160515 Naples Italy

Naples is the capital of the Italian region Campania and the third-largest municipality in Italy, after Rome and Milan. In 2015, around 975,260 people lived within the city’s administrative limits. The Metropolitan City of Naples had a population of 3,115,320. Naples is the 9th- most populous urban area in the European Union with a population of between 3 million and 3.7 million. About 4 million people live in the Naples metropolitan area, one of the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I don’t need to tell you what the weather did for the day – you already know. Just the same as ‘yesterday’; wet, wet, wet.

Together with Tony and Lynore, we hopped in a taxi for a speedy tour to Pompeii and on to Sorrento with stops along the Amalfi Coast. For those who haven’t been to Pompeii, it is a ‘restored’ city after being buried when Mt Vesuvius erupted in 79AD. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with fascinating ruins that hint of a once-thriving city. If there is a record for “the largest cobblestones in the street”, Pompeii surely has it. Sometimes, you need to hop from one cobblestone to the next as you wander around checking out what has been restored to the state it is in today. There were so many tourists around! It’s funny that when you’re not being guided, tourists get in your way as you rush at your own frantic pace. Wet cobblestones make it even more difficult.

We made a mistake. Here’s why. Why would anyone enter a city, not knowing the layout of the streets, without a map? Well, we did. Our driver gave us an hour and a half to check out Pompeii but without a map, it can be very hard to get back to the entrance to make our exit. Our ‘steps for the day’ skyrocketed as we endeavoured to exit the ruins. 10 minutes late and our Italian cabbie, that has relatives in every town, is across the street with a smile on his face, waving to show he is still with us and not a care in the world.

On to Sorrento and the weather starts to improve and the sun begins to shine. The Amalfi Coast comes into sight as we travel the narrow coastal highway towards Sorrento. We stop, and our cabbie, the one with “relatives in every town”, shouts us a “vely nice-a lemon-a” slushy while we view this amazing coastline. The region grows enormous lemons and there are many shops that have lemon scented, lemon tasting, lemon coloured, goods for tourists to purchase. (I’m not sure the locals use lemons for so many things in their lifestyle).

You’ve guessed it; lunch is at a ‘relatives nice-a restaurant-a just over there-a’. What a coincidence that we meet up with the two couples we travelled with in Rome. Their cabbie, from Naples, must have the same relatives as our cabbie does and they too are dining at the same pizza restaurant – “vely good-a pizza, my friend”. The service is smart and there is very little time between ordering and consuming “my cousin brother’s nice-a pizza”.

We have an hour or so after our meal, to wander the streets in the great coastal village of Sorrento. Just down the way is a large group of men practicing their team song, and various other chants, for the next soccer match. The gelato shop is very hard not to stop by. Over 50 flavours of gelato to choose from and with plenty of lick, we did our best to catch every drip before they hit the clothes or cameras. It is Sunday and many of the shops in the main street are already “close-ed” for the day. But we find a side street lined with market stalls of clothes, leather goods, souvenirs, and of course, lemon products.

It is a good time to take a nap on the way back to our ship. Rain, rain, and more rain, comes again and we get wet just ducking from the cab to shelter. And so we said “good-bye-a” to our new cabbie friend from Naples – the city with the worst drivers.

After updating our internet needs at the café that serves “the best-a coffee in Naples” just near the wharf, we seemed to get caught up with returning ship mates from excursions arriving back to the ship from their long day in the rain too. We had a ‘long’ meal chatting to Lindley about his experiences in Rome before making our way back to our suite for an early night.

Tomorrow is a ‘sea day’ as we journey to Heraklion on the island of Crete for the following day.

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