Italy road trip!

I planned on writing about something “sciency” today, but that’s not going to happen. Yesterday we got home from a spring break road trip, and as I sit here sipping my morning coffee, (and enjoying the first moment alone in over a week) I find that I would like to share my trip with you.

As many of you know, I live in Sicily. (it’s the island the boot of Italy kicks 🙂  ) Living here offers a unique opportunity to road trip to all kinds of destinations, and we wanted to take advantage of it! We want our kids to see as much as they can, I wanted to research new settings for my novels… and honestly, I was looking forward to the shopping!

We started off taking a ferry to the mainland and driving north up the Imalfi Coast to Sorrento. We spent a day exploring Positano, a city that is literally built on the side of cliffs.

I’ve never seen anything like it! The streets are all one-way switch-backs that forced me to go to my “happy place” a few times to keep from having an anxiety attack. Good thing my husband was driving!

 

We also visited the island of Capri, the highlight of which was our trip into the Blue Grotto. The island consists of white rock, so when the light shines inside the cave, the water glows a vibrant blue. It was breathtaking!

 

 

There’s only one entrance into it, and it’s so small that you have to lay down inside the boat and the guide pulls the boat in by a rope. You can see it in the picture here: 

 

They have to get the timing just right between the waves to make it through unscathed!

 

 
The last thing we did in this region was visit the ancient city of Herculaneum, which was buried during Vesuvius’s 79CE eruption. Only 1/4 of the city is visible; the rest is still buried, and will remain such because there are modern apartment buildings now resting atop it. We’d never seen anything like it! Imagine Pompeii in the center of a busy residential area- that’s exactly what Herculaneum was like! This is a picture of it from the modern ground level.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ancient street level is 25 meters down!

The streets are in such good condition that it doesn’t take much imagination to see what life was like 
2,000 years ago for the residents.

This was my favorite mural- it decorated the house of a wealthy family’s dining room. It’s a mosaic of Neptune. The owners were probably in the shipping industry.

 

 

We said goodbye to Sorrento and drove to Florence, about 6 hours north. I’ve been to Italy several times in my life and this is the one city that has always seemed to elude me. Not this time! We spent 2 full days eating, shopping, and sightseeing our way around the city. Here are some highlights: seeing the tombs of Dante, Michelangelo, Galileo.

Dante’s Tomb- Just as austere as I imagined it would be.

         

Seeing the David in all his glory!

On the return trip to Sicily, Aaron found a perfect hotel for us to stay in. It was right on the beach, and we lucked out with awesome weather to enjoy it! Unbeknownst to us when we booked it, the hotel is a three minute drive from Paestum- home of the most well preserved Greek temples in the world! We couldn’t leave without seeing it!

 

The large temple is dedicated to Poseidon. This slightly smaller one in the left picture is to Athena.             

Thank you all for letting me share my awesome trip! I hope you all have wonderful spring breaks!

 

 

 

 

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