On day 3 we packed up our backpacks and took a train through the countryside to Pompeii. It was once a thriving city in the bay of Naples with elaborate villas, small factories, artisan shops, taverns, cafes, brothels, and bathhouses. The catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD completely blanketed Pompeii in volcanic ash.
It was not until the mid-1700s that Pompeii was rediscovered by a group of explorers looking for ancient artifacts. The volcanic ash had miraculously preserved the city leaving it almost exactly as it was 2000 years before. It is astonishing to see how much of the city was in its original state. Tile mosaics, clay pots, and murals are just a few of the things that still looked almost brand new. It was hard for me to grasp how old the city was given its perfectly preserved condition.
I was fascinated by the sophistication of the Pompeian life. After hours and hours of wandering through this magnificent time capsule of Italian history we shared a sandwich and made our way to Sorrento via train.
From Sorrento we took a bus to Positano, a small fishing village on the Amalfi coast known for colorful homes built into treacherous cliffs. Taking a bus ride on the Amalfi coast is not for the faint of heart. The narrow streets have more curves than spaghetti noodles wrapped around a fork. The steep cliffs, sharp curves, and breathtaking views were exhilarating.
We arrived in Positano and walked up and down a myriad of little stairwells until we arrived at Hotel Dimora Fornillio. The beautiful hotel, that dates back to the 1800’s, is perched into the cliffside just above Fornillo Beach. We checked in and spent a little bit of time getting to know the hotel owner, Vincenzo. The room, with a custom wooden door, crisp white walls, architectural arches, locally made tiles, and a patio overlooking the Mediterranean was just perfect.
By suggestion of Vincenzo we made our way to Il Fornillio, a family restaurant that serves classic Italian food with a fantastic view. The only thing that rivals the beauty of the coast at sunset is the coast under the light of a full moon. After dinner, Kevin and I walked through the streets of Positano imagining what it would be like to live in such a quaint little town where everyone know everyone and walks up at least 500 stairs each day. Our evening came to the perfect end with a bottle of Limoncello and Italian chocolates that we purchased while on our walk.