120508 Rome Sorrento 8 May Tuesday

 

Our first of many early starts happens this morning with suitcases to be outside our rooms by 6:15am.  Breakfast at 7am and departure at 7:45am for Sorrento.

Peak hour is evident as we leave Rome southbound.

The true Italian countryside is not far out of Rome – green hills and farmland.  There are fields of solar panels supplying electricity to the villages along the way.  Although the bus looks slick, as we travel, there is a whine in the motor and the suspension is not the ‘air foam’ that you can experience in some coaches.

Our trip to Sorrento is only 4 hours total including 30 minutes comfort stop – 50cents a pee.

I forgot to mention in yesterdays post that Mr Pope did not come to the front door to greet the pilgrims from Australia.  Perhaps we needed to be more conspicuous – Harry forgot to bring his lime green mankini.

We arrive at Pompeii to notice that the size of the cobblestones has grown enormously, great big bricks.  How the ‘slaves’ of the day worked with them in forming the road, no one knows, but the council hasn’t had to upgrade the road surface for 500 years or more.  Pompeii is a very busy town and this is the off-season.  They say during June to August, tourist sites in Italy are very much overcrowded.

After lunch at a local café, we commence a guided tour through the ruins of the old Pompeii; well kept because of the many tourists that visit each year.  Our local tour guide has a great Italian accent and her ‘comea toa thisa streeta’ is rather fascinating.  We see two amphitheaters that had great sound qualities without an electrical power point in sight.  Each house has been carefully excavated and a story revealed. There is a line of bakers, each with stone ovens to show generations in the future how to cook a real Italian pizza.

We are taken into the ‘red light’ area and into a brothel.  There are well-painted erotica on the walls, perhaps to act as a menu for the customers to choose which experience they would like, as most of them didn’t know the local language.  The gym, with steam rooms and massage facilities, shows evidence of constant use.  (I wonder if they had iPods to listen to as they exercised?)

Following the tour, we bus to our accommodation for the next two nights.  I had jokingly mentioned to our tour guide that I would like an ocean view for lunch not knowing that the view from our accommodation in Sorrento is going to give us a magnificent ocean view of the Bay of Naples.  Our motel is ‘hanging’ on the edge of a cliff with the absolute perfect view – for two days.  Wow, only film stars and heads of state get this view, but we are experiencing it because we are travelling with Scenic Tours.

Our dinner for the evening is at a restaurant run by a family for three generations; it too sits on the edge of a cliff with a magnificent view and a beautiful sunset over the Isle of Capri.

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