Margaret's Italian Diary, May 2018

Thursday 10th May:  Naples

  • Early start to be ready to go back to Naples.  Lovely breakfast on terrace (although spotting with rain) - especially fruit & yoghurt.  Naughty seagull pinched food from another table!

  • Bags left before us on trollies and we went down to meet taxi driver Mr Benny who was late (our first and only hitch in all arrangements).  Grand Lincoln type taxi.  Smooth crossing to Naples (1 hour) but still cloud on top of Vesuvius- haven't seen it clear yet!  Brought to Hotel Santa Lucia- lovely suite overlooking the Castel and more of the adjoining Marina.

  • Walk along prom- which was busy in the loverly weather- to La Fresco for bruschetta and salad.  Back for big rest as weary.  Tea in room- nice asparagus risotto then another walk on the prom.

Friday 11th May:  Herculaneum

  • 9:30 start for Herculaneum just right.  Not too far to go by our chauffeur for the morning.  Met by Natalie, our guide.  Very quiet especially at first so had good views of everything.  Natalie explained perfectly on the Mary Beard principles!

  • Herculaneum very different to Pompeii so very good to compare and contrast.  Herculaneum was swamped very quickly by fast moving lava flow which killed by asphyxiation.  It set like concrete and you see vast wall of it and consequently very difficult to excavate (although it was a much smaller town- 5,000 as opposed to 12,000) and, much later, house built over the top!

  • Notable difference was that some wood remained almost fossilised (no wood at all remained at Pompeii) so you could see the boat, beds, wooden screens, beams and upper storeys of houses so there was more to see.

  • Two hours flew by and then after a quick look in the gift shop (small) and farewells to Natalie, we were whisked back to Naples.
  • We were dropped off by the large Museum.  Needing lunch we  found a beautiful nearby arcade where a well-place cafe offered a lovely pizza / mozzarella and tomato salad.  Just the job!  Lucky to get a table as also catered for parties going to the museum.  There was a Japanese party doing just that.
  • In the museum were some wonderful mosaics, wall paintings, glass, pottery, silver etc etc.  Large sculptures (e.g. Balbus and Roman Emperor Claudius) all taken from P & H by the first excavators in the 1700s.  Maybe a good thing as many were preserved.  Highlights- of course another guard dog! Lovely mosaic of a lady (in minute pieces), musicians (this was shown on the floor and moving!) a beautiful glass case (in Wedgwood style only 2,000 years earlier) and, of course, a model of Pompeii made of plywood and cork plus video to go with it.  Excellent way to conclude our Roman odyssey.

  • Walked back to hotel by way of the Naples outdoor markets, which had not been there on our previous day visit, probably because of the poorer weather.  Bought earrings and also lovely raffia bag from African lady.  Of course absolutely pooped when arrived back so needed a little rest.
  • Emerged sometime later for our supper.  Were going back right along the prom but as we looked left what did we see- Versuvio without a cloud. Wonderful.  Found a lovely restaurant where we could see her until it went dark.  Had excellent fish supper with tiramasu- great meal to finish.

  • Thought that was the end of the excitement for one day but after we returned to the hotel we noticed lots of activity in the marina- it was the Royal Capri Race Week.  

  • About 11 p.m. all the yachts started sailing out of the marina (about 50) for the midnight round Capri yacht race.  What a sight and we had the best view in town.

Saturday 12th May: Home

  • 10:15 start for home in the morning and we were early!  Good run to the airport on our last limousine run (will miss them).  Jet2 good inspite of delay warning.

  • Guess what- we flew over Menton just peeping out from the clouds.
  • Travelling on the tram back into Edinburgh we saw Arturo McSeatio.  Not quite the same thing.

Margaret's Italian Diary, May 2018

Thursday 3rd

Friday 4th

Saturday 5th
Pompeii & Sorrento

Sunday 6th
Sorrento & Positano

Monday 7th

Tuesday 8th

Wednesday 9th

Thursday 10th

Friday 11th

Saturday 12th

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