Amalfi Coast, Positano, Pompeii
From our B&B we took a tour to the Amalfi Coast, which included Positano. We arranged this a tour through the B&B. This was a great tour. They picked us up at the hotel and the boat ride itself was pleasant. The guys on the boat were fun and friendly and were great tour guides. We tried to set the up for the next day to Capri, but they were booked.
Positano was the main place I wanted to see while we were in Italy. After watching Under the Tuscan Sun, this place stuck with me. The tour we took was perfect, we were on a small sized boat and they let us ride on the front. My daughter and I were thoroughly relaxed and could have spent the day on the boat. We arrived in Amalfi and had about 3 hours to tour the island then we were off to Positano. I fell in love in Positano and Limoncello; a drink I first heard of from the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun. Now I am not a big drinker, but I am thinking I might have to have a glass (basically served in a shot or pony glass) nightly from now on. We thought about shipping several bottles home but I thought the allure would go away if we had too much in the house so we opted for 2 bottles. My daughter and I loved Positano and would have loved to have stayed there longer but we only had 1.5 hours until we had to return to the boat (this was the only negative about taking a timed tour). A few souvenirs were bought and we went back to Sorrento.
We ventured to Pompeii on our own opting not to take a tour from the hotel. We figured there would be plenty our tours available when we arrived. We took the bus to the local train and the train dropped you almost at the entrance to Pompeii. We opted for an audio tour where we could do it our pace but as we were waiting in line I found a book that had a map and information on Pompeii. We forewent the audio tour and walked Pompeii on our own; after all we had my little Roman God scholar with us so she was able to point out different statutes and the difference in the columns around Pompeii. Between her, the book and a question here and there to someone around us, it was the best option for us. We were a little tired of being part of a herd in a tour (don’t get me wrong the tours were great, but sometimes they move really fast and even though they speak in English it is sometimes hard to catch the accent). Lightning was ready to be on her own. We were able to leisurely stroll through the city without having to rush to keep up with the tour group. We saw an atual archeological dig occurring in Pompeii, visited the museum there and saw bodies found in Pompeii that were frozen by the ashes of Mount Vesuvius depicting the people as they were frozen in time. Pompeii seems so well preserved to me, you actually saw the tracks on the road where the carts were pulled. We spent a few hours in Pompeii and headed back to Sorrento.
We opted to forego a tour of Mt. Vesuvius. Lighting wanted to get back to the B&B in case Manuela was there. We made it back in time and she and Manuela were able to play for a little while again. Manuela gave her a bracelet she was wearing – it was so sweet. I gave her mom Pheonas’ business card (she had hers made up when I did mine) with our email and hopefully Manuela will email her. They said good-bye for the last time; the next day was her mother’s free day so they would not be back before we left, it would be great if they kept in touch but I am not sure they will email; communication with the mom was also difficult and I am not sure she understood my request to email us. Interestingly, I did not see any computers at any restaurants, coffee shops, etc., nor did you see many people on their cellular.
We tried to set up a tour to Capri with the same company we used for Positano, but they were full so we decided to do it on our own. Lighting really enjoyed exploring at our own pace in Pompeii. We took the bus down to the porto (boat dock) and hopped on a boat to Capri. Once we got there we hopped on another boat to tour the grottos. We saw the white, green and blue grottos, but the water was rather choppy and we could not go into any of them. I have to say that tour was a bit of a flop other then Lightning really enjoyed the boat ride. We then had to decide between Capri and Anacapri as we were short on time. We opted to take the train/bus up to the top. This train/bus is like the first part of a roller coaster, the slow climb up the hill; it is called a bus by the locals but is divided into cars like a train. It takes only about 2-3 minutes to reach the top, but well worth the cost of about 2 euros each (most places children do not have to pay, but here we did). You could also take a taxi. We loved, loved, and loved Capri. We had lunch at Hotel Luna and the wonderful waiter let us use the dipping pool there while we waited. The restaurant and hotel overlooked the Mediterranean, you are right on the beautiful streets of Capri and you have a nice clean pool to cool off in. I have no idea the cost of this hotel, but Lightning and I have decided it might have to be a future destination. Unfortunately we didn’t have much time to really explore Capri and would have liked to also visit Anacapri, but what we saw of Capri we enjoyed.
We did have to rush a little to get back to the boat, which was a bummer for us. We didn’t get to spend as much time there as we would have liked but it is what it is. I recommend, particularly if you are traveling with a group, to hire, through your hotel, a private boat where you set the schedule. We tried to do this but the person recommended was already booked. The price did not seem much different than using a tour.