Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Naples - Day 1

Victim of Vesuvius frozen in time

Street of Pompeii w/ Vesuvius in the background

Sunset over the Bay of Naples

Lost a day in Rome, killing stolen credit cards and filling out a police report with a scary Italian detective at the Polizia station around the corner.  Unable to contact Canadian Embassy whose ludicrous website emits only numbers unrelated to problems of Canadian citizens and whose automated answering system didn’t seem to cover stolen identity.  Ontario no better.

Drove the Marvells to Leonardo Da Vinci airport for 7:30 am and bid them Bon Voyage, then returned to our B&B to pack and after one last Cappuccino at the corner resto, wove through the morning Rome rush-hour traffic to the Autostrade to Naples.  Arriving early, we stopped at Pompeii to visit the ruins. Awesome and somewhat poignant remains of daily life two millennia ago, snuffed out by the nearby, looming mass of brooding Vesuvius.  Subdued, we repaired to a nearby cafĂ© for a refreshing libation.  Somewhat rejuvenated by the latter, we decided to try for Sorrento and catch a ferry to Capri for supper.

Alas, Sorrento seems to have only one main, one-way street, one-and-a-half cars wide upon which were displayed the wares of the Tuesday Market.  During evening rush hour.  It seems everyone in Italy owns at least one car and several motorcycles, all of which were swarming the streets of Sorrento.  Some two hours later, after our ever faithful GPS lady; Mable, had directed us down a long, one-car-wide, stone-lined, dead-end alley, from which we had to back out (perilously), with the aid of a patient motorcyclist, we managed to turn around and extricate ourselves.  Now in danger of being late to arrive at our B&B in Boscoreale near Naples, we returned through an only slightly less-congested town, found a nearby Pizzeria (a large “Carne” for 5E) and checked in to the lovely B&B, still in the shadow of Vesuvius.  While waiting for the pizza, a parade of youths carrying a huge banner against some sort of referendum about Vesuvius’ National park passed by, followed moments later by a campaign-style car equipped with loudspeaker, heading in the opposite direction, extorting everyone to vote for something. We returned home to find several Carabinieri at the traffic circle and some broken water pipes.  The cops were still there next morning, but had been replaced by the Policia Finanzia by that afternoon.  After a well-earned shot of fiery Grappa, we called it a day.

No WiFi so this posting will arrive late


  1. Hey - you are spoiling us with several posts all at once. Man! You guys have been busy! Too bad about the Embassy. I used to visit the Canadian embassies in South America in hopes that they could help me a bit with the local business environment or culture. I found them to be generally useless, with an occasional flash of helpfulness... Always professional, though, and, of course, trilingual.

    Pompeii sounds fascinating.... One day, day...

    I have always had a soft spot for Naples as it is the birthplace of Sophia Loren... :-)

    Thanks for the posting - can't wait to hear about the Amalfi coast!



  2. Totally Jealous of vesuvious.... definately want to see that before I die. To see time frozen from 2,000 years ago, that life was (with the exception of blogs and other extraneous crap) exactly the same as today, is mind blowing.