Thursday, April 11, 2013

Grand Tour of Italy Day 11 Assisi to Pompeii to Sorrento

Day 11 Tuesday March 26, 2013
Assisi to Pompeii to Sorrento

Woke up this morning in a fog, both literally and figuratively. Too much of Bruno's Grappa and we have light rain and fog in the Assisi mountains. We had an OK breakfast at 7 AM and loaded up on the bus at 8 AM.

We are making our way south to Sorrento today. As we hit the road the skies begin to clear. I'm amazed at the number of solar farms we see along the roadside. We are leaving the Tuscany, Umbria regions for Campani. The group is a little groggy from too much limoncella and grappa and Misia playfully taunts us by saying " Di notte leoni, angelli al mattino! (Lions at Night, Lambs in the morning)
We are traveling along the spine of the Apennines, and are treated some very impressive sights of these limestone hills.
More images of our travels south, click here.

Misia gives us a brief history of the southern regions. The Greeks traveled across the Mediterranean and found terrain similar to their homeland and settled. Naples translates to "New Polis" or new city. 

As we make our into Lazio, the Province where Rome is the capital, we get a glimpse of Monte Sorrate.
It is said to be the profile of Mussolini.
We stop for lunch at the Liola Hotel Bar in Castrocielo; we order a light lunch of lasagna and cafe americano for about 15 euros.
Our next stop is Pompeii. The city that was buried in ash by Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Before we visit the ruins, we get a visit with Donadio Coralli e Cammei .
We get to see a demonstration by one of their master carvers.
Misia even finds her favorite cameo, her "boyfriend" David.
Before meeting up with our Pompeii guide, we have some time to look around at the souvenir shops and also refresh with some fresh squeezed juice.
 The lemons here are gigantic! They are bigger than Abbey's head!
Greg tried one of the fresh OJs and approved!
Time to meet Roberto at the Gate C Marina. Roberto explains that the ruins are about 160 acres in size so we will only be hitting the highlights. 
Pompeii was an ally of Rome but became a colony in 80 BC. On  August 24 79 AD Vesuvius erupted. Roberto explained "It was like a nuclear explosion, and the ash fell for one week." About 35 feet of ash and rock fell on Pompeii completely burying the city, there was no lava flow here that's why things are still standing.
Roberto tell us there are about 1000 people visiting Pompeii with us so we will rapidly move to the good spots before they get too crowded. The graffiti on the walls has intrigued scientists for years.
Another "famous" spot is the red light district, Lupanara. It's famous for the frescoes on the wall of the first floor.
More frescoes, click here.

The casts of Vesuvius' victims were very poignant. To imagine what these people must have thought was happening to them and why. How did they anger the gods so much that the sky would turn black and rain ash for days killing everyone and everything.

More images, click here.

We wind up our tour at the Forum of Pompeii as the rain begins to fall in earnest. 
We have a few minutes before Alfonso picks us up so we head for cover in the shops to check out the limoncello and the Lacryma Christi, literally the Tears of Christ.
Back on the bus and off to Sorrento. We arrive at the hotel around 5:30 PM, freshen up then head downstairs for our dinner. More on this adventure later today!!


Next up Sorrento!
Pubblicare domani!!! (Post tomorrow)


Pompeii March 26 Day 11
Grand Tour of Italy
Go Ahead Tours
March 16-30, 2013
Copyright ©2013 Nancy Nutile-McMenemy
www.photosbynanci.com
More images of Italy: http://photosbynanci.smugmug.com/GrandTourofItaly

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