Our AirBNB host, Genarro, offered to drive us to the train station in Sorrento for our visit to Pompeii. Instead of stopping at the train station he drove us all of the way to Pompeii! It was incredibly generous of him. We stopped for coffee at a road side gas station for coffees and sfogliette. He claimed that it was the best coffee in all of Sorrento. My espresso was quite good and Glenda and Cathy loved their creme cafes.
On our way to the ruins of Pompeii, Genarro wanted to show us a church in the center of contemporary Pompeii. It was Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary. We were rushed for time, so it was just a quick peek inside. This is the first time my anxiety about timeliness came to a head with the relaxed nature of the trip. While we were in the church, communion was happening. Cathy expressed interest, but I was quick to remind her that this stop was not a visit. This was merely a quick peek and we needed to get back in the van if we were going to be on time for our Pompeii guide.
We met our tour guide at Pompeii. His name was Antonio and I thought he was excellent. We hired him through a company called Emiliano’s Archaeological tours. The sun was brutally hot and intense that day. Cathy decided to take a break half-way through the tour to check out the visitor center. Glenda and I stuck with the tour, but we were hot and exhausted when it was all over. I am not sure what to say about Pompeii, but if you enjoy history you should go. I really loved learning about the city and the ancient/extinct culture. It was super fascinating. It’s a massive site and we only saw 5% of it during our 2.5 hour tour. Sexual libertinism seems to have been quite popular in ancient Pompeii. The erotic art in the brothel is cool and silly.
When Pompeii was finished we grabbed the train to Naples to find pizza. We made our way to a pizzeria called Jeri, Oggi, Domani Trattoria-Pizzeria (Trattoria-Pizzeria Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow) that was Sophia Loren themed. It was verified by the Naples Pizza Association (Vera Pizza Napoletana). That is how serious they take pizza in Naples. Pizzerias get certified. I want to be very clear. I am not a pizza snob. I love and prefer a slice of pizza from an uninteresting pizzeria when I am at home. I like cheap pizzas with things like pineapple and banana peppers on it. I’m into garbage pizza and I know it.
Then I had pizza in Naples. This was the best pizza I’ve had in my entire life. It was amazing. I am smiling as I write about it, it was that damn good. We ordered the Margarita DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta translates to Protected Designation of Origin), which just means the mozzarella and tomato sauce was a higher quality. The crust was perfect, the ingredients were delicious. I loved it.
After lunch, we planned to take a hop on hop off bus tour, but the last tour was at 5, and we didn’t get to the ticket counter until 4. The attendant suggested that we do not buy the ticket. We decided to take a taxi to the historic center of Naples. We walked on a couple of old streets and looked into some shops, but did not spend much time in Naples. We discussed taking the ferry back to Sorrento, but it left too early for us to be able to make that happen. We said good-bye to Naples and took the express train back to Sorrento. I’d like to return to Naples and dig into its art and museum scene in the future.
We returned to Naples for some shopping, a drink, and a small tram tour of downtown Sorrento. After all of that we headed to dinner. For our final meal in Sorrento we went to Restaurant Bagni Delfino. This was the best meal of the entire trip for me. It’s a nice Italian seafood restaurant on the water. We had a lovely bottle of white wine from southern italy. It was dry with a hint of citrus. I really enjoyed it. We started with a fried shrimp appetizer that was wonderful. It was not overdone and the shrimp were soft and flavorful. It was perfect. Cathy had gnocchi with fresh arugula and shrimp; Glenda had pasta with clams, shrimp, and zucchini; and I had the seafood risotto. We told the waiter we were celebrating Cathy’s 60th birthday and my mom’s upcoming 60th birthday. They brought us tiramisu with a candle and limoncello for dessert.
When dinner was over we did not have Genarro to take us home. We had the restaurant call us a taxi and they dropped us off at the top of our hill. We took the 10 minute walk down the hill with our cell phones as flashlights. We all went to bed pretty quickly when we got home.