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Sorrento, Herculaneum and Naples, Part 4 of the Amalfi Coast

From Sorrento we took the Circumvesuviana Train to Ercolano/Herculaneum and Mount Vesuvius. At the train stop in Ercolano, the Italian version of Herculanum, we took the bus up many switchbacks to Mount Vesuvius. It was a mountainous trip up through thick forests until we arrived above the tree line.

Upon getting off the bus we then walked up the gravel like path with intense wild flowers and shrubby plants to the Mount Vesuvius Crater. It was fantastic! It is a live volcano with steam coming out of the crater! The views were of Naples and the sea! It was foggy up there though.


After walking and slipping down the lava rock path and taking the bus back down to Ercolano, we stopped for an outdoor lunch at a nice family pizzeria just outside of the archeological park entrance.

The caprese salad and bufalo mozzarella pizza were as good as it gets!


was the town where all the wealthy people lived. They were hit by the volcano after Pompei. Because of the deep pyroclastic material which covered it, organic objects such as wood beams, roofs, beds, doors, food and 300 bodies were preserved.  Only 1/4 of Ercolano is uncovered. The rest of it is under the modern city. I would recommend Ercolano over Pompei!



The train ride back was hot, but we met interesting fellow travelers.

The next day we took a trip to Napoli, the Italian version of Naples. This was our 2nd trip there this week! The first was a 3 hour car ride, a closed museum and church, but a nice tour of the city by Pietro.

This time we took the boat from Sorrento to Naples! Beautiful 1 hour ride along the coast! We met Caroline and Joe at the Renaissance Marriott. Cool art glass exhibit in the lobby. Had lunch and walked around Naples. Saw the Veiled Christ at the Museo Cappella Sansevero. The Naples National Archeological Museum would have been a good stop.

Leaving Sorrento



Mount Vesuvius


Castle Nuovo in Naples


Brilliant Colored Apricots

A Musical Serenade at Lunch


Pizza in Napoli of Course! The Home of Pizza!


Godfather Images



Napoli Style!



Pompeii Style Jewelry


Proseco at the Renaissance Marriott



We took the boat back to Sorrento and had a lovely dinner at ILBuco. Very fancy!

A curved cracker with a brandada of swordfish





Black Squid (made with squid ink) and White Squid


Lobster over Polenta


Bluefish with a pistachio crust


Roasted Lamb

 Good bye Amalfi Coast! It’s been unforgettable! On to Assisi!

What’s to Do and Eat in Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast? Part 1 of 4

Our much anticipated 2 week adventure in Sorrento began after a 4 hour drive across Italy from Puglia to the Campania region. Two of our 3 daughters and 1 boyfriend joined us in Sorrento for a week.

We rented an apartment at the beautiful Residence Santa Lucia located a short walk from the center of Sorrento, Piazza  Tasso. The complex was a farm and has been developed into a stunning group of buildings, homes, cottages and apartments. Especially appreciated is a beautiful new pool, patio and garden area.
Gino Coppola was our main contact person at Residence Santa Lucia and he was always available. He was a great reference for all there is to do in the area and he set up several tours for us. All were magnificent! And his English is superb!

Our first night was dinner at the Marina Grande at Trattoria Emilia one of my favorites of the entire trip.


Al Fresco Dining Bliss!

Spaghetti and Mussels


Rigatoni with Seafood , one of my favorites of the entire trip!

Grilled Eggplant


Basket of Fried Fish

Gelato for Dessert in a Gelato Cone Chair

 Hanging out at the beautiful Residence Santa Lucia garden pool!


Garden and Pool View from our 2nd Story Apartment

Apartment Terrace

Aperitif at Hotel Bellevue Syrene Terrace before dinner

Dinner at Marina Grande, Taverna Azzura

Ravioli Stuffed with Fish in a Creamy Crab Sauce


Grilled Sea Bream

We also shared bruschetta and eggplant parmigiana. On the way home we stopped for gelato. Ricotta with walnuts and honey was my choice my favorite next to the rice flavored gelato in Florence.

Our 3rd day we had a quick walk to the train and then a 1 hour trip to Pompeii. We arranged for a guide, Rosemary, to meet us at the Pompeii station to give us a 2 hour tour. Fabulous!

Ready to Leave at the Gate of Residence Santa Lucia


Some areas like these were not open


Mount Vesuvius Looming in the Background


Plaster Cast of a Person Who Perished Due to Extreme Heat, 570 degrees F

All but 3 of the bodies are kept in another area for a special exhibition. We saw this one through an iron fence. Most all of the statues, mosaics, and treasures are kept in the Naples National Archeological Museum which is fabulous!

There is a nice cafe within the Pompeii grounds, but we went to a small cafe just outside the entrance for pizza, pasta and salad.
Back to Sorrento for naps and pool time and then Gino’s Pizza Party on the garden patio!

Gino Leading the Orchestra


3 Chefs: Gino, his sister in law Nutnapha, and Pietro


Speck with Cantaloupe, Caprese Salad and Tomato Bruschetta



Garden Fresh Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Salad

Chopped Fresh Tomatoes, Onion, Basil, Garlic and Water for the Bruschetta

Nutnapha Serving Her Thai Sausage

Grilled Thai Sausages

Grilled Thai Sausage Bites with Lettuce, Cucumber and Fresh Herbs

Pizza Dough Strips with Olive Oil and Rosemary

Thai Spring Rolls Made by Nutnapha



Sweeping Clean with the Wet Broom

Pizza Margarita with Plain Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Basil


Sausage, Mushroom and Mozzarella

Tomato, Speck and Arugula

Gorgonzola and Speck with Arugula

Pizza Margarita




Pietro and Nutnapha



Sausage and Cheese


Margarita Pizza represents the colors of the Italian flag: red, white and green. It was developed when Queen Margarita of Spain came to Italy for a visit

Thank you Residence Santa Lucia for 2 memorable pizza party evenings!

Today we walked around Sorrento, explored the public Lemon Grove, stopped for Lemon Granitas, and had dinner at El Bufalito


Pizzeria Da Franco is a Must!

Our dinner at El Bufalito….

Pizza with Olive Oil and Herbs


Eggplant Surrounding Ricotta Cheese in a Tomato Sauce

Not Meatballs, but Cheese Balls in Tomato Sauce

Buffalo Rib Steak for Two


Ravioli Stuffed With Fish in a Lemon Seafood Sauce

Grilled Buffalo Steak


Pappardelle With Beef

It’s been a full 4 days! The rest of our week will be part 2!