Day 4 (March 11) was filled with travelling. We left Pinewood Hotel early in the morning. Natalie, Arani, and I were always the first ones to be packed and out of our rooms. I almost forgot about how amazing the hotel's breakfasts were (even though it isn't Italian tradition to have a heavy breakfast).
Before I continue, I recently came across a post from Stella's Wardrobe (long time follower of her blog) who did an amazingly insightful post about her experience in Rome here. I love that she chose to avoid most tourist traps, she did her research and got to explore authentic restaurants, bars, and public areas. I definitely agree with her that it's better to immerse yourself in the local experience, however this being a group trip and my first time in these cities I think it was perfectly reasonable to be visiting tourist areas. Of course, I am itching to return to Europe by myself or with a friend and have a more personal, independent experience, but overall, I am beyond grateful to have seen and learned about Europe's history before my eyes. Stella has plenty of travel posts that I highly recommend checking out.
I wanted to wear something fun, since until thus far I had really only worn a sweater around.
I got these sunnies in Rome the day prior when we were shopping in the Via del Corso area for $4.99 euro. The top and pants were thrifted, the sports bra is from Winners, and the trainers are Nike.
All the HD quality photos coming your way are courtesy of my friend Sylvia and her amazing camera! (Some are also from my friend Nancy's phone - Nancy love's taking photos so I could always count on her to take enough photos for the group).
Our first stop of the day was to visit the ancient city of Pompeii in the province, Naples. In AD 79, Pompeii along with other villas was buried 13 to 20 feet under volcanic ash and pumice thanks to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Many inhabitants were buried alive before they could escape. You can see some of the bodies if you continue to scroll down.
Amazingly enough, a letter that survived - written by Pliny the Younger - described this historic moment based on what he saw. Pompeii was lost, until 1599 when it was rediscovered.
Pompeii is a great example of the advanced Roman society. Keep scrolling and I'll show you what I mean.
This was the Roman's amphitheatre. The Roman's loved this shape because it was sound efficient. They even put reflective marble on the steps as a source of light. These bits of marble can be seen all along their stone roads.
I look like such a dad.
These boulders in the middle of the road can be seen all through the city. The Roman's had a particular make of vehicle. These boulder's restricted all other vehicles from entering. So, if the Roman's ever hosted an event and invited others to come (like if they put on a show), the outsiders would have to park their carriages outside the walls and pay to get a ride into the core of this city. This is one of those facts that stuck with me until now; one I don't have to look up again to jog my memory. I just love how businesslike they were.
The story of the boulders doesn't end just there! They were also used as stepping stones for when it rains and they didn't want to get their shoes wet. These boulders were placed strategically between crossroads.
By Polish Sculptor Igor Mitoraj.
It's really dark, but if you look closely you can see all the beautiful detail.
The reflective marble!
This was the end of our tour of Pompeii. Next up lunch!
I still can't get over the fact that they expected us to finish all this food. I thought American portions were huge but eating an entire pizza? Before entering the restaurant I saw a guy seated outside who had just eaten the middle of his pizza and left the crust. I thought he was so weird for doing that, but after learning that they charge for takeout boxes I realized that I too would be eating the middle of my pizza too. To be honest, it wasn't even anything special. Definitely a tourist trap right outside the Pompeii entrance, but it was part of our planned itinerary and prepaid for.
After lunch, we bussed over to Sorrento! Ugh, I have so much love for this city surrounded by hills and the Amalfi Coast. Our bus driver pulled over so we could take some pictures with the amazing view. If I ever came back I would make it a mission to hike up this road because of the amazing view.
We arrived in Sorrento in the early evening, and we weren't planning on staying long either, which was sad. However, we were given a few hours to shop. Sorrento is filled with citrus trees and vibrant shops. Everywhere you go there are lemons. I never knew how much I could love lemons until then. There was a store selling perfume and usually, I'm not a huge fan of wearing any, but this one was so amazing and ugh I kind of wish I bought it so I could be reminded of Sorrento every single day. Maybe this perfume will be my excuse to come back in the near future.
Amtico Sartonia by Giacomo Cinque. This was by far my favourite store. I didn't get anything because they were well over my budget, but next time I come I certainly will. This store makes me so happy.
If I could buy anything it would be these clutches. They are beautifully beaded and woven. Another reason for me to come back.
This is on the main street Corso Italia. Just one of the breathtaking views this city has to offer. Our teacher's proposed the idea of attending a dance in a local nightclub and said that there would probably be other Explorica school groups there too, so a lot of us were excited and paid the required fee. Unfortunately, we were the only group there, which made things well.... lame. Maybe this is why I never go to school dances...
(Oh yeah, and something else really embarrassing happened at the hotel which I shall not mention any further because it's just one of those things friends gotta keep between themselves).
Okay, I'm signing off on this post. I'm writing this during my senior skip day. I'm finally making some progress with this series.