My last few days were action packed in Italy! We homebased in Naples and had two day trips scheduled while we were there! Additionally, our last AirBNB in Naples had no wifi and no air conditioning! So, I am finally getting around to writing this post in the wee hours of the morning in the Chicago O’Hare Airport! Check out how I spent my last days in Italia!
Amalfi Coast Day Trip
One of the famous landmarks of Italy is the Amalfi Coastline! There are a lot of little towns along the Amalfi Coast, including the namesake Amalfi Town. We toured Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi Town, and Ravello! We booked a day trip through a company to tour the coast and it was one of the best decisions for the amount of time we had! We had a private driver take us to each of the towns and gave us time in each town to explore the city center and the beach! Our driver also took us to some of the best places to take photos during the drive. He has lived in Naples his entire life and has a TON of information about the town and the coast, which we all appreciated!
Each town along the coast was rather similar, but each had their own special aspect! Sorrento, the first stop on our trip, is famous for the lemon groves! I never thought much about the smell of lemons but this town make me appreciate lemon on a whole new level! They had lemons painted on their buildings, painted on their local pottery, made into soaps, perfumes, soft and hard candies, lemon foods, and the most famous – limoncello! Limoncello is a lemon liqueur that is made from the rinds of the lemons. Families make their own limoncello and everyone has their own ‘family recipe’ in how to make it. Our driver told us many people use limoncello as additive to food as well as an after meal beverage to encourage healthy digestion!
Positano was the first town with an actual sandy beach (although we didn’t stop). This is what Positano is most famous for as well as their linens! I could shop for days in Postiano! There were all sorts of lightweight, airy dresses and blouses and slacks as well as handmade sandals. The town is filled with skinny alleyways and white walls. It feels very reminiscent of Venice!
Amalfi Town’s biggest attraction is the Duomo in the town. We didn’t have time to go inside, but the outside is really interesting and different from other Duomos I have seen in Italy. You can tell it was meant to be in a coastal town. Our main objective in Amalfi Town was the BEACH! I have lived my entire life in Nebraska, so I don’t go to the beach very often at all! We were able to lay out in the sun a bit as well as swim in the very cold but very refreshing water!
Due to our extended stay in Amalfi Town, we didn’t spend much time at all in Ravello. Ravello is up in the mountains (so many switchbacks to get there) but we were able to stop at a scenic overlook and get some amazing views of the coast and the ocean! Overall, you could spend a whole vacation just at the Amalfi Coast and it was so much fun to be able to spend even one day in the Italian coastal culture!
Pompeii Day Trip
Our second day trip was touring the ruins of Pompeii and climbing Mt. Vesuvius! This was the stereotypical type of tour and it killed me to be the ‘ultimate tourist’ just a little bit. We got on a tour bus early in the morning with a couple dozen strangers that we would never see again. We received radios with neck straps and earbuds to listen to our tour guide. While I appreciated the chance to learn a lot more about Pompeii than I ever would if I explored the ruins by myself, I missed the ‘freedom’ of exploration.
Aaaanyways! We started our tour in the ruins of the ancient town. We saw the city theatre, an ancient version of a ‘fast food shop’, a bakery (where a burned loaf of bread was excavated), a brothel (I was surprised by this addition to the tour. The building was incredibly study though and had some… very depictive art of what this building was used for.), the bath houses, a home of a rich family, and lastly the ancient market space and temple area! It is amazing to see and imagine what this city was like in its hay-day! The town would be covered in white marble with running aquaduct systems. The town had all sorts of technologies throughout the town that show just how advanced they were. There were ‘cross walks’, brake systems for carts, techniques for people needing to get food fast, gym spaces around the bath houses, and so much more! I always thought of ancient civilizations being really simple and rudimentary. Pompeii shattered that. I think our lifestyles are more similar than we may think.
Relaxing in Naples!
On my last full day in Naples, Hailey and I spent the afternoon at the beach! There is a really small beach in Naples and it is mainly inhabited by locals, but it was exactly what I wanted! I was able to relax on the beach, swim in the water and just soak up as much sun as possible! I probably soaked up a bit too much though. I walked away pretty pink from the experience, but nonetheless, it was a great way to cap off vacation!
I have essentially been in transit since June 27. We grabbed a train from Naples to Rome, and another train from Rome to the Airport. We stayed in a little B&B near the airport and caught up on sleep. We left the B&B early in the morning and started our journey home! I had a 5(ish) hour layover in London and I am currently in a 16 hour layover in Chicago O’Hare. I got into Chicago at about 8:00 in the evening, went through customs and security, and ‘slept’ in the airport last night. Basically, my night was a few catnaps, lots of solitaire, some crosswords, and listening to music. I will be grabbing a big cup of coffee in a few minutes here as I anxiously await my flight to Omaha.
I am really thankful for the opportunity I had to travel this summer! I am glad I was able to experience Italy with my friends by my side and I think this trip has better prepared me for future solo international travel! Thanks for coming with me on my adventures in Italy! If you ever take a trip over, send me an email and I’ll give you some tips for the trip!