Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Southern Italy

2 - 7 August

After a boring 8 hour ferry ride from Dubrovnik we hit South East Italy, Bari. Bari isn't that interesting and we headed out the next day for Napoli. We stayed in a nice central hostel in an old building that even had it's own statue in the court yard. The best 2 things about Napoli are it's Pizza, which is flippin' amazing, and it's location for getting to other touristy places. I really can't state how great the pizza here is, we waited 1/2 an hour for a table at an unassuming pizza restaurant with paper tables clothes and plastic chairs for what I can only describe as the best pizza I've ever had (Pizza Sorbillo :: google maps link).

The hostel in Napoli (Welcome Inn) was great too - nice staff, good rooms, secure, and a really tasty free Pasta night.

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Pompeii (4th August)
We took the Circumvesuviana (a train that runs around Vesuvius) down to Pompeii for the day. Pompeii is big, dusty, and full of zombified tourists wandering around. As far as tourist attractions go it's got some nice mosaics, and ancient grafitti etc.. The ruins are only partially excavated, so would be interesting to return in a few years to see what else has been found.

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Saw the google streetview 'bike' packing up while we were there - how they got that around the streets I'll never know, as the cobbles are so worn they would amost swallow the bike, and there are huge bollard stones through the whole city that were used to slow down cart traffic, and also as stepping stones that were used for crossing without getting covered in sewage (lovely!).

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The restaurants/cafes surrounding it are best avoided completely, which we found out much too late, the heat must have been getting to us I think. There's lots of street vendors in Napoli selling an iced lemon drink called Granita (kind of like a slushy) for about a euro, it's a great way to refresh the palate before enjoying the mandatory evening beer.

Capri (5th August)
Capri is a tourist mecca in the bay of Napoli. We took the hydrofoil over and spent the day wandering around the island. We couldn't take a boat to see the Blue Grotto because the sea was too rough, I'm not sure they know what rough really means.

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Instead we walked down to Marina Piccolo and took a swim off the beach there. It's got really deep, clear blue water which is great for swimming, and lots of greasy dudes in speedos. To get back to the boat, we caught a tiny little bus back up the hill - fits about 15 people, mostly standing up, and the ride is pretty entertaining with taxis, private cars and buses all fighting to get around the narrow winding roads.

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Sorrento (6th August)
After a big kerfuffle trying to get train tickets down to Palermo in Sicily and spending the morning finding some ferry tickets we took the Circumvesuviana again and carried on past Pompei to Sorrento. I'm sure it's a great place, but after being lots of great places it was just another place, had a nice lunch and an icecream though. An Super Cornetto if I remember correctly, which is like a Trumpet, just lots bigger.

The city perches on top of some stunning cliffs, which makes for sore legs walking down (and a cramped bus ride back up!).

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More Photos - Bari :: Napoli :: Pompeii :: Capri :: Sorrento

Next stop, Palermo (Sicily).

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