Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Trip Through Italy, Part 4

The next leg of our Italian vacation took us to Naples. Now if you are like me, you have heard many a story of how bad Naples is...dirty, lots of pickpocketing, etc. But I have to say it was not like that for us. Yes, there is graffiti everywhere but I will tell you, Rome was worse. I don't think I would want to live there but it was nice visiting. Never once did we feel in danger of having our purses or wallets stolen. That is not to say that it doesn't happen. We all knew it could, because on our last trip to Italy, one of us was pickpocketed in Rome. It happened on the subway with the typical diversion tactic. It made us all very aware of our surroundings for the rest of the trip.  We carried that awareness into Naples.
Naples has it's own kind of charm. It is supposed to be the birthplace of pizza but repeatedly we found that you couldn't get a pizza until after 7:00 p.m. We never found out the reason for that. Speculation was that they didn't fire up the pizza ovens till later in the day.  

One of the days we were in Naples, we took the ferry and went out to the Isle of Capri. It was so beautiful there. When you arrive on the island you take a funicular to the top and the views were magnificent. It really is a pretty island. The downtown area was very touristy with lots of high end shops and gelato stores. A great place to take in a little respite and enjoy a glass of wine or beer.

We decided to go even further up to Villa Jovis, the palace where Emperor Tiberius lived, that was built in the first century, B.C. It was quite a hike to the Villa but it was worth it. The walkway up was lined with beautiful homes and gardens. Lots of photo ops! The palace itself, was fascinating and a lot of it is still standing, which is remarkable considering how long ago it was built. Even a mosaic marble walkway is still visible. Rumor had it that if Tiberius didn't like someone, he would take them to this one area, affectionately called Tiberius' Leap, and they would be pushed off the cliff.

Entrance to someone's home, through the garden.

Part of the mosiac marble walkway.

One of the sheer cliffs at Villa Jovis.  Tiberius would
     throw people off these cliffs, if he didn't like them.          

We went the next day on a guided tour of Pompeii.  What a great tour it was!  We had a fun tour guide, who was well versed on the history of the volcano and the town of Pompeii.  He made the tour very interesting, adding humor to the facts.  We took a tour in the afternoon of Mt. Vesuvius and quite frankly, it was disappointing.  It was pretty much self guided with no help from the guide (different than the morning).  The best part of that tour was the pizza lunch they provided for us.  

Here are some of our Pompeii pictures.  

This face was once a fountain from the aqueducts of long ago.

Mt. Vesuvius as seen from Pompeii.

First Pizza oven in Italy?

There are lots of things to do in the Naples area.  We only touched the surface.  Guess we'll just have to make return trip.

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