s for Curzio Malaparte, an Italian writer. He changed his last name in his mid-20s and it means "evil/wrong side" which is supposedly a play on Napoleon Bonaparte's name, which means 'good side' in Italian. He died in 1957 and the home fell into serious disrepair until efforts were made to restore it in the early 1990s.

I should point out that I passed no-one on this walk until I got fairly near the Faraglioni. Mid-May, gorgeous day, and I had this part of the island completely to myself. Amazing. So much for the "too crowded isle of Capri".

Just before I reached the entrance to the Faraglioni I passed behind another villa which I had admired from my perch at Da Luigi, high up on the cliffs. If you go back to that set of photos above you will see a stark white villa up high. In this below set of photos is the vantage point directly behind it.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/skywalk...lungowalk/show

After relaxing at the hotel for a while, I set out for dinner and another evening stroll around the main parts of the village. I took photos of the dusk overlooking the Bay of Naples, I wandered through bits of Capri village I hadn't seen in the daylight (pausing for quite some time in front of a picture window in the kitchen of a restaurant, watching the dance of the chefs packed into their space) and then back home again. Tomorrow morning was to be my last sliver of time on Capri.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/skywalk...aprinight/show

<b>To be continued…</b>
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Old Sep 8th, 2013, 06:42 AM
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CAPRI
Blue skies--lush greenery--vibrant, colorful flowers--stunning sea views--you sure lucked out with perfect photography weather.

I feel like I've been there through your beautiful photos and excellent commentary.

Waiting for more...
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Old Sep 8th, 2013, 08:49 AM
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I can almost taste the limoncello by looking at your pictures. Stunning
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Old Sep 8th, 2013, 09:55 AM
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Wow! Really enjoying your report and your fantastic pictures. I've been checking almost every day hoping you would continue your report. I can't wait until we are there next June - I hope we have a "Groundhog Day" like you did.

Unfortunately we will be day-tripping from Positano arriving at about 9:25 and leaving on the last ferry (I think) at 18:25. My thought is to walk around the town of Capri for a bit then head out on the walk past Arco Naturale, Villa Malaparte and have lunch at Da Luigi. Then figure out the best way to get to Anacapri to see Villa San Michelle and Chiesa San Michelle and take the chair lift to the top of Monte Solaro. Finally hope like heck that we can catch the 18:25 ferry back to Positano. Too much?
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Old Sep 8th, 2013, 10:07 AM
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Gorgeous photos! Thanks, especially for the series on the Villa San Michele and Scala Fenicia.
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Old Sep 8th, 2013, 12:51 PM
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Flygirl...stunning photos (as always!) Enjoying the trip report & re-living my very short one day visit to Capri in 2009.
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Old Sep 8th, 2013, 05:31 PM
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Good evening everyone,

Thanks for sticking with me, especially after such a long break. I'll work on Positano this week. I have the final Capri installment ready to go.

TPAYT, you nailed it. That is Capri. I can't believe it took me so long to visit.

rncheryl, MaineGG and LowCountryIslander, thank you!

john 183 - OK, you have 9 hours of which figure 8 will be "useable". Keep in mind you will be walking every-where, except for the ride between Capri and Anacapri. I would consider leaving the stroll around Capri for after lunch (or even after Anacapri) and make a beeline for the Arco Naturale/hike/Da Luigi. Looking at the time of my photos, I was walking up to Villa Jovis before 10 AM (the same time you would be walking) and by the time I was past the Faraglioni and walking back towards Capri village (after all you see above) was 5 hours. You won't be going to Villa Jovis, though, so let's say 3.5 hours for you at the same spot. Put another way - you should be exiting Da Luigi at 130 PM if you want to fit everything in Anacapri, although you would not have time to dawdle in Anacapri either. Da Luigi is pretty special, though, so I wouldn't leave there just to cram in the other stuff if you are enjoying yourself.

The walk into Capri and wandering around Capri would put you at 4.5 hours, maybe even 5 if you window shop. That gives you three hours to get the bus to Anacapri, visit three things there (one of which would be really quick) and then get back to the ferry - I'd use a taxi at that point. I think it's possible but I would not dawdle. At worst you get up to Anacapri and realize you can't fit it all in and you head back down.


<b>Capri Day Four, morning.

Via Krupp and Ci Vediamo, Capri. </b>

I had exactly one hour for one last exploration from the time I walked out of the hotel after breakfast until I walked back in to collect my personal items and head to the funicular to take me down to the harbor and ferry for Sorrento. The hotel porter had already taken my luggage that morning. Off I went.

I figured I'd just stroll over to the Giardini di Augusto to see if it was open. They are a five minute walk from the hotel and I admired the views of them from the hotel balcony each morning.

During my stroll I saw the village kitty whom I had petted the night before. I wandered down the lane towards the gardens and saw that they were 20 minutes from opening. The path continued past the entrance, through an archway, and once I crossed through the archway I was enthralled by what I saw. I had no idea that this even existed which made it even more special.

Via Krupp, all pictured below, was built at the dawn of the 20th century by German industrialist Friedrich Alfred Krupp. Apparently it was a path he built between his hotel the Grand Hotel Quisisana and the Marina Piccola where he had started a marine biology center. I also just learned that he did not enjoy this beautiful path for very long, sadly, he committed suicide in 1902. A reminder that we all carry burdens, many of them unseen.

My memory of this morning was that I was almost alone but for a few other walkers coming the other direction from Marina Piccola; the weather was crisp, clear and just perfect; the sun wasn't very high in the sky and in fact had not yet come around the side of the cliffs; the waves were crashing below and the seagulls were keening as they circled. I walked down its loop-di-loop path about 2/3 of the way to the bottom and just watched and listened while I took these photos. Had I known about this path before the morning I was leaving I would have walked all the way to Marina Piccola - or at least left the hotel even earlier to explore some more. I did walk into the Gardens for about 5-10 minutes and took a few photos there, also shown below.

Below are my photos. See if you can find the one with the shadow of my hand holding up the camera. I left it in because it made me giggle when I came across it.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/skywalk.../viakrupp/show

After saying goodbye to Antonino at La Minerva I made my last stroll to the main piazza and down the funicular to the ferry stop. As I mentioned previously, I decided to go to Positano via Sorrento because there were many more ferries, including morning ferries. I had a driver take me to Positano from the Sorrento ferry.

I would have to say that the absolute must of this whole trip was the lunch at Da Luigi ai Faraglioni. If you had time for nothing else, at least do that. If I utterly had to drop something, absolutely no choice in the matter, I would reluctantly drop the whole walk down La Scala Fenicia although I would at least walk down it enough to see the Sphinx at Villa San Michele and then come back up again.

How many delights can such a small island hold? What else will I find on my next visit? I barely scratched the surface in three nights.

<b>On to Positano… </b>
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Old Sep 8th, 2013, 05:57 PM
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Great TR, loved every sentence, and every picture, all the blues and the greens. Thanks for sharing. We'll be there next May, so I will come back to really read all the details, take notes and make more plans
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Old Sep 9th, 2013, 02:05 AM
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Just wonderful!! Can't wait for Positano.
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Old Sep 9th, 2013, 06:02 AM
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Your last day on Capri
I loved, loved the 4th photo from the end with the switchbacks and the turquoise sea.
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Old Sep 9th, 2013, 10:57 AM
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Thank you so much!

I should probably mention flickr makes those tagged slideshows out of chron order. I don't think it's "fixable" since they are tagged. So when you look at them, they don't exactly follow my storyline. Close enough, though, given that I'm grouping them according to the story above.

TPAYT, I only had my tiny P&S camera on me that morning since I was only nipping out for a little bit. Goes to show you should always carry your gear, huh?

xyz and Judy, glad this is helping!

I started writing Positano this morning, the rest of Day 4, so I should be able to post a little tonight.
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Old Sep 9th, 2013, 11:06 AM
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Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question. Good idea on not trying to see the town of Capri first. We are really looking forward to the Arco Naturale walk/hike and lunch at Da Luigi. We will then play it by ear to see how much we can get done at Anacapri.

One more question - The latest ferry I see back to Positano is actually at 18:50. Is there a later ferry or some other way to get back to Positano that is not outrageously expensive? We had hoped to have a nice dinner on Capri and get back to Positano just in time to go to bed but I can't seem to find a way to make that happen.

Thanks again - very nice report and pictures.
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Old Sep 9th, 2013, 11:40 AM
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Hi John

Let me go back and look at the timing of my Day Two. I think your plan is probably doable but I'd definitely leave Capri stroll for after lunch or even after Anacapri, if you still go there, and I'd also consider perhaps just taking the chair lift to the very top and getting that vantage point. If your time is limited that was a spectacular vantage point. It's the highest point on the island.

I would reiterate - don't leave Da Luigi merely to cram in the other stuff. If you are really enjoying the moment at Da Luigi (they even have chaise longues, and you could go swimming) then that would be a great time right there. They have cabanas for changing and if you email them you can find out if they have showers.

I am not sure about ferries? There are private boats on Positano that also do that trip, I believe. Maybe they go a little bit later?

Are you quite sure there's no chance you'd do an overnight? If you arrived on the late afternoon boat to Capri the evening before you would have all evening to stroll around Capri and have dinner.. hit the ground running early the next morning.. you would for certain fit in your planned day then. That extra morning hour, and, not needing to visit Capri village on that day would make all the difference.
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Old Sep 9th, 2013, 11:48 AM
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ps. Da Luigi closed at 4 PM when I was there. I am not sure if that was because it was May.
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Old Sep 9th, 2013, 04:11 PM
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Thanks again for all the info. Our group all agrees that the walk to Arco Naturale then on to Da Luigi for a nice lunch is our highest priority for the day. Unfortunately we are only in Positano for three days (one on a day trip to Capri, one hiking a part of the Path of the gods, the other going to Amalfi and Ravello) and we are looking forward to some relaxing time on the balcony of our hotel with our friends - enjoying the view and a few glasses of wine. So as tempting as it would be to spend a night in Capri, it's going to have to just be a day trip this time.
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Old Sep 10th, 2013, 05:04 AM
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Hi John, I'll reply in more detail later. Here is my next installment.

<b>Day Four, Positano

Arrival and wandering, walking tour with Zia Lucy</b>

I'll get it out of the way: I didn't eat very healthily today. My notes said:

"On beach in Positano having lunch. Well OK mostly wine. Moved on to limoncello." I had ordered Calamari Fritti which turned out to be not a small app but actually a huge platter. Later that day while walking with Lucia (of Zia Lucy) I had an aperol spritz and then I capped the evening with a gelato. The "not training for the Olympics" diet: fried food and alcohol, and don't forget the gelato.

So, that said, here was my day:

The driver Renato sent was very cordial and on our drive into Positano he stopped at various vantage points to allow me to take some photos. As you may know, there is one road that goes through Positano and it's all in one direction. If you miss a stop, you have to keep going, up around and over, and then meet the road again and pay better attention the next time. My driver did it perfectly - I am just noting this for any drivers here.

After I dropped my bags (and marveled at my fantastic, fantastic flat with a huge shower and wonderful balcony - I'll spare you from the feet on the balcony photos) I set off on a wander. The sunlit-dappled walk down the corridor to the beach is full of shops, stairs, flowers, and people. Lots of people, even in mid-May. Jewelry vendors lined up against the wall, as well as local artists. Several sandal shops with guys out in front, making custom decorated sandals just for you. More jewelry shops. Local clothes designers using local linens, or not. More stairs, then the big church whose yellow-blue-green tiled dome can be seen just above everywhere in Positano… and then the Spiaggia Grande.

Once there, I realized how hungry I was and found a spot to park myself for a while at Le Tre Sorelle which has beachfront views for some people watching. I had my liquid lunch with Calamari and flirted with the waiters in between watching the parade out in front. After a walk along the beachfront, I went back to my room to take a nap. I was to meet Lucia of Zia Lucy at the lobby of the Hotel Sirenuse at 5 PM. She conducts various tours of Positano and other areas of the Amalfi Coast. She will also do hiking tours.

http://en.zialucy.com/

Lucia is a native of Positano, as were her parents and grandparents. She lived in Naples for a while (I believe she went to University there) and a few years ago decided to become a full time tour guide. In Italy there are many licensing requirements (which she is still undertaking - I believe the following weekend after my trip she was heading to Milan for some courses) so she has taken many and varied courses including, I believe, some in archeology. She is wonderful. Very kind and sweet and her English is fantastic. She and her boyfriend live in Nocelle in an old family home which they are almost done restoring. I also walked the Pathway of the Gods with her (more on that later) and their home is literally at the very end of the trail - it has beautiful views of the sea.

She knows the area intimately and we walked around for a few hours while she told me some of the local history. I can't possibly repeat everything I learned but here are a few tidbits: the Saracen towers (Torri Saracene), which are all up and down the coastline, are placed so that each one could communicate with the next in the chain via fire/lights - thus messages could go rapidly up and down the coastline. Each one is in sight of the one before and the one after. These towers were used to warn of impending Saracen pirate attacks. She told me about the linen industry in Positano and pointed out a few of the places that made the better items. She took me into Santa Maria Assunta (the big church) and showed me the dress, worn by one of the mannequins in a side room, that her grandmother had made.

Later while we were having our drinks I asked her what it was like in Positano in the winter time. If there was so little tourism then, what did people do. Apparently there is a large contingent of Positano residents who go to Thailand in the winter! I thought that was interesting. She said it was like "little Positano" in Thailand in winter. If I recall correctly, she preferred northern Thailand, herself, whereas a number of friends she knew preferred southern Thailand. Thailand has been on my list for quite some time, maybe I should bump it higher - for a winter trip!

We also walked along the trail that goes in between the Spiaggia Grande and Fornillo Beach, although we only walked to the Saracen Tower before turning back. That walkway is called, I believe, Via Positanesi d'America. Positano is a small town and she knows everyone - many times as we passed people on the street they said hello to her. She introduced me to a few people who lived in the US but spent a significant amount of time annually in Positano - apparently once you visit you can't get it out of your system.

I now follow her on Facebook and she frequently posts photos of her various hikes. Her boyfriend is a trekker (if I am using that word correctly) and does some crazy hiking, and not only in Italy. He travels pretty far to do some extreme hiking. Right now her photo on Facebook is of the highest mountain on the Amalfi peninsula. If you are on Facebook, I would recommend following her - Zia Lucy. As they live at the end of the Pathway of the Gods, she can hike that at any time and they frequently do. It is like going for a walk in the neighborhood. Think of that the next time you stroll around your subdivision or city block.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/skywalk.../firstday/show

<b>To be continued…</b>
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Old Sep 16th, 2013, 08:34 AM
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Flygirl, Great TR! And beautiful photos! Looking forward to your next installment, and taking copious notes for my April trip to the AC (staying near Praiano for 6 nights). Dreading the thought of the SITA buses, but not sure I can afford the private driver. Would you mind sharing the rate for the full day drive to visit Herculaneum and Pompeii? I'm hoping to visit Herculaneum and Paestum while on the AC. (Granted these would be easier from Naples, but want to be on the AC!) Thanks! Janet
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Old Oct 4th, 2013, 06:02 AM
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Good morning everyone

Janet, thank you, glad this is helping you - and thanks for the nice thoughts on my photos. I paid the driver 220E plus tip for my day amidst the ruins. The nice thing about the dedicated driver is that you can leave stuff in the car all day, too. Extra water bottles, maps, books, etc.

I have been home from our week in Manhattan/Hudson Valley for not quite two weeks and have been very remiss in adding to this. I also happen to be at the point in my photos where I left off sorting is another reason I've been procrastinating. Pompeii happens to be the next installment and I'll try to at least get through that this weekend...

<b>Next up: Pompeii, Herculaneum, and lunch at the base of Mount Vesuvius...</b>
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Old Nov 4th, 2013, 04:07 AM
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Wow, did it really take me a month to get back to this? Ouch. It's a good thing that it's unlikely anyone is relying on this report until the spring trips come around again. Next installment, as promised.

<b>Day Five, Pompeii (the reconnaissance visit), Herculaneum, and lunch al fresco in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius..</b>

This was the morning I had been waiting for all week. Pompeii! Think of the first time you heard the story of Pompeii when you were a kid. Such a tragedy, and almost too much to be believed. My driver (details above) picked me up at 830 AM in front of the Alcione for the pretty drive towards Pompeii. He said he'd watch for traffic and decide on the fly if we should do Herculaneum first or Pompeii first. In the morning it didn't matter to me as I had even heard people say they preferred Herculaneum over Pompeii.

I took an umbrella with me - not for rain - for the sun. It was quite sunny when we left and stayed that way until I finally entered Pompeii after lunch. There isn't a lot of shade in either place although I didn't need to carry the sunshade by the time we got to Pompeii - it had clouded up by then.

I am very lucky in that I saw the really well done British Museum exhibit on Pompeii in April the first weekend it opened (my whirlwind "cultural weekend" in London). The curators plucked the cream of the crop from the Naples National Archaeological Museum, cleaned them up, and wrote very descriptive placards for everything. There were detailed maps and photos with descriptions, there were utensils galore, there were naughty sculptures, there was artwork replete with not only the description of each style but even information about how the wealthy Brits (of the time Pompeii was first excavated and explored) liked to mimic the Pompeian Style of artwork for their grand homes. I even saw the Cave Canem mosaic which was probably a reproduction. I think I learned more details by going to this exhibit than I did going to Pompeii itself which will become clear later. At any rate it was a fine introduction of what I would see in May.

I don't need to go into the history of Pompeii here I don't believe. If you are going you probably have a pretty good idea of what happened already. However I will tell you some impressions in the hopes you can max out your time.

Reasonable minds may differ, but, in my opinion, put Pompeii first over Herculaneum (which I did not do). I say this even if you have a full day. Eight or even nine hours with a driver certainly sounds luxurious. But you are going to lop off a few hours with the driving time and lunch. Also, the first place you visit you will be inclined to lose track of time - especially if it is your first time. I lingered longer over Herculaneum and thus I ended up short-shrifting Pompeii by comparison. Herculaneum is certainly worth a lot of time in its own right - but if you have only one day and you have to choose where to spend more time, I'd go for Pompeii.

This is my opinion because while Herculaneum is very well preserved, too, it looks and feels even more like a scavi. It's a hole in the ground, with railings up above where you can survey it below you before even walking in, and it's relatively small and self contained. You feel like you are at a construction zone. The modern day houses on the other side of the street overlook the scavi. Not that this is a bad thing - they are excavating all over, of course it will look like this. But Pompeii is different. It feels different. It's huge - bigger than I expected. If you half close your eyes, and the be-shorted tourists all go into or behind a building and all you have in front of you is a long stretch of roadway, you can briefly lose yourself and feel like you are treading the streets of an ancient city, not in the present day. I'm probably not articulating this very well. Both had scads of people wandering about, but in Herculaneum it's smaller and more concentrated. Overall it just feels more atmospheric in Pompeii, to me. By the way, don't let some of my photos fool you - I'm pretty good at waiting for that brief second when the people are out of the frame to actually snap the photo. Unless the point is to show how crowded it is! It was cute to look down and see one group of kiddos marching in - there had to have been 30 of them all in red baseball caps.

What I would highly recommend is to get a map of the Pompeii scavi the night before and really study it. Circle what you want to see and make a beeline for it upon arrival. Leave the meandering for when you have time. Scoff at Rick Steves all you like, but I left his book behind and when I got home I thumbed through it and realized he had a well done and very high level overview/walking tour of Pompeii which would have helped me immensely - coulda shoulda woulda photocopied it.

When my driver dropped me off at Pompeii, I walked up, bought my ticket, got the official map (which is very useful and shows routes) and then just followed the path from the entrance where I bought my ticket. I didn't go in the main gate. I ended up going in the entrance that was near a theater which put me far away from some of the bigger highlights (and, at least initially, farther away from the crowds, too). And then a wild goose chase to first find the huge ampitheater - when I only had two hours for the entire outing. I did not see the House of the Vetii or the House of the Faun, for instance. I did see the Lupanare, at least, which is quite well preserved including the menu of, erm, options above the tiny bedrooms.

Pompeii has this in common with Venice: routes that look like they are going somewhere just end, albeit due to scavi not water. You will see very interesting things along your path to the thing you are trying to visit and then the path will just end and you have to backtrack and try another route.

Mostly I wandered, map in hand and camera too. I visited a variety of homes and made the backtracks and in the end didn't get to the ampitheater because I realized I was running out of time and wasn't going to see some of the bigger sites.

Above all, I'd recommend taking at least two days to see both sites. It was a very brief overview to try to fit them in the same day. There is too much to see.

In between the two visits I had lunch at the base of Mount Vesuvius which I described in a posting above.

Here are a few more photos. I linked my "Top Ten" from this day in my first posting but here are a few more.

<b>PHOTOS:

Herculaneum first.</b>

Proconsul Marcus Nonius Balbus Statue (two views). Most of his other statues are in the museum in Naples, apparently. This gentleman was a major benefactor of Herculaneum. He is buried here, I believe, and for reference the suburban baths are directly next to him. They were closed when I visited.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/skywalkerbeth/10668689396/

I am 95% sure this below is for cooking and is NOT what it looks like it could be (for starters the holes are placed too far back). Pots were placed inside the holes.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/skywalkerbeth/tags/nonius/

A stroll:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/skywalkerbeth/10668919863/

Check out the pipes in Herculaneum (upper left). That one little detail astounds me.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/skywalkerbeth/10668659865/

More ruins:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/skywalkerbeth/10668961854/

The red hat brigade. Look out, here they come!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/skywalkerbeth/10668645715/


<b>Lunch at the base of Mount Vesuvius.</b>
http://www.flickr.com/photos/skywalk...mountvesuvius/

<b>Pompeii</b>

Some artwork inside a home.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/skywalk.../tags/pompart/

I was alone for a little bit.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/skywalk...ags/pompalone/

And then I wasn't.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/skywalkerbeth/10669169984/

Inside a home:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/skywalk...tags/pomphome/

Inside a theater. I notice some modern day seating markings. I wonder if they have plays or small concerts in these theaters? How cool would that be. I saw, many moons ago, a bullfight in the Roman ampitheater in Arles and it was thrilling just to sit there.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/skywalk...s/pomptheater/


Three stepping stones. This is an avenue.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/skywalkerbeth/10669266873/

Basilica
http://www.flickr.com/photos/skywalkerbeth/10669358813/

Inside the forum
http://www.flickr.com/photos/skywalk...ags/pompforum/

A statue, and, a wall
http://www.flickr.com/photos/skywalkerbeth/10669137186/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/skywalkerbeth/10669165796/

I am now running out of steam so I will end here. Happy to try to answer questions. Our trip back was uneventful. It was definitely clouding up, and the rains came that night. It made for an absolutely beautiful morning though.

<b>Next up: My first full day in Positano. A stormy and beautiful morning and lunch up in the clouds. </b>
flygirl is offline  
Old Nov 4th, 2013, 04:47 AM
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Thanks for coming back to this TR! Looking forward to the rest.
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