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Mel’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Location: Naples and Amalfi Coast, Italy

MapHey everyone,

Its Mel here. As Trent has been writing ALL of the entries, I thought I was definately due to write up our last trip to Italy. We went to Naples and the stunning Amalfi Coast. Just gorgeous. We spent one day in Naples, which strangely had some strong parallels with the chaotic Cairo. Everywhere we looked there were locals driving erratically, including kids (eg 10 years old) on scooters! It was a challenge crossing the streets, but well worth it. Naples isnt the prettiest city i've been to in Europe, but it is one of the most 'real'... you get a real sense of local life there, with minimal tourists mulling around.

Second day we visiting Pompeii.... simply amazing. Easily the best Roman ruins i've seen, and thats saying something cause we've seen a few of them by now! A highlight was Villa dei Misteri - one of Pompei's finest villas. They reckon it was built in the 2nd century BC, and was covered (and hence preserved) in ash and rock thanks to the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79. The colour preserved on the beatiful frescoes was incredible... you could really get a sense of just how wealthy some of the residents were back then. Another fascinating part of Pompeii was the whorehouse - you could still see the little cubicles with stone beds and graphic paintings of different 'positions'....

We then arrived in Sant D'Angello just outside of Sorrento where we stayed for 3 nights at Mami Camilla. It is actually a very famous traditional italian cooking school with heaps of B&B rooms (see a photo of the view from our room!). It was a great place to stay - we felt like one of the family there, and for a couple of nights we ate all of the food cooked throughout the day - 4 courses of superb italian food for 15 euros. Bargain.

The next day we explored the Amalfi Coast by bus. It is hard to describe just how spectacular the coast line actually is. Rugged mountains covered with plains of citrus groves dropping straight off in the crystal clear oceans. The narrow road wound its way about half way up cliff around the many peninsula's, with spectacular views across the bay. Just gorgeous. A major highlight of mine was the tiny village of Positano with dazzling white houses perched on the cliff down to a gorgeous little beach surrounding by cute little cafe's and restaurants. We had a great time just soaking up the sun eating gelato and drinking freshly squeezed lemon juices.

The next day we visited the Island of Capri - including a famous square, and a chairlift up to the top of the mountainous island affording spectacular views. The island is home to many famous celebs and wealthy people, which envoked a strong sense of pretentiousness! Nonetheless, the island was well worth a visit as the scenery is nothing short of beautiful.

The last day we chilled out shopping and eating in Sorrento which is a lovely town in itself, although these days more used as a base to explore Capri, Pompei and the coastline. And then unfortunately we found ourselves on the plane home!