Naples (Pompei and the Amalfi Coast)

Although Naples was our port of call, we hardly saw any of it, as we booked a private tour to take us along the Amalfi coast and also to tour Pompei. Our driver Umberto met us outside the ship and was very friendly. He said that traffic was so bad that he was taking us to the Amalfi coast first to visit Sorrento and Positano, then we would tour Pompei in the afternoon. That way, we would be sure not to be late for the ship. He also recommended a restaurant up in the hills above the town of Positano for lunch, and made reservations for us.

The roads are terrifying – narrow and winding, with the scooters constantly weaving in and out of traffic. I’m not sure I would ever feel comfortable driving there. But the views were absolutely stunning all along the way. We all felt strongly about coming back for a longer visit some day.
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We stopped off for an hour in Sorrento first, where there were cute little shops to explore and purchases to be made, and then we drove on to lunch at the Fattoria la Tagliata, a harrowing drive up narrower and narrower roads.

Fattoria la Tagliata is nestled on the side of a mountain, and they grow all their produce as well as raise animals for eggs, milk, and meat. There are stunning views from all parts of the restaurant and grounds, and they served one of the best meals of my life. The appetizers alone were to die for, and enough for an entire meal.

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View from the restaurant
View from the restaurant
Appetizer course
Appetizer course

I would single out the stand-outs from this plate, but frankly, everything was ridiculously delicious. Then came the pasta, with the best gnocchi I’d ever had in my life, as well as manicotti, pumpkin ravioli, and some sort of pasta with zucchini.

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Pasta course

All of this was served with their own excellent white and red wines.

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Finally, there was a wonderful dessert (or should I say desserts), along with the biggest grapes I’ve ever seen in my life, and their homemade limoncello as accompaniment.

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None of us felt up for the Pompei visit, as we were in a major food stupor, but our guide Rosanna met us outside the entrance, and her unflagging enthusiasm and dramatic flair got us back in the sightseeing spirit. We asked her to touch on the highlights, which she did in expert fashion. We learned a lot of interesting things about Pompei, which you can read about on Wikipedia all you’d like. I’ll just share a few pictures with you of our tour.

 

Walking among the ruins
Walking among the ruins
In the amphitheater
In the amphitheater
Original marble sidewalks
Original marble sidewalks
Lead pipe in the wall
Lead pipe in the wall
View of Mt. Vesuvius
View of Mt. Vesuvius

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