Sunday, July 26, 2015

Weekend Getaway: Pt. 2

     The next morning we were up and ready for checkout by 10:30. We gathered our things, and made our way towards the train station. Our next stop was Pompei, roughly 45 minutes away. The ride passed by quickly, with the help of the best crudo and mozzarella sandwich we've had. Once in Pompei, we headed to the hotel to drop our bags. After a quick change, we decided it was time to check out the ancient city ruins. A short walk later we arrived at the entrance, and got our tickets. With daylight counting down, we did our best to expedite a tour that could take the whole day if you wanted it to. The first building, most comparable to the Colosseum, housed a small museum with some of the preserved bodies that were caught in the eruption. The remains were amazing, completely petrified in ash and still holding their poses from time of death. We marveled at these for a few minutes, but couldn’t help wishing they would have left them posed in the original locations they were uncovered throughout the ruins. After leaving the museum, we headed towards the heart of the city. Towards the outskirts stood the framework of many houses and living domains. They varied in sizes, and most of all in ornate detail that still remained. They start out modest, but as you begin working your way towards the city center the decadence heightened. Basic brick and stone turned to marble, granite and walls adorned with murals. Along with the mural covered walls, many portions of mosaics and decorative pieces still remained. These small remaining features added personality and narrative to each home, and in a way are more important than the actual structures. All in all the ruins were great, and I would recommend a visit to anyone in that region of Italy. 
     After our tour, we made the walk back to the hotel pretty worn out. After resting for a minute, we decided it was time for dinner. The couple who owned the hotel seemed very eager to give recommendations, so we turned to their advice for dinner. Being in the mood for seafood, the husband told us he knew of the perfect place. Simple directions would have sufficed, but he insisted he’d take us on the 150 yard walk to the restaurant. Once we arrived, we were seated, as he humorously (to us) waited around so that he could talk to the waiter from afar. I’m still not too sure what was said, because no out of the ordinary circumstances or suggestions occurred. That being said, we ordered what we wanted, which consisted of an array of mostly seafood. Mixed seafood pasta was their specialty, so we opted for two of those along with mussels and some other small dishes. The meal was surprisingly cheap, considering the amazing seafood, and house wine for a measly 6 euro. In fact, we were so satisfied with the taste and price, we showed back up at 10:30 the next morning for brunch!
     With our stomach’s off to a confusingly delicious start to the day, we headed for the train that would take us to Sorrento. Upon arrival, we connected to the ferry that would take us to our final destination on the isle of Capri. Immediately when approaching, we began to see why it remains such a popular destination. The landscape was absolutely gorgeous, with a mixture of tropical and mountainous terrains in the most breathtaking way. Once we got to the top of the elevation and dropped our bags at the hotel, it was off to explore. We were very hungry, but unfortunately in Italy 3 pm-6pm equate to screw you eat your fingernails. After 30 minutes or so of closed restaurants, I stopped in a deli and asked if they could prepare us a sandwich. In the end, this was an awesome idea because we were able to eat with a great waterfront view! Revived, we continued our walk towards the Marina Piccolo beach. The walk was border line insane, with elevations that would have been only acceptable at Vesuvius. Even though the beach ended up being straight rocks, the water was amazing and refreshing. We swam around for a little over an hour, enjoying the last little bit of sunlight. As we were swimming, Emily noticed a piece of sea glass. This went quickly from “ooooooo sea glass!”, to us digging for sea glass until my whole back pocket became filled with a variety of colors. Who knows if we’ll figure out a way to use them, but either way it was a really cool find neither of us had ever seen. After our fun in the (kinda) sun, it was time to hit the hotel for clean up. Once we got back, we decided forget the showers and just drank limoncello instead. With the proper amount of pregame for fine dining achieved, we headed for a spot a little fancier than the others of the weekend. Very off the beaten path lied Da Tonino, a gem of Italian fusion waiting for us to uncover it. During my time in Italy my eating expectations had gradually lowered, so “good” was all I was hoping for. Da Tonino paid no mind to that however, and melted all notions that Italian food can’t push traditional boundaries in the right kitchen. There was really no standout because everything was amazing, however the curry rabbit and veal with porcini stuffing were out of this world. 
     With our stomach’s floating on a cloud, we made the hill bound walk home much easier this time around. The next morning we tried to get an early start, and proceeded to head back to the beach. In prime time the beach was much more crowded, but we were still able to find a nice private area to swim off to. We swam around, which for me is more of a doggy paddle, and enjoyed the perfect water. I was even able to get Emily to jump off a small cliff with me, after lots of encouragement. After our pale bodies were sufficiently sunned, we decided it was time to catch the bus back to town. The main area of Capri is littered with Italian designer stores, so we thought a small amount of final shopping was necessary. We didn’t find much for ourselves, but were thankfully able to find both our mothers nice gifts to take back. Once shopping was conquered, there wasn’t much time left before the last ferry, so we gathered our things from the hotel and headed for the ferry. Sad to leave, we departed Capri and headed back to Rome satisfied and refreshed. 


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