Amalfi Coast Day 5, Pompeii and Sorrento
and it's a beautiful day too
Day 5, Thursday, September 22, 2011

Italy is a country that has many interesting places that are full of historic and cultural significances and Pompeii is one them. Today we plan to visit the ruins of Pompeii, and Sorrento.

The weather is wonderful again today as it is sunny and in the low 80s.


From Praino, we drive to Vietri sul Mare, get on the A3 toll road, head to Naples, then take the Pompeii Exit just right after we pass Castellammare di Stabia.

We park our car at a restaurant near the entrance of Pompeii, walk through a sea of gift shops to the ticket office, purchase our tickets and get in.

In the year of 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted spewing ash and lava over a large area of Southern Italy and completely destroyed a flourishing town and its 20,000 inhabitants.

The ruins of Pompeii were discovered in the late 1600's and the excavation continues to this date. Two square miles of ruined buildings, streets, forums, churches, coliseums, bath houses, brothels, and parks slowly rise out of the ash.

The removal of lava rock and ash revealing a civilization so advanced that is so incredibly amazing. Pompeii had a street grid system, irrigation and drainage systems, private and public spaces. The end of Pompeii was so sudden, there is evidence that people and their animals were buried alive.

Take a picture tour of Pompeii.
Pompeii's Great Theater, the Teatro Grande
... pictures
Outside of Pompeii
"Downtown" Sorrento
Lee in Piazza Tasso in Sorrento
A restaurant tucked in a quiet street off Piazza Tasso
Khanh checking out the shops in Sorrento
Lee in front of an art gallery in Sorrento
Getting ready for another day on the Amalfi Coast
Entrance to Pompeii
The remainder of Pompeii Central Bath Station
Amazing setting for ....

Leaving Pompeii, we drive to Sorrento, a coastal town just north of the Amalfi Coast.

Sorrento is a lovely little town lying on a cliff looking over the Bay of Naples. It has been called the Land of Mermaids, Land of Lemon Groves, and Land of Colors. This is where Italians invented the lemon liqueur or limoncello.

We drive around town, down to the marina, up to the town center, park our car in a garage, and walk to Sorrento main square.

Piazza Tasso anchored by a church is located in a five-way intersection divided by row of big pots of flowers.

There are sidewalk cafes on every street leading to the plaza and tourists are everywhere.

We walk around towns through its narrow streets examining blocks and blocks of sidewalk shops where things seem to be very reasonable. Lee and Khanh purchase several small gift items and I pick up some Italian ties.

We have a late lunch of pizza and fried calamari at an outdoor restaurant on one of the pedestrian-only street, then stroll around Sorrento some more.

It is about 6:30 pm when we retrieve our car and head back to Positano. The drive back is not relaxing at all. It is dark and the narrow road twists and turns; and requires your complete attention.

In Positano, we walk down to the beach area and get a table at Chez Black which is right on the beach. For dinner, we order mussels, veal, pork chop, and ravioli, and desserts and everything is excellent.

We stay there until almost midnight then go home in Praiano.
Lee, Don, and Khanh walking the streets of Pompeii
The culprit, Mount Vesuvius, in the background 
Sorrento shopping district
A fish dish being prepared in front of diners

What do you think?
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