Sunday, July 17, 2011

Naples, Amalfi, and Pompeii

Today we docked in our LAST port!!  Hate to see it end, but this was a great way to end a fabulous trip.  We started off in Naples or Napoli.  It's a large southern Italian city of approximately 1.5 million inhabitants.  It is a typical large city.  Here's a photo of the fort which is an iconic symbol of Naples.

 We got out early this morning for our excursion because we had a full day.  We started with a drive to Salerno and boarded our motor launch for a boat ride along the Amalfi Coast.  The views were stunning.  I would love to share more pictures, but for now here's one of the city of Amalfi.  We docked here and visited this quaint town for a while before re-boarding the boat and heading back to our bus.
 The bus took us on to Pompeii.   We began our visit here with a tour of a cameo factory.  In case you didn't know, cameos are hand-carved out of sea shells.  We actually got to see the artists sculpting the cameos.  Very cool.  Then we had a delicious lunch of cannelloni stuffed with ricotta and spinach and canoli for desert stuffed guessed it, ricotta cream.  Perfecto!  We needed to walk off the large lunch and did so by winding through the maze of streets of ancient Pompeii.  What an amazing archaeological site!  Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD and buried the city in ash not lava.  I learned today that the city was actually consumed by the pyroclastic cloud.  The city was occupied by 20,000 people.  Approximately 4-6 thousand survived. The rest were killed supposedly by heat and ash suffocation as well as poison gas from the volcano. The city was covered in 6-7 feet of ash which then hardened.  The city was very well preserved under the layers of ash until excavation began in the mid-1800s.  The site is huge, but here is a small snap shot of what the town looks like today.  The large stepping stones are original as is the rest of the road.  This was necessary because there were open sewers and the streets would get very wet and dirty. The raised stones kept the people's feet dry.  Ewwww!!!!

Think of it, this road is thousands of years old and still in tact.  Wish we could build them like this today!

Tonight is our last night on the ship and tomorrow, back to Rome.  To end my cruise portion of the blog, here's a great picture (If I say so myself!) of our beautiful ship taken from the island of Santorini.  It's like a postcard. Ciao!
Celebrity Equinox

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