Life crept back in fast. Here it is almost 2 months since we got back from Italy and I’m just now getting a chance to add Pompeii and Naples, the last two cities on our magnificent trip – let alone Andre Bocelli! Don’t worry, I found the time… and here is Pompeii.

On Thursday, Oct 23rd, we packed up from Sorrento and got back on the bus for just about our last trip with Mauritzio. Arriving at the entrance to Pompeii – the city made famous by its centuries long preservation in the ash of Mt. Vesuvius – we were a little early for our appointment with our tour guide, so first a little late morning pick-me-up… .

Donato got this wine from the lady who runs the public toilets (I think he actually called it Toilet Wine). It was… interesting, as was the restroom itself. Another public toilet experience to remember. We were all very curious as to the circumstances that caused this particular sign.

Well of course it is!!

We also had time to get to know some of the locals selling interesting trinkets. These guys posed for Ted (no comments please)! A little Caribinari Cheesecake…

Then we met our guide Gaetano… looks good, no? Gaetanodid a fantastic job guiding us through the streets of Pompeii – turning ruins into homes, fast food joints, and brothels. He helped us see the city through the eyes of the people who lived there before Pompeii was destroyed and completely buried during a long catastrophic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius spanning two days in 79 AD. This is the forum with Mt. Vesuvius looming in the distance. The theory is that these columns were still being repaired from an earlier quake in 62 AD.

I loved it… The pack…

The line up…

Running the gauntlet…
Special commentary from Tom!

This is a fresco depicting fertility-imagery, really! Get your mind out of the gutter…

Ah the famous Brothel… advertising is everything. We saw much more of this the next day in the Naples museum.
Can you believe all this was hidden under ash and pumice – lost for nearly 1700 years? It was onlyaccidentally rediscovered by an architect who was digging a new course for the river Sarno. But it took more than 150 years before a serious effort was started to unearth both Pompeii and Herculaneum, its sister city. The place is huge! Only about two-thirds of the city has been excavated but what we saw was impressive.
Roman baths anyone?

Ok, so after the tour we were tired and dusty (and now we understood the sign in the public restroom!!). Luckily, there was a lovely store selling ice-cold Limoncello. (They also sold Murano glass so I was very happy.) Ted picked up a bottle for the gang…very refreshing!

So at this point we had to say goodbye to our good friend Mauritzio, our bus driver. For Ted and I, it was especially sad as he had been our driver the whole trip – through both tours.

We miss him! Mauritzio…our brother!
And our home away from home…his bus…

Ok, very good day. We found Pompeii. Very cool. On to Naples!!

Chow for now!
Carolina and Boneless Rabbit!

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