Buon Complanno Andrea!!!! We began our day with Buoni Americanos and fresh warm croissants before hitting the road to explore the ruins of Pompei. Leaving the Il Pini campsite we all agreed the facilities were top notch, resort-like, with a great restaurant, pool, playground and entertainment. Highly recommend this site near Rome!
So, after a smooth 3 hour drive to Napoli, we enjoyed a picnic lunch at the Zeus campground of insalata mista with tuna, tomato and antipasti, some fine salumi amd porchetta,watermelon and crustybread. Under a blue and sunny sky, we headed into the ruins of Pompei, grabbed ourselves an informative and eccentric guide, and wandered the streets of the ancient city. Highlights of our tour included the brothels and the baths, a breathtaking amphitheatre, and the stray dogs roaming through the incredible wild bushes of rosemary that flourished everwhere. The people of Pompei’s genius was evident in the marble tile embedded in the lava stone streets, used to reflect the light of the torches set high up in the stone walls, illuminating their ancient city. The looming presence of the majestic and deadly Mt Vesuvius is always in the distance – waiting, watching, and standing grandly over the ruins. A peaceful and beautiful place, Pompei is defintely a must see for history and architectural buffs alike.
On our way to our next stop, the picturesque town of Sorrento, we stopped for some fresh fruit at a stand overlooking the Gulf of Napoli. The winding roads and steep cliffs lead staight down to beaches and beautiful views of the water. A drive not for the faint of heart, narrow roads, crazy and speedy drivers and LOTS of places to get a camper stuck. If you’ve ever flown and cheered when your pilot safely lands the plane, you won’t be surprised to know that we applauded our driver Andrea on more than one occassion!!!!
Our day reached a heady climax with a rousing birthday dinner for Andrea at our campsite, Santa Fortunata, restaurant. With yummy pizzas, homemade gnocchi, and freely flowing vino di casa, we celebrated Andrew’s 45 years. There were poems, laughter and man-scarves (look out Guelph), and Mr. Val even connected with his inner Scotsman….a chap we named Angus. A good time was had by all – and made even better by our unbelieveable views of charming Sorrento, it’s grand cliffs with it’s pink and white buildings nestled into the landscape. What a day!!!! Tomorrow the Amalfi coast awaits!!!

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