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Old 06-12-2013, 07:01 PM   #19
kikids's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 279

Naples (Napoli)

The plan: Figuring we'd be exhausted after 3 days of port stops, we decided go in with another family and hire a driver for the day who would take us to Positano, Sorrento and Pompeii.

The outcome: Fantastic! If you like to take photos you can not miss Positano. I have included some photos but I took many more.

Our 4th day in a row of getting up at 630 am! We headed to Topsiders to have breakfast with our friends and were walking off the ship, meeting our driver by 8. Tracer00 did a tripadvisor review of Naples Service Naples, which you should read if you are considering a private service. The Naples port is very industrial so not much to look at, but you can see Mt Vesuvius in the background, starboard side.

We began with a long winding journey to Positano. Our driver spoke limited English but he was such a happy, sweet guy, you had to like him. The kids in the back of the van did complain a little about feeling car sick but we made a few stops for photos and one roadside market, which helped. If you stop at the market just outside Positano, they sell large packets of italian grown pasta seasoning (dried basil, garlic and tomatos) for 2 euros with cute Positano labeling; they make great, light weight, non breakable take home gifts! Wish I'd bought more!

Positano is indescribable. So pretty, so charming. Our driver said the main hotel there costs something like 600 euros per night. We walked down the tourist street past the shops selling beautiful linen dresses for 130 euros, ceramics, and Italian leather shoes. As I mentioned the shops were quite nice. You could easily spend a few hours just shopping. But we went a little more quickly to the beach. The girls regret not bringing their bathing suits. There were some for sale near the beach for 20 euros but I didn't see that until we left. I wouldn't have wanted them to go too far out, but it would have been nice to go in waist high. Although my DD reported that she heard there were jellyfish out there so maybe it's best they only went in to shorts level. While the girls hunted for sea glass and ate gelato on the beach, I took pictures and shopped a little more. There was a nearby private section of beach where you could rent chairs and umbrellas - next time!

Then we headed to Sorrento for lunch. Our driver dropped us at the main cross street and pointed to a strip restaurants, they seemed to be connected yet all 3 had employees out front telling passerby's how great their food was and how they should come in. All 3 had menus posted out front so we made an educated choice with Pizzeria Aurora. They have a super long menu with dozens of individual pizza options written in English. They have many homemade pastas on the menu, which I recommend.

Afterwards we walked the main street of Sorrento (see pics) and had several Lemoncello samples! Also bought some bottles to take home (or drink in our cabin). Again, wish we'd had more time as the side streets looked charming but we ran out of time.

Back in the minivan we headed to Pompeii, watching Mt Vesuvius become closer and closer. We arrived there shortly before 3:00 and it was full sun hot and the ticket office had run out of maps!!! What?!? We had nothing with us in terms of maps or written info so we didn't know where to find anything. It was frustrating (and hot!) having to ask people with maps if we could see theirs to get an idea where we were. I strongly recommend bringing a back up guidebook or something.

My older DD enjoyed hunting for the body casts but my 11 yr old found the entire place too morbid, as I knew she would (she's got a sensitive soul), so she and I hung out in the very nice cafe located on the Pompeii grounds for an hour and then sat in the shade watching some art students sketch the ruins. My DH and older DD enjoyed themselves though but I will tell you were all surprised at just how massive the city is/was. You could never walk it all in an couple hours.

We hopped back into the van after about 2 hours and enjoyed one last drive along the coast, back to the ship. All aboard was 530.

If I could change anything: Choosing this driver and then exploring on our own was absolutely perfect. We were able to see all the sites we wanted to see and were very comfortable in the process.
Me , DH , DD (15) ,DD (12)
Disney Wonder 2014, Disney Fantasy 2014, Disney Magic 2013 (Mediterranean), Disney Magic 2012, Disney Dream 2011, Disney Wonder 2010, POP 2012, CBR 2010, POR 2009, Off property 2002-2008, SeaWorld 2010, 2011.
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