Rome is a large, congested, confusing city overrun with tourists. While we were impressed by the sights, we did not fall in love with the city itself and on our third and final day in the Italian capital we decided to take the train to Ostia Antica, an old Roman port town. The site was huge and amazing and there were almost no other tourists there. We spent three hours walking around the old, ruined town, taking pictures and enjoying the quiet. We would definitely recommend Ostia Antica as a great day trip from Rome!
After taking the train back into the city we made a quick stop at our last Roman attraction, the Pantheon. We both thought it was one of the most impressive things in Rome, which is saying something since we found lots of the sites in Rome impressive. Inside the Pantheon we were treated to an acapella performance by a group of high school girls on a school trip. The singing was beautiful and it really felt like we had been dropped into a movie or something. For our last Roman dinner we went to the Indian restaurant below our apartment from some very overpriced food.
On our fifth day in Italy we took the train from Rome to Naples, and then the tram from Naples to Sorrento. Sorrento is a smaller town on the Bay of Naples and served as our home base for exploring the Amalfi Coast. The train to Naples was FAST, and in only two hours we were able to grab the smaller tram for the one hour slow train into Sorrento. We walked to our “hostel”, which is really more like a hotel, with a lobby and private rooms. We grabbed a late lunch at Chantecler’s, a smaller trattoria with 4 euro lunches and 1 euro glasses of wine. Our food was simple and delicious (Logan had lasagna and I had penne with artichoke) and we knew that we would be going back to Chantecler’s for another meal.
After lunch we wandered around old town Sorrento, smelling all the lemon candies, liquors and gelatos that the Amalfi region is famous for. Literally EVERYTHING is lemon themed here! There are lemon trees everywhere and limoncello bottles sold in every store. For dinner we went to a local butcher shop and got some sliced salami, olives, crackers and wine to have in our room while un-winding after a travel day.
The next day was Logan’s birthday and our plan was to spend the day on the island of Capri, soaking up the sun and taking in the extravagance and beauty of the island. However, due to a little confusion around daylight savings time, as in we didn’t know it was daylight savings here since us Americans changed ours to a different date, we arrived at the ferry terminal an hour late. We changed our plans and headed to the train station to go to Pompeii instead. We decided to get audio guides give us some background information on all the sites we were seeing. We spent around five hours walking around the town, looking at old bathhouses, villas and stadiums.
We were amazed at how well preserved the structures were and we were really glad to have the audio guides to help provide context for everything we were seeing.
After touring all day we were excited to get back to Sorrento for Logan’s birthday dinner. We decided to splurge and went to a nice family owned restaurant called Tavern Allegra where we were warmly greeted with free prosecco and bruschetta. For dinner Logan got fettuccini with artichokes and sausage and I got ravioli with clams and zucchini. We also ordered a bottle of prosecco to celebrate. The meal was DELICIOUS and the ambience was great. The patriarch of the family serenaded the restaurant all night and sang to Logan for his birthday and sang to us for our marriage (Happy marriage to you, happy marriage to you…. Etc.).
The day was wonderful and even though we did not get to go to Capri as planned, we had a great day at Pompeii and our dinner was perfect. Happy birthday Logan!!