It’s been a really busy few weeks. Immediately after getting back from Turks & Caicos at the end of October, I made two trips up to San Francisco for work. I seriously don’t know how frequent travelers do it. I was tired after three weeks of traveling. Then this past week I got sick with a cold and sore throat. Just what I needed.
And now here we are with the holidays upon us. YIKES! I feel so behind at life.
Ok, continuing on with my Mediterranean trip report. Today I’m covering our day along the Amalfi Coast.
Thursday, September 5
The port was Naples, which is another one with multiple destination options. Some people visit Naples itself, Pompeii, or Capri. Rob & I chose to visit the Amalfi Coast, specifically Positano and Sorrento. We seriously considered Pompeii but I knew it would be way too hot and we’d end up being too tired for that. The Amalfi Coast seemed more scenic and relaxing, which is what we needed at this point in the trip.
We decided to use Rome in Limo again and even went with two of the same people (a hilarious mother/daughter pair) from our Rome excursion. It ended up being just the four of us (we were originally scheduled to have a group of 8 but the others bailed) making it a really intimate day.
Our driver Giovanni picked us up at the port and right away I knew it would be a good day. He was hilarious! He had that really dry, subtle Italian humor. SO GREAT.
Almost immediately after we started our drive, Mount Vesuvius came into view on our left. But the more spectacular vantage point came once we got to the other side of the Gulf of Naples.
This is the view looking towards Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. The island of Capri is just beyond this peninsula.
The stretch of coastline on the southern side of the Sorrentine Peninsula is the region known as the Amalfi Coast. The roads are winding but the view is so beautiful you don’t even notice.
Rob & I just got back from a week-long trip to the island of Providenciales (aka Provo) in the Turks & Caicos Islands along with my brother-in-law and his wife. It was HEAVENLY! I’m one of those people who gets a little stir crazy at the thought of spending hours and hours at the beach but that’s pretty much what we did each day. ðŸ™‚ I’ll share some pics whenever I get around to downloading them from the camera.
In the meantime, let’s head back to the Mediterranean — this time to Rome!
Wednesday, September 4
Since we only had one day in port, we knew we wanted to go on a guided excursion to do and see as much as possible. It was my second time in Rome but Rob’s first so of course we wanted to hit the main tourist spots like the Colosseum, Vatican Museum, etc. Thanks to Cruise Critic, we not only discovered Rome in Limo but we also found a couple of other parties to share our tour costs. We had a small group of 8, an air-conditioned van, a driver (Nick) and a private guide for the Vatican Museum (Katarina). It was an awesome experience!
Nick picked us up promptly at 8am at Civitavecchia harbor and kept our van entertained the entire 45 minutes it took to get to central Rome.
Our first stop was the Pantheon.
Rob at the Fontana del Pantheon.
The Pantheon Dome with an opening to the sky.
So much to see inside — paintings, sculptures, the tomb of Raphael.
On the way to our next stop, we drove by the Piazza Colonna.
I celebrated my 34th birthday last Friday. YIKES. It sure sounds old, hehe. I had a great weekend celebrating with good friends & family. ðŸ™‚
Rob’s been playing a lot of Grand Theft Auto V lately (ie. monopolizing the TV) so I have time to write the next installment of this report…
Tuesday, September 3
The second port on our cruise was La Spezia, a city and province in northern Italy. At this port, most cruisers head to either Pisa or Florence. Pisa wasn’t that interesting to me (seems like there would be nothing to see there except the tower – please correct me if I’m wrong) and while I would LOVE to visit Florence (I’ve never been), the drive is 2+ hours each way, which I thought was way too long when you’re already dealing with limited port time. Hopefully we’ll be lucky enough to make it to Florence on a land trip someday.
In the end we decided to visit the Cinque Terre, which is a collection of 5 villages located along a rugged coastline of the Italian Riviera. Like Monaco, I originally thought we would explore on our own — I especially wanted to walk along Via Dell’Amore, which is an easy trail between Riomaggiore & Manarola, the first 2 villages, where there are supposed to be beautiful views. But after recent floods, that part of the trail has been closed. I kept checking to see if it opened before our trip but no luck.
The plan was to use the train or water taxis to visit a few of the villages but I got frustrated trying to figure out all the schedules so I finally decided to let Disney hold our hand again and I signed us up for the Cinque Terre Scenic Boat Tour, which was a half day trip — this would end up being the perfect amount of time since we had to rest up for Rome the next day.
The Disney Magic anchored at the port. I adored the ship. It just looks so stately. <3
We met our group bright and early at the Walt Disney Theatre then we were led on to our boat for the day. We found a seat at the top for the best views but also lots of sun and heat!
After leaving La Spezia, we sailed past a beautiful village named Porto Venere.