Day 039: Naples, Italy
Position: N 40º 50′ 36″ E 014º 15′ 46″
Weather: 29ºC wind 12kts, waves 1m
Last Port: Istanbul, Turkey
Next Port: Civitavecchia, Italy
Status: In Port
From the Navigator
Throughout the early morning we will maintain a north easterly course along the Tyrrhenian Sea towards Naples. At around 0445 this morning we will pass between the island of Capri on our port side and Sorrento on our starboard side as we make our approach to Naples. We anticipate boarding our local pilot at 0600 before entering the harbor through the breakwater and maneuvering alongside our berth. We expect to be all fast alongside at 0700. This evening once everyone I’d back onboard we will thrust off our berth and retrace our courses out of the breakwater. We will disembark our pilot and set north westerly courses paralleling the coast of Italy towards Civitavecchia.
Today was busy with a multifaceted trip, first to Sorrento, Italy for lunch and shopping, a tour of a lemon, cheese and olive farm, then to Pompeii to tour the excavated remains of the ancient city destroyed by Mount Vesuvius. Along the way we picked up some new Italian words and restocked our supply of local fresh fruit. There is a decidedly “southern European” feel to this place – very Mediterranean, resort-y and relaxed.
Your culinary adventure begins in Naples where you’ll board a motorcoach for a 90-minute ride to a local farmhouse in Sorrento. You’ll visit the “frantoio” or olive mill where the tart orbs are pressed into golden drops of olive oil. You’ll also visit a wine cantina and witness the art of mozzarella-making. Enjoy samples of the fresh white cheese with salami, wine and mineral water.
You’ll return to the motorcoach for a quick 15-minute ride into the town of Sorrento. You’ll have 2 � hours of free time to explore the village overlooking the Bay of Naples and enjoy lunch on your own. Take in the breathtaking cliffside views, enjoy the sea breezes at the Sorrento Pier, go beachcombing along the rocky shoreline or stroll down Corso Italia-Sorrento’s flower-lined main boulevard of shops, designer boutiques and caf�s. Sorrento boasts one of the biggest shopping districts along the Amalfi Coast-from lace sheets and fine furniture, to table linens and handcrafted pottery. It’s a prime place for shoppers and ambiance seekers alike. Get off the main path on to the cobblestone side streets and public squares, such as Piazza Tasso and Piazza Antiche Mura for great atmosphere.
The next leg of your journey continues at Pompeii. Here you’ll discover the archeological excavations of a lost city buried deep beneath the ash when Mt. Vesuvius violently erupted in 79 AD. This monumental natural disaster killed thousands and entombed the city. Explore the grounds on this 105-minute guided tour of the ruins.
Walk the grounds as your knowledgeable guide points out the remarkably preserved remains that hint at daily life-their customs, buildings and cuisine. The eruption of Vesuvius preserved a moment in time more than 2,000 years ago providing evidence of how they entertained, decorated and lived. From the ruins we know Pompeii was a vacation community for high society before the eruption; it had a forum, amphitheater, gymnasium, shops and an aqueduct that delivered water for irrigation, fountains and private baths. Some of the buildings are remarkably preserved with elaborately detailed mosaics and colorful frescoes decorating the interiors of wealthy homeowners’ villas. It’s fascinating and sobering snapshot of ancient Roman life.
Following Pompeii, you’ll re-board the motorcoach and stop at a cameo factory where artisans apply skills handed down for generations, carving seashell or coral into intricate works of art and beautiful keepsake jewelry.
Your tour comes to an end back in Naples after a 30-minute drive where your ship is docked and awaiting your return.