We left Rome on the fast train to Naples. And boy was I glad that the 2nd class seats were sold out! I could get used to those luxurious 1st class seats!
Our driver, Giovanni, picked us up at the Naples train station and drove us to Mount Vesuvius. In 79 AD, this volcano erupted, destroying most everything surrounding it including the famous city of Pompeii. We made the 45 minute trek to the top of the still-active volcano and stared down into the crater that remains. Over 600,000 people live in the “red zone” of Mount Vesuvius making it one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.
We had lunch at Cantina del Vesuvio. The restaurant sits at the foot of Mount Vesuvius with its olive and grape vineyards surrounding the property. The owner took us on a tour of the vineyards and winery before sitting us at our table. The wine-tasting was wonderful as was the food. Best olive oil I’ve ever had! And their sales tactic of supplying MORE than enough wine with lunch before making the sales pitch at the end was definitely doing the business! Mom and dad may have even ordered a few cases of wine to take home!
After lunch, we rode to the ruins of Pompeii where we met our tour guide, Dario. It was absolutely amazing how well preserved the city was by the volcanic ash.
The local bar. Wine was served from these basins to the local patrons.
A plaster mold of one of the many poor souls devoured the volcano’s ash.
We stayed the night in Pompeii at Villa Flora, which apparently is “not something people do.” Our driver, tour guide and waitress were all stunned that we had chosen to stay the night in Pompeii rather than heading on to the Amalfi Coast. Hindsight is always 20/20 and it may have made more sense to do that, but our dinner at Add’u Mimi in Pompeii completely made it worthwhile! The owner, Roberto, just happened to be our waiter for the night and he was a gem. He made wonderful recommendations on what to eat, drink and THEN when we asked him to call us a taxi, he insisted on driving us back to the hotel!
Check out the rest of our trip!
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