Italian Diary, May 2018
10th May: Naples
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!
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.
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.
11th May: Herculaneum
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!
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!
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
12th May: Home
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.
on the tram back into Edinburgh we saw Arturo
McSeatio. Not quite the same thing.