Pompei pt. 1

Posted on February 2, 2012

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I’ve been told by many people, my Dad included, that Pompei was their favorite part of Italy. After hearing this from several people I made a note of adding it to my short list of places to visit. I actually was able to visit the town with my Mom and Dad. They were excited to show me and I was eager to visit the town that, at one time, was covered in 40 feet of ash. What better way to cheer yourself up then to remember; “And then, there was FORTY FEET OF ASH!”

We arrived in Pompei at dusk and to my parents surprise the town was lively. Apparently they had always hopped off the highway directly to the ruins and back off again, never venturing into the town, unaware of its size. Well that settles that, exploring we go. One of the benefits of traveling Italy in the winter is the fact that there are almost zero tourists. I always tend to enjoy traveling more if it isn’t crawling with fudgies (Northern Michigan term for tourists), or at least Italy’s version of them.

We quickly ate, which again was amazing, and then set off into the town. Sadly there was more tourist driven, mass produced shops then old authentic ones. Regardless it was a fun time and once again I was amazed at the architecture of the city and how beautiful the streets were.

As we passed a church on the way back to the hotel a dog picked me out of the crowd and began following me. I didn’t have food so I wasn’t really sure why he chose me over anyone else, maybe he could tell I was a sucker for animals. He nuzzled up against and licked at my hand; finally I broke down and began petting him. I love dogs. He tagged along the entire length of the cobblestone plaza, which was home to one of the most beautiful churches I’ve seen so far, before picking another victim and running off after an Italian couple. As we turned the corner, out of sight you heard a girl let you a surprised scream. Better luck next time dog.

One of the benefits of traveling in winter, as I said, is zero tourists. Well there aren’t zero tourists due to the fantastic weather, and to my dismay we were rained in. My Mother had work the next morning so we had to return home without visiting the fabled city of Pompei. Slightly disappointed my Father offered a consolation prize of taking a drive up the Amalfi Coast.  Having never heard of it I agree wholeheartedly.

As we make our way to the coast and begin our drive my jaw drops, the first time of many to come. Never in a million years could I have began to imagine how absolutely breathtaking the views are. If you haven’t seen the Amalfi Coast I put it near the top of places I’ve ever been as far as scenery is concerned. Since I’m afraid of heights the sharp corners often sent my stomach reeling, but the views are well worth the price of a few sketchy corners. The drive took well over an hour but there was never a dull moment, Kodak moment does not begin to describe how many picture worthy scenes that the Amalfi Coast has in store for any driver. Afterwards it was very obvious why it is in many movie scenes, if looks like something you only seen in theater.

While Pompei may have not worked out this time around the Amalfi Coast more then made up for it, if you are ever in the area be sure to make the trip. You will not regret it, rain or shine.

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Posted in: Italy '12