20.10.2010 - 23.10.2010
After Rome we continued south spending the night in Naples. We decided to stay in Naples, mainly to try out the famous pizza napoli. Naples is a rather rough town with quite a bit of litter (recently there had been riots about the lack of waste disposal) and a number of buildings looking rundown. One closed down McDonalds had 'f*** America!' graffitied on the door. Before heading to Naples, we had heard many negative viewpoints of the city, and while there where some really dodgy looking areas (and people), overall the city didn't appear to be as bad as all the hype. The pizza was good, although Jade didn't rate it as good as the pizza in Rome, and some of the medieval style alleys had some interesting shops including wooden models of nativity scenes. Underneath the grime, Naples boasts some great 17th, 18th and 19th century architecture.
After one night we left Naples for Sorrento by train, which took about one hour. Sorrento contrasts greatly to Naples. The town is at the edge of the Amalfi Coast, and is picturesque, clean and safe. For lunch, we tried Gnocchi alla Sorrentina, which is a traditional version of gnocchi from Sorrento - we both loved it. The next day we took the train to Pompeii, where we spent the next seven hours exploring the ancient ruins of the Roman town. Pompeii was one of the most amazing sites we had come across so far on the trip. Pompeii is unique in that it is a completely preserved working Roman town which was left undisturbed until the 1600s, after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius around A.D 79 . The best thing about the site of Pompeii is that about a third of the entire site is open to the public and a large number of the buildings with magnificent frescos are also open.
On our last day in Sorrento, we took a bus to Amalfi to explore some of the 50km stretch of the Amalfi coast. The trip took about an hour and a half and offered some great views of the rugged coast line, while winding through towns and up and down mountains. Amalfi is a small tourist town, situated on the side of a cliff and boasts a long history, including a fair while as a slave trade headquarters. The only building left in the town that can attest to the towns wealth as a trading port in the middle ages is the cathedral, which has many Byzantine style works of art.