Exclusive Amalfi Coast – Positano – Sorrento – Pompeii

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Cliffside village of Positano

Our day got started early yet again with today’s 7:30am tour, NP08 Exclusive Amalfi Coast, Positano, Sorrento & Pompeii.  We boarded a small mini-van with space for 19 passengers, however there were only nine on this tour.  This gave everybody plenty of room to move about and made for a nice small group.  We began our drive along the Port of Naples and then exited the city.  To our left was Mt. Vesuvius in all its glory, and to the right was the Isle of Capri.  We began our tour by heading to the furthest point and working our way back to the port.  We drove first through the town of Meta and made our first stop in the town of Sorrento.

Once we arrived at Sorrento we were taken to A. Gargiulo & Jannuzzi furniture and shown how the wood inlay process works.  This store has some amazing pieces, and a magnificent gaming table that seemed endless with its abilities.  This process took no more than five minutes, we looked around a bit and then went to enjoy our free time of one hour.  Not knowing what to do our guide suggested a walk down Via S. Cesareo Street, which really was just an alley.  But it was an incredible alley and turned out to be a wonderful suggestion.  We did have to stop in the Piazza Tasso Square pharmacy and ask for directions as we became a bit disoriented.  The Via S. Cesareo alley is going to take about 20 minutes to walk without stopping and perhaps an hour or so if you like to shop.  This alleyway is lined with shop after shop of quality goods with nobody bothering you about anything.  In fact, it is almost the complete opposite.  We have found this everywhere in Italy so far and what a relief from the aggressive vendors of the Caribbean.  We purchased a few items and fell into a Lemon Cello facility where the product is made right on the spot.  The owner had a heavy hand and poured us samples of all three varieties available.  We never felt any pressure to purchase but after tasting this stuff it is just so hard not to buy it.  This street is also lined with several Cafés should you have more time and desire something to eat.  With our excursion, lunch was already included so we passed on the opportunity.  After reaching the end of the Via S. Cesareo we returned by walking back on Corso Italia which turned out to be just like any other street you have ever been down on.  In retrospect, we wished we had just backtracked our return.

Once back to the inlaid wood shop we boarded our minivan and headed along the road of the Amalfi Coast for some breathtaking views.  Soon enough we arrived in Positano which was a well-hidden jewel.  The road was filled with hairpin turns with cars, vans and buses passing so close I don’t know how they managed to get by.  I found this added to the excitement of the whole experience.  Eventually we arrived at a point where our van was not allowed to travel any further.  From there we walked a small distance downhill on a busy road and then into the village of Positano.  Again more shops but the feel, atmosphere and everything else was simply amazing.  I could not stop snapping pictures during our descent.  Our guide gave us fifty minutes of free time which allowed us to mill about the venues and make it down the hill to the marina and beach below.  Once at the bottom, the landscape was breathtaking and we took many pictures of the black sand beach and marina, as well as the opposing town built up the side of the mountain.  This is definitely a place you want to visit.  We then joined up with our party at the Hotel Covo dei Saraceni for our scheduled lunch.  We sat on an outside terrace overlooking the beach and Mediterranean Sea.  Lunch consisted of salad, pasta, and our choice of fish or chicken, and a dessert of Baba, which was a sponge cake soaked in rum with a Lemon cello cream sauce on the side.  We also were served wine, champagne and coffee.

After a tiring uphill walk back to the minivan we were off for the next adventure.  It was about 50 minutes to Pompeii and I believe everyone in the minivan took a nap.  Once we got to Pompeii, this new overwhelming experience took over.  Pompeii is simply magnificent and the city is so much larger than one could imagine.  In fact there are nine regions to Pompeii and we visited only one.  That took about one and one half hours of walking once inside the gate.  More than enough for one day after everything else we had already done.  We saw the small amphitheater, the bath house, the house of prostitution, a wine store, many merchant shops, the main public square and many others.  We also saw the place where the gladiators lived and several homes of the townspeople.  Basically, there was more than I can describe or even remember.  The whole experience was memorizing and I left thinking about when I can come back to see more.  With many amazing photos taken throughout the day and memories of these wonderful places in Italy, we returned to our ship and called it a day.

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