Last week I went to Sorrento with Em (purveyor of the finest Mexican-inspired bottlecap jewellery). It was the first time I'd been to Italy and I had procrastinated too much on learning tourist-level Italian so I wasn't sure what to expect.

Once we got out of Naples I was blown away by the views of the Bay Of Naples - mountains everywhere and I was very excited by my first glimpse of Vesuvius! This photo is of the gorgeous view from the cliffs of Sorrento. We tried walking down to the beach and ferry terminal but gave up through laziness and used the lift.

Didn't think much of the tiny tiny beaches!

This ruined saw mill (Il Vallone dei Mulini) was in a ravine in the centre of Sorrento. At night it is lit up orange and is pretty spooky. It was still quite atmospheric by day.

While wandering around Sorrento, we came across this monastary (Cloister of San Francesco) which was incredibly peaceful away from the taxis and mopeds in the town centre. We were trying to see a Pompeii exhibition but ended up following strange music up to an exhibition of antique music boxes (the sort with the metal disks with holes in) where the curator made us dance with him to a waltz - probably the oddest part of the holiday...

On the second day we visited Pompeii. I've been fascinated with Pompeii and Vesuvius since I was a kid so it was amazing to finally go there. We downloaded the Rick Steves' podcast (much embarrassed laughing when he told us to don our imaginary togas and played electronic trumpets at us) and map which was useful as there were no maps available and we only found one sign when we were actually in Pompeii (we still got a bit lost). I now have a new appreciation for the National Trust. The stray dogs were friendly (and seemed to adore one of the tour guides) - from this month they are being microchipped and getting any vet care they need, according to a sign near the entrance.

I'm fairly sure this is the Temple Of Jupiter near the Forum. You can see Vesuvius in the distance.

I can't remember what this arch used to be, possibly something to do with a water tower, but I love this picture as the roads lead towards Vesuvius.

This is some of the ceiling decoration in one of the baths. A lot of the artwork has been stolen or moved to the Naples Archaeological Museum but there was still enough to be really interesting. I was more affected by the body casts than I thought I would be, even though we only saw a few. I guess it was because you could see the pain some of the people were in when they died by their positions and expressions - it upset me in a way I wasn't expecting from just having seen photos.

I climbed a volcano! We got a bus from Pompeii station up to the car park part of the way up Vesuvius, and walked the rest of the way up. I thought my heart was going to explode from the exercise (when I got back to the car park the ambulance workers asked if I was ok! I guess I had gone purple). The views were incredible and it was all worth it when I got to the crater.

Photos don't really do it justice. The tiny trees you can see at the bottom of the crater are actually full-size. There was a faint smell of sulphur and steam coming from various places (which you can see in the photo below).

After spending the evening eating far too much and trying to stop my legs seizing up, the next morning we took a surprisingly rough ferry trip to Capri (no I didn't vomit, but lots of people did). At the Sorrento ferry terminal we found a stray cat colony, including these adorable kittens. They all seemed quite healthy (they're got their eyes shut here because of the wind), and the plates lying around suggested that the local restaurants kept them fed.

The photo doesn't really do justice to the hills of Capri near Marina Grande. We took a tiny bus up the scary windey roads to Anacapri as Em wanted to go on the chair lift. It was pretty terrifying on the way up Mount Solaro on the lift (my brain kept trying to convince me to jump off) but the way down was lovely. I especially enjoyed the interactions with the people going up the mountain at the same time as I was on the way down (and amused by the woman filming herself crying while on the chair lift...). I didn't take any photos as I was too scared of dropping my camera, just concentrated on the views. It was a bit weird going over peoples' gardens, I appreciated the one that had lots of ornaments and plastic toys on the route of the lift.

The plane trip back was Not Fun but I was very excited when I realised we were flying over the Alps!


  1. Love your photos! Fascinating read :D

  2. Cool, funny blog and brought back my memories too. Em x