This weekend, I have come to Pompeii to visit a friend I met during the summer, when she and her friend stayed with me while on a motorbike tour of Abruzzo. Now, I have finally been able to visit her hometown. In fact, I’m writing this from her sofa where we have crashed after a long day of visiting Sorrento, the ruins at Pompeii and, of course, eating gelato.
The weekend started with a bit of a last minute panic about whether I was getting the bus or getting a lift from some friends. Finally, I got a lift. So, we left Sulmona a little after midday and headed up into the mountains. If you get travel sickness, be sure to take a pill like I did, otherwise you’ll be throwing up within minutes of climbing those winding roads. After perhaps an hour and a half on the road (could be more, could be less, honestly
The journey was pretty standard and once we got into Naples, we headed to the driver’s aunt’s house for a quick coffee (but not for me as we all know I only drink tea!). This is totally normal in Italy, even though I had only met the guy for the first time that morning, but the British girl in me was still worried about turning up unannounced at someone’s house. However, as always in Italy (well, almost always – remind me to tell you about the time I met my colleague’s mother-in-law), there was no need to worry. Most Italians are very welcoming, especially the further south you go. She was very happy to welcome us in and give us a tour. She has a beautiful view of Vesuvius from her balcony. So after a short rest, we headed into Napoli as I had to meet my friend at the station. I’m sure you’ve all heard stories about the crazy drivers in Napoli and let me tell you, they’re all true! Driving in Naples is crazy. People go wherever they want and don’t really care about others. All the cars have bumps and scrapes on them, but that’s normal here. So, if you’re a nervous driver, don’t drive here!
After a quick Campari and Prosecco at the station, I said ciao to my travelmates, met my friend off the train from Rome and headed off to Pompeii. As soon as I arrived in Pompeii, I noticed that the atmosphere is completely different to that in Naples. Firstly, it’s a lot cleaner and calmer. I don’t know why, but I felt a sense of calm come over me as we arrived. We stopped at a small bio-shop and picked up some mozzarelline and burrata, which is a specialty from Puglia made with ricotta and absolutely delicious! We headed to the house for a quick dinner and to meet Alice, the lady of the house. After dinner, we headed to a local pub for a beer, where we sat on some stools that were not really at the right height for the bar (it was at our eyes), before heading home to sleep as we were completely exhausted and day 2 promised to be very tiring!