Italy: Day 2 Positano and Pompeii

This morning we had to be up at 6am, so we could be ready for pickup at 645. There was some irritation with the hotel over the free breakfast. So we were skipping breakfast and hoping we would have a food break before we got too grumpy about it.

Roberto, our driver for the day, picked us up at 7am, then we went to another hotel to pick up the couple who was joining us. Marium and Sam, a couple from Dubai, were delightful. We were talking most of the two hour drive to Positano, when Roberto wasn’t informing and entertaining us with information about what we were seeing.

Luckily there was a pit stop about an hour in, a small shop where we could buy food, drinks, and use the restroom. Something to know about Italy, you have to pay to use the restroom, unless you have a receipt to prove you’re a customer. Between the food, and the naps most of our party took, we were ready for the day!

The view of Positano

We stopped at a pull off on our way in to Positano for a photo op. It is stunning! The Mediterranean spread out, the colorful buildings climbing the hills, and the smell in the air was absolute magic. Lemons and salt.

Dipping our feet in the Mediterranean Sea

We didn’t bring our suits, but I needed to be able to say I had my feet in the Mediterranean Sea, so we kicked our shoes off for a photo. We only had an hour and a half in town, so we did some souvenir shopping, and of course had our daily gelato!

This rosemary bush smelled amazing

Mom was not a fan of the limoncello

Our next stop was Dal Patriarca for lunch. Our tour included a meal of pasta, which was amazing! A shot of limoncello for all of the adults and once again the smell was amazing. The food, the flowers, it was a perfect followup to our morning in Positano.

Mosaic in Pompeii

Our final stop on the tour was Pompeii. We were led through by Hector. An older man who had more energy than my kids! We were taken through a day in the life of a citizen of Pompeii, shown what was shockingly well preserved, and shown the devastation left by the eruption. The cobblestone walking was a little hard on mom and Tony, even with their canes, but we enjoyed it all! We held up our van group to steal time for souvenirs, but I had to have something to mark this visit.

We were back to the hotel around 7 that evening, we packed a lot in 12 hours! Chiara had to immediately change into her new Pompeii shirt before we walked over to see the Trevi fountain. We were leaving for Florence the next morning and had to see this block long fountain! It looks amazing lit up at night.

We went to Hard Rock Cafe Rome for a late dinner. My mom needed to get her HRC souvenirs, and we needed fuel before passing out after our busy day.

Day 2 was one of my very favorite days of this vacation!

Italy: Day 1 Rome

Welcome to the Coliseum

Even rushing full speed from the airport, to the hotel, to the tour meet-up, we were a few minutes late. If you ever have the chance to go on a City Wonder tour, punctuality is key! They leave exactly on time. Luckily, they were able to squeeze us in to the next group, an hour later, so we had a gelato and caffeine break.

Sev, our tour guide for the Vatican portion of the day was amazing! He knew so many details and kept us laughing the whole time. My favorite line he used was when we were crossing the street to enter the Vatican. He said crossing the street in Rome requires a little faith, the cars will stop or they won’t. Which is true because the Italians drive like it is a competition and winning is everything. Its terrifying!

St. Peter’s Basilica

I had no idea the history of the Vatican. Starting as the Pope’s art collection, before becoming a museum, there is art from every era. The architecture, the statuary, the paintings, it was all so beautiful!

Sistine Chapel ceiling

We all were impressed with every part of this tour, even though we could barely keep our eyes open!

Chiara falling asleep on the floor of St. Peter’s Basilica

When we finished at the Vatican it was a quick trip to the Coliseum for part two of our tour. Tiziana was our guide for this portion and she was another delight. She charmed Chiara by calling her princess the entire tour, because of her Italian name and Italian descent.

Did you know it was oval?

The Coliseum was mind boggling. The size of it, the history of it, and there were details I was completely unaware of. I’m a little embarrassed to say I didn’t know it was oval. We were able to see the rooms where the slaves were kept, the ancient plumbing, and the fact that it’s still standing makes it all the more impressive!

It was a short walk over to the Roman Forum, to see more of these ancient structures and the tour ended there. By this point everyone was drooping, ready to fall in to bed. As we had skipped lunch, we were also starving!

On the walk back to the hotel, we found Pasqualino al Colosseo. Delicious does not begin to describe it! I had the tenderest steak drizzled with basalmic vinegar and I could hardly bring myself to share it. Stumbling the rest of the way to the hotel, up to our rooms, to fall into bed before 730. Approaching 48 hours awake, a walking tour that encompassed huge pieces of Rome, and we had all earned a good night’s rest.