Can we live here? Positano was one for the books.
While we didn't hop on the back of a vespa belonging to an Italian popstar like Lizzy Mcguire, our Italy adventures came pretty damn close...with a few minor hiccups. Italy is a country of beautiful colors, charismatic people and of course, a crap ton of carbs. We spent four days exploring the coastline; here's what went down:
Day 2- Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius
For any history buffs, Pompeii is a must do. It was surreal being inside a city that's still surrounded in mystery and talked about in our classes. Our guide Elissa was hilarious and extremely knowledgeable. She took us to see the bathhouse, amphitheater, brothel and main square while explaining their way of life. It was crazy to step back in time and see how advanced Pompeii was way back then-how those people created an intricate water system in 6th Century BC is beyond us. Here are some of our favorite facts:
Mt. Vesuvius was it's own beast. Even though we only had to climb for 30 minutes to reach the top, we were cursing the slippery slope from the get go. But we've never regretted a little physical activity for spectacular views, and this gigantic volcano was no different. The panoramic views were insane and it felt like we could reach out and touch the clouds around us. To celebrate our climb, we decided to "splurge" on a glass of wine.
Bartender-"This wine in a goblet is $4.50....I think you're looking for the wine in plastic cups." Points to $1.50 wine in a barrel.
Us-" Oh, okay."
Would we have purchased the cheaper wine over the other? Hell ya. But is "cheapskate" written on our faces?
Another highlight from our day was meeting two girls on our tour who were also heading to Sorrento that night. We all bonded over our mean tour leaders and learned that Sophie spent the last few months working with refugees as a volunteer nurse in Greece. We love meeting people from all over the U.S. finding ways to travel the world.
This charming city is exactly what we pictured southern Italy to be like: bright colors, amazing food and right on the water. After meeting up with our friend Caroline from our CIEE program, we went shopping, did a free limoncello tasting (fun fact: lemons are everywhere and in everything), and drank at the rooftop bar of a five star hotel. The cutest little old man served us and kept shouting "Americans are number one!" We would've put him in our pockets if we could. But how could the night get better? With one of the BEST dining experiences we've ever had at La Basilica. Because we don't eat on "Italian time" the entire restaurant was empty. Six different waiters hovered over us, anticipating our every move. Before I could even think that my wine was getting low, a waiter was filling up my glass. For only $17 a meal, we were treated like celebrities and eating Michelin star meals-not a bad deal if you ask us.
Day 4-Amalfi Coast
Hiccup #2: The crackhouse hostel. Of course after a picture-perfect day, something had to go wrong, otherwise it's just too easy. Since we were flying out of Naples, we risked staying at the Pizza Hostel again. Bad choice. While we did have blankets this time (woohoo!), the room was a complete disaster and must've been a broom closet at some point. Our beds were crammed together, the walls were a bight neon green, electrical wires were peeking out and the bidet wasn't clean.
Aside from a couple bad hostel hiccups, Italy was AMAZING. We didn't find Paulo, but Roberto was a close second :)