italy travelogue
Day 05. October 23. Rome, Pompeii, Sorrento.
Ruins of Pompeii.

After another early start we left Rome by bus. Mid-morning we stopped at our first autogrill on the highway outside Rome. Autogrills are the ubiquitous private service plazas which can be found along all the major highways in Italy. We got water and Bacchi, and learned about leaving coins for the toilet lady.

temple of diana and apolloWe stopped a ways outside Rome at the Donadio workshop for a demonstration of cameo making. Everyone looked at the cameos in the gold settings for master's work, silver for students. Jane bought an Alexandrite cocktail ring. Allan's credit card was rejected for the out-of-character purchase -- several hundred dollars for jewelry.

Shortly after noon we arrived in Pompeii and ate lunch at the Hotel Vittoria. Our group confused the wait staff when they asked about sharing, so many couples shared a single pizza and salad for their meal. In typical tourist form, shouting replaced clear speech and tempers flared until everyone had some food in them.

vitti bros frescoAfter lunch we went on the Pompeii tour with a local guide, Roberto, who had worked on the excavations during the 1950's. We saw the temples and some houses with very well preserved mosaics and frescoes, including the house of the wine merchant Vitti brothers. That house had several notorious images on the walls, to the amusement of all.

We had more gelati afterwards, then continued by bus to Sorrento. The Hotel Michelangelo ends "summer" (air conditioning) season on October 15th, so the cooling came through the open French doors overlooking the Sorrento train station. Dinner was in the hotel dining room, and included outstanding risotto.

We lay the bedspreads across the box springs the wide-way since the two single beds had been made up singly. We then went to sleep early.


Allan West and
Jane Dominguez