Up and at em bright and early we had breakfast then a 3 hour trek from Rome to Pompeii. We stopped along the way for gas at a rest area which had the most diverse convenience store. They had a full restaurant and cafe as well as a mini mart with everything from wines and cheese to the worlds large lolly pops and hello kitty mini golf clubs. It was interesting.
In Pompeii we took a guided tour through the ruins. The town was much larger than we had anticipated. It was amazing to see how much has been excavated in the site. They discovered that by pouring plaster into air pockets in the ash, they would come out with the forms of human remains in various states of when they died. I had always thought that they died from the ash and lava, but most actually died from the toxic gases that the volcano sprayed. Mount Vesuvius is still an active volcano and it is the most closely monitored volcano in the world, since it will erupt again one day.
Pompeii was a very advanced city for 2000 years ago. Their streets had small pieces of white marble in them which served as reflectors from the moon, to light the streets themselves. They had an extensive aqueduct water system, where they had pipes running from Mount Vesuvius into the town and public water fountains. Since there were no street signs, each fountain had a different carving that the water flowed from, usually an animal, and this was used as a land mark. Since there was no underground sewage system, the waste water ran down the streets, therefore they had crosswalks built in the form of large stones that were raised to the level of the sidewalks. Also, these stones were spaced apart in the same width that we now use as the standard in our railroad system.
We got to see homes of both the wealthy and the middle class which were well preserved and even had stucco colored paintings still preserved on the walls. We walked through one of the men’s bath houses. There were 3 different rooms; a hot shower, then a sauna and massage room and finally a cold shower room. Romans viewed the baths as a relaxing time and visited as often as possible.
After lunch we headed to Sorrento, about an hour on the bus. The views were breathtaking as the main road traveled along the coast for much of the trip. We checked into our hotel, had a quick rest and then headed into Sorrento to look around at the local shops. Limoncello and hand made leather sandals are 2 popular items in the area. Our group had cocktails at a small bar overlooking the Bay of Naples, we both had procescco. Then we went for a pizza dinner. They took us into the kitchen and we watched them make our pizzas, super thin crusted in an open fire oven. It only takes them 3 minutes to cook since the crust is so thin and the fire so hot. We had chocolate cake and limoncello for dessert. Stuffed and exhausted we’re back at the hotel and heading to bed.