Update:  I’ve got reports all over the place and am slowly trying to collect them here in my new blog.  It will be something for my grandchildren to read when I’m hairless and toothless sitting on my rocking chair so they know their grandmother or great grandmother LIVED!!!  I’ll label them “travel flashback.”

Day one – I work ten-hours and we have a 9:30 p.m. flight to London, I got my prized J16 seat, though I almost changed it, Kelly tried to get next to me, k16 and she called British air, they said no that’s for a mom and infant, well I called them right up, am I next to an infant? Please change me, the man says well its usually available for that but it has not been taken, BA lets u check-in 24 hours before the flight, for fifteen minutes ahead I’m manning the website, I have to check-in for Kelly her computer is broke, I’m bound and determined to get k16, the instant it’s on I dash off to k16 and place Kelly there, ahhhhhhhhhh relief,

We don’t sleep, always too excited plus I need the right conditions to sleep, sitting upright in a plane is not one of them, even reclining some, isn’t going to cut it, we’ve got a layover in London than off to Rome for one-night, this time we did the Leonardo express which I had never done, worked well except just missed the train, so had to wait, no biggie but by this time me and Kelly’s eyes are out on our cheeks delirious with sleep deprivation, I booked near termini, lug those cases to our street, we were in hotels same street, but different she checks in and I do, we are also starving to death, a great surprise waiting for us is a note from our friend Max who lives in Rome, he gave us the address where he was and a phone number, we couldn’t get him on the phone and no energy to find where he was, he nicknamed us the terror twins and I don’t even know if he would have recognized us, we were that tired and out of it , have u had that when u can’t even form a sentence with your mouth ? we eat dinner down the street, I will find the name, something with Angelina and we really liked it, we had a nice waiter who took good care of us, plus told me I talk with my hands and my eyes which is a mafia trait, thanks buddy !! off to bed, there’s a note on my pillow, max came there, oh lord, that means we missed him and he practically had to walk or ride right by us? This happened in New York too with max, max I promise I will buy a phone for Italy next time, I’m an anti-cell phone user but I’ll do it for you

I stayed at hotel Katty, had single but a double-bed put my sound machine on and slept the good sleep, I had a plan to meet Kelly at 1030 am, I was up earlier so I dress and head out for coffee, I find a place down the street with tables and coffee, no one is at the outside tables but I’m in Rome darn it and I want to hear Rome, I have three-cups, go into my usual shakes after, an older man walks by gives me a look, no smile, than proceeds to walk back and forth and back and forth the whole darn time, I decide I’m not speaking to him which I would usually do, no smile, no talk, I say

I go meet Kelly and tell her about where I was and we go there and eat breakfast, she had waffles with chocolate, yuckkk and I had Panini, we get to the train station and get our fast ticket to Naples, I paid a guy 3 Euros to get my stuff on the train worth every penny!

In an hour and 15 minutes, we are in Naples, that was a good ride, now to find the next train to Sorrento, we are by the big doors that go outside so I tell Kelly, well lets go out and look at Naples for a minute, so we step out look around than go back inside, I have a hard time remembering Italian names to things and if its close to a name I know I’ll memorize that, its easier, well I had already named the circum whatever train with its new name, circumcision, which I told Kelly … right off she spots a sign, see I told u I tell her, she will always recognize that train sign now, we head to down, it’s a bit crowded, we are at the right bin and a train pulls up, we go to get on and a bum says to Kelly, noooo Sorrento, nooo Sorrento, she’s asking me why is he saying that and I have no ideal either but we get on, well he is right, it does not go to Sorrento, we hop off in some town, get on an outside train station, I watched the stuff and Kelly goes to find out from someone what we need to do, she comes up on another side, I said how did u get over there? She said I don’t know???  How u getting back? I don’t know, well ask I yell, a man directs her , says next train, we sit smoke and see the train coming , Kelly gets my back pack on me, we roll to the edge and the bugger kept on going, didn’t stop, we both yell at the same time, awww *** !!!! two-workers from the office are out smoking watching they see and hear us and start chuckling, next one comes they come out again, yes this one, this one !!!! thank god,

like the ride into Sorrento, I like looking in people’s yards, buildings u name it, I see water and a shipyard, yahooooo this is it, we are on our way aren’t we? I love that,

Once we get to the Sorrento stop, there’s a man and wife who are kind of paying attention to us in that they got ohh lord can we find an elevator conversation, the man says in very little English and lots of hand movements to walk to the end kind of a box it will be easier, grazieeee we yell, after getting out of the train station and heading down the hill we see them again, he says “WHERE YOU GO?” hotel nice, he motions go left at intersection, we do, we go right on by hotel nice, he sees that and they come fast walking to us and turn us around and show us it, ahhhhh grazie I say, Italians sweet people for sure,

Rome tidbits :

Hotel Katty –

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g187791-d650670…

The restaurant we really liked

Mamma Angela’s via palestro 53

tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g187791-…

found it here !

We get to our room, two-single beds, decent size, not too small or big,, I open the window, view is of a garden and a small-pond, it has gold fish in it, there’s a pretty ash tray, Kelly says that’s not an ashtray, yes it is I said, feel the grooves, we can smoke in here !! well we do but mostly at the window, plus I asked the at the lobby because Kelly didn’t believe me, I go about unpacking, I like to feel like I’m living where I’m visiting, I like my stuff sorted, Kelly has never rolled her clothes for the suitcase, she called me before the trip to ask me about it, I said yes go for it, I do it all the time, well I was proud of her, she surely rolled and fit a lot of clothes in her bag, took her some work to do though, lot of good that did her because now that it fits and is rolled so perfectly, she didn’t want to unroll anything and wear it, I swear she only used the top layer ! LOLLL

the plan was when we got to Sorrento was to do the open-air bus to get an overview of Sorrento, since arriving later than planned we can’t and now go out onto the street to decide what, now Julie and Chris from England who were joining us for this trip had arrived the day before, Kathleen coming from Ireland was arriving the same day as us, all the sudden from about on a balcony, I hear “Jeannetteeeee” I look up and it’s the girls, Chris has a balcony on her room, yeahhhhh we yell ! they come down, we hug hard and catch up, so so happy to see the scarves, (our nickname) now ladies, chime in, u know I have the memory of a gnat, so if I forget something we did, my notes are all gone from the checked bag home, so I’m winging it,

next we go to dinner, this was to a place that Julie had been to a few years ago with her mother, actually I believe the night before they ate there too, the name of the restaurant is Largo Sedil Dominova, it’s on the little lanes that go off of Piazza Tasso, here is their website, www.sedildominova.com , this place has great prices, good food and most of all live music, a fellow comes and sings with a piano player and for the life of me, I don’t know why he’s singing there and not in a concert hall because he is THAT GOOD ! he sang Bocelli, absolutely beautiful and many more artists, the restaurant also has a host of characters who work there who make it lively and fun, one little man never says a word, he just walks by, looks at you, pulls your pony tail, moves your wine, takes the parmesan, gives it back, a silent personality with gusto,

made some friends here, by the end of the night leaving I got big hugs from all and was told they were my family which was funny because a week later, walking by they all yell JEANNETTAAAA, btw all Italians say my name their way, it’s not Jeannette, it’s jeannetta, and I like it

We are headed back to the hotel, me and Julie got a beer, I was giddy happy to be back in Italy and in a special new place, I stayed out, smoked etc, Kelly went to bed, she wasn’t asleep yet and told me the sink was stopped up, filled with water, well I have to use it so decide I most go down to the desk and tell them, it’s the night guy and he is talking to some friends at the doorway, (one of which is cute ) he says he can send someone in the morning to fix it, his friend who we have nicknamed the plumber, says he will look at it, so up we go, Kelly is in the bed, he’s got a plunger, he gets that sink going in no time, Kelly’s still awake but pretending she’s asleep, somehow while saying goodbye and the Italian kiss a real one comes along, don’t ask me why, I’m vacation and don’t give a hoot, I can see Kelly’s body shaking under the sheets, she is laughing, well this can’t happen so I see him off, she has such joy telling the girls the next day about the “plumber” and you THOUGHT THE NIGHT WAS OVER ?? we had fun joking about it, it was “excEllent” and i asked Julie if she had any blockage in the room if so i knew the man to fix it,

now a new day dawns, on this day Ellen is coming, she’s flying into Italy from New York,

 

today’s plans include, Julie and Chris are doing a day trip to Positano, me, Kelly and Kathleen are going to do the open-air bus tour, it didn’t start till 11:30 so since we had not seen the harbor, Kathleen took us down there, we stopped at the foreigners club and took some photos, so pretty…after we head back up up and away, it’s time to meet the bus, the weather is holding out, a piece of the ride will not go today due to a football match, that’s okay we think, I was very impressed with Sorrento, still am plus we rode to other towns nearby, I’ve never seen so many lemon and olive trees, the views from this bus were fantastic so if u are thinking about doing this ever, my advise is to go for it, we never did hop off but you can, make sure u check when u will get a bus back tho,

Oh and make sure you duck for big branches, at one point, Kathleen was bleeding, a little nick on her forehead,

after this day trip, I’m feeling mighty tired, I am not a nap person ever, it’s torture for me trying to take a nap and I so want to be a nap person, we went to a place and had a late lunch, food was good, I don’t know the name of it, maybe Kathleen does? Ellen has now arrived and Kathleen and Kelly are going to meet her, do a little shopping, I’m going back to the room and see if I can pull off a nap, I don’t want to shop, I think I’m the only girl I know who dislikes shopping, well on vacation anyway but I’m not crazy about it at home either, so off to the room I go, trying to make the right conditions, darkness, eye shades my sound machine going, I rest but do not sleep, grrrrrrrrrrrrr

Kelly comes back, Ellen had made a purchase on I believe music boxes, some special ones, she can tell u more about that, Kelly lays down, bam she’s asleep, darn I’m jealous, I still lay there and rest, better than nothing I suppose, I had forgot to note that just as we finished the bus tour, it began to rain, not too heavy though. We were lucky with the bus,

By the time Kelly came back from Ellen and Kathleen, the heaven’s were pouring, Kathleen later comes to our room to let us know that Julie and Chris were back from Positano, they were soaked like drown rats, they can tell u about their activities for that day which I believe included Amalfi as well, they are going to join us later for dinner, they needed hot showers and warm clothes, poor things, Ellen is out first and having a drink at Il fauno, now I’m not sure that’s the right name, so we meet her there, wine is 6 euro and I don’t realize it at the time of ordering but is going to be worth every penny because they are going to bring u a bowl of olives to die for, I’m so taken with these olives there’s no words for it, this bar/restaurant is centered in the lively piazza Tasso area and it is an excellent spot for people watching, soon as I sit down Ellen says “now tell me about the plumber” she had already heard some scoop from the girls, we had a good laugh, she said Jeannette he’s going to come back to your hotel I bet tonight, I said no way !

I believe in expecting the “unexpected” it’s the spice of trips really, so I must have three bowls of olives myself and while catching up and people watching I notice one particular guy, he is kind of standing at the corner of the bar we are at, I thought he was on the phone , he breaks out in such laughter, sometimes he has to bend over he is laughing so hard, he talks, he laughs, he slaps his knee, I see no phone, no earpiece, now he is 35 or 40, not a bad looking guy, dressed decent, clean, so I say girls, look over at that guy – he is laughing all by himself the whole time we have been here, Ellen says yes he was here when I got here and was doing the same, so that means these guy has been standing there for a good couple of hours, laughing and looking like the happiest person I ever met ( from a distance )

So off we go to dinner, we do a bit of wandering to find a place, we eventually do down the street from the piazza, La Laterna, Ellen is starving, she hasn’t ate since she arrived from NY, we are at the outside tables, there’s a couple of British men at one table, a couple of British girls at another table, than two-women and an older well dressed gentlemen at another, I site that for a reason which will come up later, after ordering along comes Julie and Chris , yeah we are thinking because I was worried they wouldn’t come out, after being so cold and wet but they did god bless them, as with all our dinners we are eating, drinking, chatting wildly and enjoying every single-minute being together again, I have to pinch myself at times because this makes me so incredibly happy, it is real, thank you god I always say in my mind when we are together, some of our other scarves couldn’t be there but I tell u they were in spirit, we talked of them, missed them the whole time,

The meal is winding down, the well-dressed older man in the next table with the two-women, stands up and breaks out in song, I mean belting it out, he might be a little tipsy but we don’t give a hoot, he is singing nicely to these girls than to all of us at the restaurant, he continues to sing a lot, one of the girls rushes over to our table saying they don’t know him, he joined them, the staff knows him we can tell that, he’s buying them drinks and whatnot and if u let a man do that, he isn’t leaving baby, I don’t know if they got that,

Eventually the restaurant wants to close, the fellow is still singing, we are clapping wildly and the staff is trying to discreetly tell all the tables, don’t clap, we’ve got to close or he will never stop, LOL

No matter, to me there is nothing like an Italian man belting out songs on an Italian street, it echoing so beautiful and sung with whatever passion they happen to be feeling, I’ve witnessed it in every part of Italy I’ve been too even way back in Rome when me and Kelly went with the “moms” coming back from our double-date with those guys who didn’t speak English but sang to the top of their lungs in the car, absolutely beautiful and I’ve been hooked ever since and always will be, it literally stops you in your tracks, don’t let this moment go by UN-noticed, I’m secretly hoping the man doesn’t stop singing though I know the staff must be so tired,

Julie came out late so she is not ready to go in soon, Kathleen, Chris and Kelly do, so Julie, Ellen and myself go back to il fauno, at this time, I need to know about these olives so I ask the waiter, he smiles and says, they are from Sicily ! what I’m thinking ? Sicily? Ohhh lordie, when I go there in February, I’m having these bad boys for breakfast lunch and dinner and maybe even a midnight snack!!! GORGEOUS OLIVES I tell u, I was cleaning the kitchen yesterday thinking about them, where am I going to find some Sicily olives around here ?

OK life is good here, enjoying our drink, me eating every Sicilian olive this bar owns and Ellen’s phone beeps, she’s got a text, than Julie phone beeps, she’s got a text, hmm-mm what’s going on ? it’s the girls so we read, THE PLUMBER IS WAITING OUTSIDE THE HOTEL ! Kelly says he’s dressed up, purple sweater, smelling good, she tries to get past him he looks at her right in the face knowing exactly who she is, my amiche in the bed

He’s waiting for me, awww crap what am I going to do, Ellen and Julie are laughing so hard, now I’m not going in, I’m more of a hit and run girl in the game of baseball, shoot……. What to do? Ellen says, I told you Jeannette, I told you !!!

Well girls, let’s order more drinks because I’m not going back to that hotel anytime soon, besides tomorrow is an early morning, we’re off to Herculaneum and Pompeii and no way am I getting myself involved with late-night romance and spoiling that, so we stay by the time we mosey on back, the hotel clerk (who is the plumber’s friend) has it all dark and has to unlock the door to let me and Julie in, I get to bed and wait for the new day to dawn which I’m excited about thoroughly,

SMOKING HOT TRAIN

Our plan for the day is, H than Pompeii, we head to the station, get our train ticket, get seated in a compartment that has four seats facing each other, back wall two-seats each side, Kelly is in one, I’m on the other, I’ve got an open seat by the window, there’s a British couple and we just got over a good laugh because Ellen has found a small magnet that just fell in her land of cleavage, so in comes a smoking hot Italian guy, he comes to my row and motions he wants to sit there, OK cool beans, I shift my legs so he can be by the window, he sits down, looks at me, smiles, I’m giving the girls eyes saying, without saying, is he cute or what? they each give me the hm-mm yep he is eyes, him and I are painfully close to each other, it’s a bit more cramped in those two-back seats, so my personal space was a bit compromised, OK…than smoking hot, proceeds to turn his head toward me, inches away, grinning and looking at me like I’m an alien who just landed and he’s got to inspect it with fascination and interest, he would not stop staring me, aren’t u supposed to ride a train and look straight ahead? Or out the window, nope not according to this fellow, now I’m getting self-conscious about it, so I look him dead in the eye too and say WHAT???? he imitates me and says “what ?” back and grins, god he’s pretty but I’ll never tell him that I’m thinking,

Now he’s going to talk. which is usually three-word sentences in English which is better than three word sentences I can do in Italian,

He says: where u from ?

Me: America, Washington dc,

Him: where u stay?

Me: Sorrento and than to Positano

Him: where u go?

Me: Pompeii

Him: what your name?

Me: Jeannette

Him: ahhhh Jeannetta , very nice…

Me : grazie

Him: you very nice Jeannetta

Me: grazie

Him: what you do?

Me: accountant

Him: non-capish, I get Ellen to translate

Him: verdy nice…..

Now this is getting crazy so I’m talking to the girls,,, either leaning forwards to them or to my left, he is watching my every move, every word like a hawk and this is no exaggeration, I didn’t know it at the time but Julie said every time I leaned forward it would cock his head and check me out from the back like he was buying a sports car, his arm is behind my seat, well we can’t talk about this in front of him of course and Kathleen has this face on like this is unbelievable and gets out her camera to capture this Kodak moment, he’s game — arm goes around me, she takes multiple photos, camera was acting up her one of our eyes are closed and this arm is around my shoulders like a married couple, he goes back to intently staring at the alien Jeannetta he’s just met and he’s hot, literally, his face is going red with heat and starting to sweat a little, he tells me how hot he is, I said, well. take off your coat than, he looks at me like I just asked him to get naked on the train, shocked !! well it was a beautiful black coat and looked great on him with his outfit but if u are not take it off I’m thinking !

Him: Pen

Me: Hmmm?

Him: Pen

Me: ok open purse, get a pen

Him: smiling and writing, writes looks at me, when done folds paper neatly hands it to me and my pen

Me: grazie Carmen, I know this because the note says

YOU CALL ME, CARMINE and his number below

Him: when u call me?

Me: eyes big as saucers, “I don’t know I’m going to Pompeii”

Him: u call me

Me: I’ll try my best, we are at the stop, I dash off the train

Me: well…they said Naples men are very forward but that was pretty incredible,

We had arranged to meet up at 8pm for dinner

Kathleen’s birthday dinner , we decide to go to syrenuse bar ristorante at the piazza Tasso and I do recommend this place, for being there right in the piazza they’ve got good prices, music available, tv, and heaters. I did have to get the waiter to check it though because I smelled that gas.

We order a bottle of bubbly and toast to dear Kathleen. It’s our last night together because me Kelly and Ellen are transferring to Positano the next day and Julie Kathleen and Chris are doing a day trip to Paestum. I believe they booked that thru golden tours but they can confirm that and tell u about that day trip, I thought I would get there this trip but didn’t make it, that’s ok, it’s on the list (the never-ending list) we see Ellen’s driver, jean luc, he does eat there besides recommending it, the next day he is the one who’s taking us to Positano, Ellen was so nice in letting me and Kelly come along,

Me and Ellen stay a bit at the bar talking to jean luc and his friend, I’m getting pooped and am going to walk back to the hotel, jean luc’s car is right there so they all ride me back to the hotel, it’s dark and I have to get buzzed in, the plumber’s friend let’s me in (minus the plumber) LOL wow tomorrow Positano, I can’t wait to see it , is it as beautiful as the photos and movies ?

It’s drizzling this day, jean luc and Ellen pick us up about 10 am, there’s a bit of traffic leaving but it’s a beautiful drive, jean luc tells us stories, he drives very well and is very personable, we come to a spot with an overlook on Positano and jean luc stops the car and we get out with umbrella’s, okay it’s raining and Positano is still a beauty to behold, wow, we take photos and get back in, my butterflies in the tummy go up a notch,

Originally we were booked at the hotel savoi , Ellen is still booked there but once we decided on staying in Sorrento, i cancelled ours, than we decided on moving to Positano five-nights, so I booked at Hotel Bougainville I got a special, buy four- nights get the 5th free and so we did, I really liked this hotel, it was really close to Hotel Savoi and Ellen, we could see each other from the balcony, it’s all done up in white and light blue and reminded me so much of Greece in a way, it has a nice big shower, large vanity, balcony with sea-view and a stocked mini-bar with beer for $2.50 euro so u know I’m having that , lol

There’s a big double bed and a small single bed, me and Kelly decide we will share the double and use the single for storage, (suitcases) etc, I go about unpacking because I have to, it’s a mental thing, Kelly is still rationing all her rolled clothes– she still doesn’t want to unroll them since they were packed with such precision,

After packing we meet for lunch, it’s a gorgeous spot, really is, and CRAP FOOD AND SERVICE,    my pizza never came and when I asked the waiter did he forget me, he in fact did and they have not made my pizza, he says it will be ready in such and such minutes,  he never says sorry, no smile, he is as dry as cardboard , Ellen and Kelly didn’t like their food either, but the spot is pretty, my pizza is yucky, I think the only bad one I ever had in Italy,  no matter we have fine and that fix all troubles, we’ve got girl talk to accomplish and Ellen has been to Positano several times and explains to us all it’s enchantments,  next we are walking down to the water and see her old friends at chez black, actually I may have screwed this up, we might have done that first than went to the crappy food place with a beautiful view.

Ellen introduces us to her friends there, we make a plan to have dinner there in the evening, it’s a great spot and if u look on the wall of photos, u will see movie star photos, it’s popular with them too, ok if Brad Pitt shows up, Angelina or no Angelina, I’m jumping him, LOL

Ellen takes us on a walk to the beach and we see where the boats come in,  she goes about showing us Positano and all its charms, it surely is beautiful, these photos don’t lie,  eventually we are on the road to the top of Positano and my camera never good at night shots, is not good this time either, we take photos ,  Ellen and Kelly’s  get nice night shots, so I’ll just steal some of theirs, we see a little grocery store with a little old lady behind a kind of deli counter, well this for me was the box office bonanza, for $10 euro me and Kelly got, a big chunk of mozzarella, a container of fresh olives, wine, cherry tomatoes, a big hunk of bread, a bunch of grapes and a big bag of potato chips,  I’m starting to think hey I could technically eat in Positano on 10 euro’s a day, who would of thought ?

We get to chez black for our dinner, it can be pricey here but there are things to order that are delicious and economical too so don’t let it’s reputation scare u off, now on account of them loving Ellen, we got freebies too, Ellen is treating me and Kelly to dinner this night so u know I’m ordering the whole chez black menu !  Kidding………

Ellen knows a lot of their specialties, and she orders us apps one of which I won’t ever forget, grilled mozzarella in lemon leaves, my god it’s delicious, how did I ever live without grilled mozzarella and lemon leaves?  Guys this was one unforgettable meal, all the food and drink were outstanding,, my pasta came and I tell u, they gave me a pound of it,   beautiful plates…beautiful service and food,

now I hear this place is packed in the summer, we are off-season so we kind of got to have Positano to ourselves and u know what ?   I liked it like that,

I also forgot to mention we walked up to Ellen’s hotel she usually books called Eden roc, we got a nice tour thru there plus a chance to see a special room they have, its got a Jacuzzi right on the deck, it is really beautiful, one day if Ellen gets that room, I’m coming to visit !!!  LOL

Kelly always says to me on our travels  (in a VERY sarcastic way that she is famous for ) HADDDDD to get yourself a boyfriend didn’t you ?  well yep she’s right and this night is no exception, first I meet a blonde fellow wearing a scarf, he’s cute and comes and sits right next to me, he is also making friends with the American ladies right beside us, I’m thinking he is liking them better because they are giving him bites of their food, well I’m not because it’s too good to share, my new b/f causes a conversation to crop up with the American ladies, they have been to Sicily before Positano, I’m excited about this and of course want to know everything since I’m going there in February.

Now I get myself another boyfriend, he is all in black no scarf or jewelry, he’s kind of has gray in his hair so maybe he is older and he was rather small but he could get around pretty good because outside the restaurant, he jumped right up next to me and loved the affection I poured on him, so much so that he followed me all the way from the waterfront to our hotel, so we sat outside having a cigarette,  I’m worried if my b/f can make it down the hill or to his home?   Finishing we open the glass door at street level to the stairs leading to the lobby, my newest b/f darts right in and starts coming up the steps with me, now we are dying because I know he would come right to my room and sleep with me,  there’s a policy of “no guests” so I must send him on his way,  the hotel clerk says “no worry” he’ll find his way home, his momma loves him, I said “ are u sure”  ?

Ok lets talk about “chilling” out on the Amalfi…..because this I know, when we were waiting for the bus, me, Ellen and Kelly, we were hot and almost sweating, almost taking stuff back to the room we had on because it was too hot but there wasn’t enough time, the bus could come ?

So off we go on the bus, I do not like heights at all, I had already heard ride I believe the right-side for the views down well…that wouldn’t be me, I’m staying on the left and admiring all the rocks we pass by,  we pull up finally and I want to kiss the bus driver, well really , all of them because if u ask me they are the best bus drivers in the world. What I saw them maneuver around hair-pin cliffs, other monster size busses, people, scooters and the like, they are my heroes, that takes some skill baby !!!

So after setting foot on the Amalfi town the arctic winds greeted us and severely dropped temps, so cold and the wind was nearly knocking you down, we find our way to the cathedral of Amalfi, thank you God for this church and a place to get out of this wind, this church is so pretty I think,  we didn’t know it but we were about to attend a wedding there, there’s a gorgeous rolls Royce parked out front with wedding ribbons on it, we are allowed into the church right about the time “here comes the bride” is playing when they are ready to exit the church, what luck, I was thrilled, the bride is glowing, the groom well he had on a shiny tux and it wasn’t to my taste but hey it’s your wedding and if you like shiny on your special day, than shiny it is !!  the bride sure loved him, that was apparent from her face, we took photos like we were one of the guests, even followed them out for the rice throwing and her kissing her mom and dad, geez I was ready to cry, those wedding tears work anywhere don’t they?   Beautiful is all I have to say, I love seeing that happiness

Now we go about exploring this pretty cathedral which has many gems of its own, there’s the cloister of paradise, the basilica of the crucifix which has a museum and the cathedral.

At the cloister there re such pretty columns with a garden in the center, also along the wall are various sarcophagi,

There’s also a bell-tower, once u get the basilica of the crucifix you are now in the museum, we took our time roaming thru here, there are some beautiful artifacts, jewelry and art,  plus many more objects I have not mentioned,

Once thru the museum we head to the crypt, in this crypt it is said to hold the head and bones of Saint Andrew, Jesus’ first disciple, he was crucified in Greece, his body was later taken to Constantinople and later to Amalfi, on the saint’s holiday “manna” is collected, a liquid that appears

This place feels so very peaceful, we just sit awhile, I’m especially admiring the bronze sculpture of Saint Andrew, my man Michelangelo has a connection to it in that his student another Michelangelo, sculpted it and it does resemble my man’s “Moses.”

We want to find a place for a late lunch, we are starving, tons and tons of kids are coming home from school and the lanes are getting quite crowded, we decide on this place called, Trattoria dei Cartari, nothing fancy, tables in and outside, (with plastic up) due to the wind we opt for inside, I think it’s a family run place, there’s a little girl who comes in (niece, daughter) both?  they sit her down and get her food, each uncle etc., sees to her eating and sitting with her, at one point, she stops eating and is talking and he tells her , no talk  u eat !!  I got salad, pizza and wine, Ellen got the lemon leaves grilled mozzarella and something else ?  can’t remember and Kelly got baked macaroni with onion sauce,  well she is still talking about this dish, it was different and very good, all our food was, including mine, did we not wind up at the best place ?  I got out to smoke and an older man who worked there too comes out and smokes with me, he is asking where you from and all that good jazz, I tell him we are going to Ravello next, he says, ahhhh that is the most beautiful, the best,  u go there, we take our time thru this meal, as we get up to leave and I’m getting my coat on and a card from this place, (because I surely must tell others) the little girl is standing near me with her purple coat on and I told her, that’s sure a pretty coat, she smiled at me , don’t know if she understood me or not but she was cutie pie, now her dad or uncle is standing near and very quickly and I mean quick, asks me if I’ll come to dinner tonight and can I go out with him for vino, I say I’ll try my best, we walk out and Kelly puts her death stare on me and her “had to get a b/f huh”?  which really means she liked the place so much and would have liked to go back there and eat and now because of me we can’t go back and ty very much, I know this because she told me so, Kelly………always worrying about a meal LOL

Next  Ravello , the wind still blows and it is still cold, what agenda was in my mind goes right out the door and it’s what can we get inside of, the first which is the Museo del Duomo.

In the museum are findings that go from the I to the III century (mummy-cases and cinerary urns of the Roman period), marble sculptures, fragments of mosaics and marbles, silverware, crosses etc,

my camera is acting up again so i don’t have really good shots from here but i do have some.

Next we head into the Duomo, this was very pretty too and I was especially taken with the lions, here is info I found on them:

The lions upholding the glorious marble columns of the pulpit etched with golden mosaic are just one of the dramatic touches of this very special duomo or church. They date from 1272. The actual duomo was founded in 1086. The interior is medieval

The Cathedral

The city’s Cathedral, which is also the city’s heart, was built in 1087 on the central piazza del Vescovado, by the wishes of Nicolò Rufolo, and was consecrated by Orso Papice, the first bishop of Ravello.

The facade has three ancient marble portal: the central one is closed by the famous bronze door created in 1179 by Barisano da Trani. In all of Italy there are, perhaps, only about two dozen bronze doors and the one on the Cathedral of Ravello is one of the most important: 54 rectangular panels decorate the door with figures sculpted in relief; one of them holds the name of the donor, the Ravellian nobleman Sergio Muscettola, and of his family.

The interior, with nave, two aisles and three apses, has the peculiarity of the floor being sharply inclined towards the square, for the purpose of obtaining a deeper perspective effect.

The right aisle contains a 14th century sarcophagus, donated by Bishop Francesco Castaldo, and a precious panel depicting Saint Michael Archangel defeating Satan, a 16th century work by Giovanni Angelo d’Amato from Maiori.

At the end of the left aisle, next to the presbytery, there is the chapel of San Pantaleone, with a linear architectural plan that contrasts with the lavish decorations: the chapel holds the glass, gold and silver ampulla containing the saint’s solidified blood that miraculously liquefies each year.

The central nave contains, on the left, the pulpit of the Epistles, commissioned at the beginning of the 12th century by Bishop Costantino Rogadeo and decorated with two precious mosaics depicting Jonah and the Male. Notable proportions and refined the pulpit of the Gospels, on the right of the central nave, created in 1272 by Nicolò di Bartolomeo from Foggia. On the right side of the Cathedral rises the 13th century bell-tower.

Next place the wind takes us ……

Villa Rufolo, I’d like to tell you I did more research on Amalfi ahead of time and Ravello and knew all their unique heritage but honestly I didn’t , I did read but not enough so I’m not familiar with who rufolo was and if anyone is please feel free to chime in I’m always wanting to learn,

We pay for our ticket in, maybe I’m thinking we are getting a ticket “in” but I don’t know that we did that , we hugged a many wall and tree trying to block the wind and this place is pretty , quite pretty and I’ll post a bunch of photos on that because really, you’ve got to see it,

I will give you some information that I have learned now.

Villa Rufolo

On the same piazza del Vescovado which the Cathedral overlooks, rises the plain entrance tower, of the magnificent Villa Rufolo, whose ancient function was that of watch-tower.

The Villa, whose original construction dates from 1200AD, belonged, of course, to the powerful Rufolo family, to the Confalone, the Muscettola, to the D’Afflitto and, finally, to the Scot Francis Neville Reid.

The atmosphere of the place has been marked by the thousand years of Arab cultural influence. The main building, comprising a barrel-vaulted chapel and a reception hall, divided by massive, low columns, is built on three levels which in the past hosted high ranking persons among whom Pope Adrian IV and King Robert of Anjou.

On the left rises the mighty main tower, 30 metres high, with a pointed access arch; the second of the three levels which compose it is embellished with two mullioned windows per side. Instead, on the left, is the Moorish cloister, an architectural jewel of fascination, enclosed by an arcade of pointed arches, on which rest a double order of loggias with Arabian-style decorations.

The enchantment of Villa Rufolo reaches its peak in its famous garden loved by Wagner. Overhanging the sea is the terrace where every year the Ravello Festival is celebrated. The beautiful Palazzo Marra, an ancient noble residence, complements Villa Rufolo.

On the right side of the square (where the cathedral is) you’ll see the quadrangular tower which gives way to Villa Rufolo: a group of buildings in Arabesque style built by the noble family Rufolo to symbolize their wealth. Now it is site of the Antiquarium, a precious archeological museum which is unluckly closed.
The public is admitted to visit (from 9.00 to 20, in summer, from 9 to 18 in winter) the Moorish cloister, the tower, the famous esotic gardens, whose beauty inspired the German composer Wagner for his Parsifal.
In his journal he wrote:” the enchanted gardens of Klingsor have been found”. He meant he had found the ideal setting for his play, the place where his hero had to resist temptations of satanic young girls.
That why, since then, at the beginning of the second act of the Parsifal, wherever it is is being performed, the gardens of Ravello are immortalized.
The same gardens, every year in July, are setting of the world famous “Wagner Festival” important event for classic music.

Now having been there, I cannot imagine the exceptional beauty of attending a concert here, if you have an opportunity and are in the area than, my advise, goooooo !!!

Somehow in my mind (not Kelly and Ellen’s) I had envisioned lovely Amalfi walks, my friend Peggy who could not join us (who we missed)  till she tried to kill us, sent me a lovely lovely book of hers to use for the trip, it’s called  “sunflower landscapes, Sorrento Amalfi Capri, car tours and walks by Julian tippet and it is a lovely walk and had the fierce arctic winds not have been blowing so hard I’m sure…me and Ellen (with Kelly complaining) would have attempted these walks but I had to admit defeat, there couldn’t be a walk like this today, after viewing the villa rufolo and the amazing gardens, who do we see ?  the American ladies who had been to Sicily with the “p” restaurant, we are excited to see them, it’s hard to talk when the wind is blowing you sideways, so we leave and wind up in the piazza and must find coffee, something hot, we see a shop, go in and order, still wanting a sunflower walk I start reading the book to them there, Ellen videos me, Kelly throws in her usual sarcasm (we are like the ying and the yang) and it works out perfect somehow ?

It’s getting late and we decide to get the bus back, we wait at the bus stop well really down from it because now all three of us are huddled together to form one by a wall and steps so we can get each others body heat which is funny because a man and his wife who came up the steps near us, kind of was startled when we separated to let them up because he said, oh it’s three of you and an old man in a taxi offered to ride us back for a mere million dollars, no thanks we said, back to the huddle of spooning for heat !

By the time we get back, I am done for, I don’t want to go out to dinner, — hot shower, pj’s, warm blanket and TV in Italian is all I crave, the wind had knocked everything out of me. Ellen and Kelly go out to dinner later, I just couldn’t do it, I wish them well, make a dinner out of groceries from the store I told u about, this really recharges my batteries, I’m very high energy but when I’ve hit a limit there’s no moving me.

We are in luck the next morning, there is going to be a boat to Capri from Positano, ( so glad to peter here on TA for giving me all the schedules he did ) and much more but this tidbit came in so handy that day, bright-eyed and bushy tailed after a good night’s rest we are now at the docks waiting for out boat, ticket is bought, Capri is waiting who I secretly fell in love with from a distance while on the Sorrento bus, looking over the water I was thinking oh my heaven’s would you look at that ?  What a presence ! plus I want to drop in on Tiberius’s villa and see what’s happening there, I’ve got mixed feelings on this fellow, in my research on him I’m down to conflicting info, was he the tyrant and a stone cold loony using Capri for very bad things like throwing whoever off a cliff who offended him or has he got a bum rap in history? I’m still not decided yet but I have decided with Julius Caesar and Lorenzo Medici who I hold in high regard and absolute awe. (Besides my man Michelangelo) but with this Tiberius my quest will have to continue

oh and while we wait for the boat, my blonde b/f is making new friends, hardly looks at me, don’t see the one dressed in black.

Ellen and Kelly sit up top, I sit at the bottom level of the boat, it’s a smooth ride and pretty soon we’re pulling up, Ellen finds the ticket booth for the funicular and we also find that “no blue grotto” that day, oh bummer, into the funicular line we go and up up and away,

Ellen’s been shopping here before and I don’t know for how much sightseeing, maybe more I’m not sure, well the first thing on my agenda for the day is to follow the sunflower guide to villa jovis, now actually I thought it was closer than it really was, the sunflower path is kind of up up up too, we stop and take a break, at this point I don’t know if Ellen will continue, she had a back injury not long ago and maybe it’s not a good ideal to continue ?  She decides yes I’ll go back down and go shopping, I tell Kelly u can shop or do u want to go? She decides to go, so we continue on, very nice homes and gardens are along the way, I mean really nice,

gates === big ones which makes it all the more curious to me to see what’s behind them so me and Kelly press our faces up to them looking in the cracks, loll, some people are going in and out of their homes and I’m thinking “how the heck do you get to live here”? Wonder what they do? We meet a couple of women who were British or American, Kelly asks because we know they are coming back from there “is it worth it”?  The ladies say “yes” !! good news for me because Kelly’s always trying to get out of the long walk, see I say, told u !!!

a bit about villa jovis :-

Villa Jovis is situated at the end of Viale Amedeo Maturi, where one finds a number of steps faced with marble slabs originating from the Roman Villa. Villa Jovis, built in the first century B.C. and attributed to Tiberius, was chosen for its position on the cliff’s edge which guaranteed both privacy and security, of vital importance to the Emperor.

A considerable percentage of the Roman villa remains a villa which was built with large cisterns and water tanks, so as to counteract the perennial lack of water on the island of Capri. Villa Jovis was organized in sections linked by corridors, stairs and passageways. The Emperor had a North facing apartment with views over the Gulf of Naples; to the East there was the section dedicated to official functions; the baths were to the South and to the West the servants accommodation and lavatories were located. Tiberius’s Villa extended over 5.500 square meters and was built up on various levels, unusual for the period, but made necessary by the location.

At the end of the avenue which leads to the villa there is the famous “Tiberius’s Leap”, place where, according to local legend, disobedient servants and undesired guests were hurled over the cliff by order of the Emperor. The furnishings and decorative features have been gradually removed over the centuries; placed in museums or used to decorate Royal palazzo, with some materials, such as the marble paving, even sold by weight.

The Villa Jovis complex was officially inaugurated in 1937, after excavation work carried out by the Archaeologist Amadeo Maiuri following strict scientific criteria. Within the site boundaries of Villa Jovis one finds the small Church of Santa Maria del Soccorso. In the space in front of the church there is a statue of the Madonna, visible from the sea below.

For this site, I would have liked to have an audio guide or even a knowledgeable guide, we tried to follow the path arrows, there were signs “follow the directions, don’t deviate” no way would we deviate !  We went into dark places, baths, not many people were here, sometimes I didn’t know if where we were walking was okay, is this stable ? not?  We go about exploring it all, it surely is something when u have realizations, am I standing here in a roman emperors former house ? Am I?  Gosh we are blessed with travel, we really are.

After completing our exploration of villa jovis we head back the way we came, this time all down-hill, thank goodness, off this path we are supposed to be able to pick up a little lane to take us to Arco Naturale, the description says, the path will take u there easily, ok good I keep looking and I can’t find it, I tell Kelly look for this so we can see the arch, I show her a photo of the arch, she says, ok we saw that nice pic can we skip it ? NOOOOO I say, well we are almost to town again, than Kelly confesses her lie “ I saw it back there (the road we needed) I told her , UUUUU Dog, so no arch for us but that photo in the book.

Now we find a bus to Ana Capri, it’s standing room only, me and Kelly move all the way to the back of the bus, there’s a little toddler baby there in a stroller, I’m kind of behind him, he’s tilting his head back looking at me, I smile and say something to him, this baby boy is gorgeous, after that he was smitten, he goo goo’s, blew bubbles and he is talking away to me , eyes big, I’m doing the same to him, his mother and aunt I believe cannot believe how he is carrying on, he’s showing me all his mouth tricks babbling and he chokes on his spit, mom is sitting him upright to pat his back and he is throwing himself backwards so he can still see me and make sounds, she’s trying to get him up, he’s fighting her trying to lay back and watch me == me, Kelly and the mom were laughing, he was quite the little character, Kelly says, well u got yourself another b/f didn’t u ? Gosh he was cute.

We settle on a park bench with a beer and bag of chips and watch Ana Capri and the people, getting some rest from our uphill battle for Tiberius , once rested we go about finding the chair lift to Monte Solaro which was big on my “to do” list, this was NOT big on Kelly’s and as we are in line waiting she is having mini-heart attacks squeezing my arm murmuring I’m going to kill u, u know I don’t like heights, I say Kelly neither do I but I don’t think this is going to be a bad ride, now we are closer in line and we are watching how u have to put your feet on the mark, chair comes (doesn’t stop) u plunk yourself down, he throws down the bar down in front of u which doesn’t lock so one can feel free to lift it during the ride and jump if u like ? lol I go first (it’s single seats) I hear Kelly behind me “ohhhhhhhh and screeching and than we are moving and IT’S GOOD !!!  Really good, even Kelly who was screeching like a wild banshee getting in the chair is yelling up to me, OH MY GOSH I LOVE THIS!!!

This ride is gorgeous, it doesn’t go too fast, it’s real quiet, yes u are going up but u can always see land close down below, people’s yards, hills and of course to your right the most gorgeous views of the water and Capri, really incredible I think, it’s so peaceful and so pleasant, Kelly is telling me from her chair “this was worth everything to come here” EVERYTHING!

We didn’t want that ride to end but it does and now I’m thinking how to get off, there’s the man there and I tell him, u got me ? u got me ?

We are laughing, we explore the views, take photos and make our way to the outdoor cafe, wow what a spot, this calls for “vino rosso” I say…. and order

me and Kelly are having that “this is real big wow moment” conversation when a British couple comes up and asks if they could sit with us at our table, sure I say, I’m smoking hope that doesn’t bother you ? he says, quit four weeks ago, I am loving that smell, please please keep lighting up , he was loving my 2nd hand smoke ! they were a really nice couple and we got to talking about all kinds of things, his trip to Egypt, what we should see in England, he told us of this maiden castle and he also knows woodsy places that have roman ruins and he’s like my god, this stuff is just sitting here, no one knows or pays attention and when he retires he’s going to show people this stuff and that maiden castle, things off the beaten path.

We so missed Ellen sitting at that table, we’d knew she would like it, we wondered if she left on the 330 boat or would be down below when we got there, I told Kelly nope she’ll get the 330 boat and sneak a nap, we are laughing because I always accuse Ellen who keeps me out real late sometimes of sneaking a nap which I never get (or can do) we make a note tell Ellen when she comes back must do this, matter of fact I would like to stay a couple of days in ana Capri and would love an all day pass on that lift chair, I’d ride that all day, though I don’t think there is one.

The ride back is just as lovely, me and Kelly are saying, take it in, take it in, lock it in the memory banks, I get creative (in my mind) and take a photo of my shadow along the hillside, proof I was there, I’m thinking.

We get in line for a bus, down to Capri than to the funicular, today is every mode of transportation, buses, boats, funiculars, chair lifts and your own leg muscle, we’re doing it all, including almost missing the boat back to Sorrento, we definitely missed the Positano boat —so to Sorrento we will go, than bus back to Positano, we get our tickets and find our boat, wow its leaving in two-minutes and it’s a good distance away, I’m yelling to Kelly “RUNNNNNN FOREST” and we do, all the way to the boat in the nick of time, panting and catching our breath onboard, I think it was the 630 boat,

I realize there’s a lot of things we missed in these places, villa’s, gardens etc., I will definitely come back, a daytrip just wasn’t enough. Capri, Ana Capri, Monte Solaro, all very beautiful…

We get the bus back, we are starving and exhausted, we have a message to meet Ellen for dinner,, with tired aching muscles we make it down to the waterfront chez black, ask the guys, where’s Ellen ? not here and hasn’t been ? What?

Oh no!  We are looking at the hill and steps back up, growling we make our way up slowly, hmm where to eat, we decide on a place near our hotel, I collapse on a chair outside it while Kelly goes and gets a menu, all the pasta has seafood in it, Kelly didn’t want that, she takes the menu back in and lies (2nd time that day) she tells the waiter ummm my friend is allergic to seafood, ty anyway

We walk back down while she confesses to me what she just did – we find another place more at the bottom of the hill before the curve to go back up, u go down steps, than over a courtyard kind of thing than a ramp into their place, not many people inside, we’re starving, it’s decent prices so we go for it, it’s quiet, nice, we’re sitting, all beautiful things considering our tiredness, that all changes right quick.

In comes a very large Italian family, or team? with about 27 children, they must have been in a sports event that day, lots of games clothes on, also one of them must work in the restaurant because they go in and out of the kitchen, there is also about 15 or more adults, the men sit together at one-side, the women at the other side and the children at a table behind them, every single-person started talking loud rapid and with feeling and I don’t mean this in a bad way, I love those sounds of families it was just a little shock to our system the fast transition from quiet to not. The kids start running all around, they are having themselves a good ole time and we are looking at plate after plate that is coming out to their tables,

I go out to smoke, come back, I have no chair, I say to Kelly where my chair? She looks at me shocked, I don’t know she says, I tell her well who came up to the table? No one, I didn’t see anyone here that is so weird.  I go get another one from an empty table, we never solved that mystery and the big family already had all their chairs, how they got by Kelly sitting there and took my chair, sure is puzzling, no matter we are eating and fireworks are now going off, u can see a bit of them from the window , the large Italian family tells us its for a wedding, wow that is pretty cool and we wonder if it is expensive to do that , the meal was very good, I had very nice grilled vegetables and I will find the name of that restaurant.  We now both want to smoke and attempt to go outside but the waiter says no worry, he takes us to a table by a window, opens it and gives us an ashtray, I look at Kelly saying God I love Italy !

After paying and smoking we go back to our original table, now my coat is gone? What???????? is there a ghost taking my stuff? Well, no not really, it had been on the back of the chair, now it’s under the table, don’t know how but that’s where it was, tired and happy we get back to the room, Ellen calls and we find out what happened, she just missed us, we figured she had a date or something, tomorrow’s plan is “walk of the gods” so we need to meet early.  After a day of planes, trains and automobiles, I say ” night Kelly” !  Fast asleep we go,

Walk of the Gods – can surely lead you to your maker

Wow this day, it’s a lot to explain so I’ll plug away at it, I’ve done good research on this walk, I’m really looking forward to, used multiple sources all information was consistent printed and with me. Kelly is not so pleased, she doesn’t want to walk for a walk, she liked to walk to “something” she tells me, Ellen is up for the walk, she’s been hiking in Canada, though she keeps telling me well we may have to get a bus here or there and I’m telling the both of them, noooooooooo we are walking the walk , all the way to Positano, now if u don’t want to go, I’m going alone, I’m standing firm with this, I want my walk of the gods which in my mind envisioned, “a walk” a nice path, incredible views, foliage, posted signs, I want to see goats, abandoned farm houses, I have a lot of things in my mind to accomplish with this walk, my friend dear Peggy who could not go at the last minute recommended this walk, she’s done it with her ten-year old son, wow this is going to be cool

Part of the printed material I brought with me on this walk says: no matter how old you are whether keen on hiking or not, the path of gods set in breathtaking natural beauty, is a must for anybody who wants to explore the marvels of the Amalfi coast,

My directions also say this:

You can get the bus to amalfi than take the bus to agerola, stop in bomerano, a few meters from agerola and ask for directions to Sentiero degli Dei, walk of the gods, once there, you will find signals indicating the route to Nocelle, be ready to enjoy the most beautiful panoramas of your life,

So that’s what we do, we bus to amalfi, than bus to agerola, well that’s how it started out anyway, we almost had to walk to agerola because there is an accident in the tunnel and no traffic is moving, oh and we are on this bus with nothing but high school age Italians, bus driver gets out, we can see the tunnel, he crosses over and sits and smokes, some of the bus stop kids jump off the bus and head into the tunnel, we are just looking at each other, Ellen is now calculating how much time this or that can take and when we do this walk we may have to skip such and such part and get a bus and i am sure that Kelly has got to her and plotted how to shorten my walk and i just keep saying to them both, we’ll be fine !! No worry we will be fine, Ellen’s looking at me, not convinced ,

I start talking to a couple of the boys asking how long to walk there, they say 20 minutes I think, 40. we get out and smoke, I’m wondering where are the tunnel kids are going, all the sudden engines start up, bus driver crosses the street, it’s time to roll, back in the bus we go, some kids come running out of the tunnel back to the bus, see I told u I say to Ellen

Up up and up this bus climbs and finally we are reaching agerola, now I’m to look for a town center from there a short walk to bomerano where there is the path and a sign, along the way kids who walked from the tunnel are on the roadside and the bus driver stops and picks them up along the way, in this bus we are not seeing any town center, next thing u know all the kids are off the bus, we get off with the last three, where’s the center? They boys try and explain, we tell the bus driver, center, I don’t know what or how we missed something but than bus driver says get back on the bus and we do, and he takes all the way back thru town, drops us off at a road.

We just look at each other? Where’s the center?  Now we are closely looking around and we see nothing, yes we are on a road, yes there are houses, I can tell u there isn’t a tourist anywhere near here ? well lets walk till we find a human, to offset any complaints that I deem may come from the Kelly front, I try to keep it light and positive while remarking, gosh, even though we are not where we need to be, this is kind of cool huh ? look at this nice village with the homes and gardens, look no tourists here ? if we didn’t get off I would assume at the wrong spot we wouldn’t get to see all this huh?

Kelly gives me a dirty look and Ellen is laughing and laughing, this is one for report surely —she says.

Probably Kelly is getting crabby because she is hungry and I told u before don’t ever come in-between her and a meal, we see restaurant signs, we follow them, nothings open, keep walking and walking, finally do see one that is open, a bar kind of thing, no real food more like chips and ice cream, we do buy water and Ellen goes about trying to explain we are looking for the walk of the god’s, which they don’t recognize in Italian, frantically thumbing thru my paperwork I find the Italian word for it, ahhh he says, he is rapidly talking away to Ellen, proceeds to take us to a wall with a big map on it, he is talking fast and I’m waiting for Ellen to translate and he’s done so I say to him , is it bella ? he says “molte bella” and I look at Kelly saying “ha ha” told u, he’s getting someone to take us to place where we can find the start, I thought he meant walking, well a fellow comes takes us all in his car and drives us to a country road he says, this country road will eventually take u to the path start,

Again trying to counter act any negative spin on this from Kelly, I again say now isn’t this something? We meet a man at a bar, he gets us a ride, now we’re on a pretty country road with no cars, its beautiful, it’s all ours, see this is turning out way better than we anticipated huh ??

The look from Kelly and “where is this road going? I don’t see a path, how do u know where he dropped us? No worry Kelly I say, its here somewhere, we’ll find it, it’s famous!!!

Ellen is on my side for now, it is pretty she says, so we walk, eventually we see some people coming our way with dogs, I don’t remember if we spoke to them or not but we eventually do get to a sign announcing Sentiero degli Dei, ahhhhhhh haaaa , here it is, it’s a good size path, almost as wide as the country road we were on, Ellen is still calculating, hmmm might need the bus after nocelle, NOOOOOOOOO I say, Ellen keep walking, she brings up valid points, well we have one bottle of water, no map, its getting darker earlier, we got delayed two-hours because of the tunnel closure, again me: no worry we’ll do it, I walk fast and I’ll walk to Positano by myself if I have too !! u girls are wimps !!

so we walk and walk……it is gorgeous, we meet a couple of other travelers on the way they had walked to Positano and back that day and why in the world is Ellen thinking we might not make it to nocelle before dark?

THAN a bit later….this walk starts becoming tricky….smaller…….rockier, a lot closer to the edge, a big cliff edge I might add, Positano is a dot down there, the path is about wide enough for your two shoes at times, hmmm I’m thinking, I dare not say a word, won’t alarm Kelly, we trod on, we get thru some pretty intense passes but okay we still have a path, sort of, Kelly is leading, Ellen in the middle, I’m at the back, than all the sudden Kelly halts, umm I think we have a problem, where’s it go? No path? Well this must be wrong I’m thinking, Ellen who knows hikes and markers says well, that’s it!  We have to climb on the gorge, climb? Climb I’m thinking? I didn’t sign up for any rock climbing? ok this is some serious serious rock on a jaw-dropping cliff, all things go serious at once, Kelly go slow, very slow, Ellen too, me three, I’m so darn close to the edge I almost having a panic attack, my hands are sweating in fright, I’m afraid of heights just like Kelly, what happened to our wide path with the views? It stays intense like this for a long time, all u could do was concentrate on the few steps in front of u to get thru, don’t look up, don’t look down, I never saw another view from that walk again, I belly crawled over rocks and down them, on my bottom, u name it, I hugged rocks so hard and begged them to not move and help me, I asked God to help them too, Kelly and Ellen were ahead at times I couldn’t even see them, we would keep yelling out to each other, Kelly told me at one point she stops and can see my on the cliff edge kind of around a loop and thought dear god, if she knew what how many inches she is from that cliff edge, oh I knew alright, I was scared to death, concentrating on the next five feet at all times, my face is blood red, I feel the heat in it, I’m hot , thirsty and my right knee is killing me, that’s why I was going so slow in the back,, I can walk , walk miles if I have to, climb rocks and along rocks, nope not my thing, we are constantly looking for a red mark sprayed on rocks and I thought at one point someone is going to have to come get me, the edge and height is freaking me out,

At times we stop, my water is gone, why? I was so scared trying get thru the rock, I didn’t even want it in my coat pocket, I didn’t want anything to throw me off balance, I littered, right there on the path of the gods who’ll bring u right up to meet your maker, I left that bottle, I’ve got my scarf tied around my waist, my coat tied around my waist, there was no turning back, this is very dangerous.

We are saying Peggy did this with her son? No way, no way, it can’t be possible? Kelly is saying if we get back, we’re calling her right up, Kelly gives me sips of her water, Ellen too, they see my face blood red, I am fighting panic after panic attack, God I’m praying please help me a step at a time, please I can’t do this and he did because I kept on…. a step at a time by no will of my own, I had none.

We would shout out commands at each other, go slow, this is slippery, very slippery, watch that or this, my hands are sweating again typing about it, this rock is kind of loose, awful awful awful is all I have to say, than u get tricked again, a path starts, oh ty God I’m saying ty than it’s gone, more rock, I thought this nightmare would never end, to heck with goats and foliage and views, if I live thru this I’ll never walk another path again !!! NEVER I’m thinking, not a woodsy walk, streets and houses that’s for me.

A miracle of sound happens, I can hear a bus horn beeping, u know the way they do around the amalfi corners when you’re at a curve, there is actually a town called Nocelle, I’m still last on the path or rock whichever it threw out at u, I can see a building and I’m back on a real path with a railing, where the heck were they earlier when u are fighting for your life on rock? Ellen has been first for awhile, Kelly than me, when me and Kelly hit the lane that is into the town, a real town, a real concrete pathway,, I tell u no lies we hugged hard and sang the rocky song, pumping our fists in the air, WE MADE IT !!!!! complete and utter happiness,

we know Ellen is up ahead in the town, hope she ordered me a cold beer I’m thinking, me and Kelly decide we are not having one drink we’re ordering two at a time, we are eating everything,

now on the lane u see the back of a house, in this yard is a pen, in this pen is a goat, MY GODDDDD THERE ‘S MY GOAT !!! I’ll be giving u photos of this journey, when my camera would work, than all photos stop, when it became a matter of survival, we never took photos again, matter of fact had I thought that small camera was throwing me off balance I would have pitched it over the cliff, so seeing this goat I tell it , there u are !! I nearly died trying to see u and your not even wild, your in a pen ! no matter I’m getting a photo of this goat, especially when thru out the hike, Kelly would pipe in, she hadddddddddddddd to get see goats, so I tell Kelly u go ahead find Ellen, I’m going to have to work hard to get this photo, my camera turns on than off , on and off, same problem I had along with it this trip, new battery , no help, I had to press the on button real real real hard, I’m staying till I get the goat, I finally do

down the lane I prance, hmm don’t see Kelly or Ellen ahead, no matter I keep walking, it’s real quiet in this town, we are really just on the outer edge of it , not in it yet, than I see Kelly and Ellen, I start to shout a greeting, they both turn around and look at me, they are standing on a few steps that lead to a turn, they put their fingers on their lips, shhhhhh, I stop dead in my tracks, what I mouth ? shhhh again with their fingers, they are frozen on those steps and not moving and I want to know why, and why can’t I make a sound , are they eavesdropping ? What the heck is going on I’m thinking?

Ellen makes a “three” on her fingers, mouths “three of them” three of what?  Meanwhile Kelly has just been thru the same thing with Ellen, she knows more which i will tell u but I’ll tell u that in a few because I’ve got to first explain what i knew and saw, I didn’t find out about the rest till later,

so we agree walk, walk now we go around this corner,

as we go by I see a cave, concrete opening and in there are two people (or near the opening) and one is outside on the pavement and I don’t know how to say this but in all three nothing was growing in the right place, not an ear, not an eye, not even a straight back.

Holy molyyyyyyyyyyyyyy I’m thinking, oh my heavens, my eyes are big as saucers, BIG AS SAUCERS I TELL U,

now about the one who is outside of the cave entrance, he is an old old man, nothing has grown right on him either, God Bless his soul, he is hunched and hobbled looking with two-wooden sticks which he leans on , two mind u and as he moves , they make a sound, a little “click” “click”

Ellen ask what way to the bus, he points what lane to go on because really we are at a fork, I can’t get my eyes back to their right size and I’m thinking “walk Ellen” walk , walk anywhere either lane , lets get away from them !!! they were incredibly scary looking, we start to walk, Kelly first than Ellen than me.

I’m last … I can hear his sticks, I don’t care if he gave us the wrong way direction I want to get away, it’s just a slow “click” “click” at first , now the “click click” is a tad bit faster I’m thinking, ok no biggie, I’m walking, (last) — now this “click click” has suddenly gone to clickety click ! getting faster and faster , it’s starting to sound like a horse galloping, I start yelling because I don’t know if the other two get this –

Ellen is he chasing us ?

Ellen WHY IS HE CHASING US ??

HE’S CHASING US !!

RUNNNNNNNNNNNN HE’S NOT HOBBLED, RUNNNNNNNN !!!!

at this point Kelly turns around to see — see’s him and those sticks flying down the pavement and she took off like a tornado running terrified yelling “I’m p***ING MYSELF !!!!!!! ( and she did )

well I want to run too , Ellen run I yell , Ellen can’t run, she’s been thru cliffs and rocks and all that walk and her legs can’t run so I try to run right by her and she puts the blocker on me with the arm saying AWWWWWW NO U DON’T !!! terrified i think ….. oh yes I do and try to bust thru a 2nd time and run like the wind which i do (bear in mind this is a small thin lane) and we ran till we saw people !

i will never forget this as long as i live………death defying cliffs and children of the corn coming after us….

Peggy’s comment later:

Ok … in my defense, I never said the “walk” was easy. I said it was BEAUTIFUL and the views to die for. It seems that my dear Jeannetta, in her enthusiasm … talked Kelly and Ellen into this and nearly made them die for the views. Soooooo sorry!! I can just imagine there was a lot of cussing and cursing my name that day … But … it is really a hike … and I did do it with my son but when we did it, it was in July, sunny, hot summer morning, and we took several hours … like 4.5 … maybe we went slow … we stopped at a picnic table where I did not dare to look down … but we were NOT ALONE as there were numerous german tourists doing the walk that July day … with those hiking sticks (volksmarch or something??) they use and they were passing us one after another and every last one of those germans was at least 65 or 70 years … but in olympic shape … and I kept saying (note to self: get a german personal trainer and I’ll look like that too when I am 65!!). A couple other points … it is a L-0-N-G walk and when we did it, we took a tax from Positano to Bomerano in the early morning to start it so we did not have ANY logistics or bus schedules to figure out and, as I mentioned, there were numerous other “walkers” doing the route so when I wasn’t sure of the signs, I just followed the german accent up ahead. I hear these gals took off in their tourist garb … purses, regular day shoes … we wore our hiking shoes and had backpacks with plenty of water and energy bars, etc. It appears that our girls here started later in the day, which would have concerned me too at this time of year, when it gets dark early, and maybe the path was slippery in places due to the time of year, recent rain, etc. Any way, the strenuous nature of this “walk” is raised frequently on TA … this has always amused me … people on TA posting regularly … what about this path of the gods … do I need a guide? do I need hiking boots? … and the experts answering routinely that you don’t need a guide and you don’t need hiking shoes and when I did the “walk” I was surely glad we had our hiking shoes and even though we followed the other “walkers” I would have enjoyed relying on a guide, because there were twists and turns when I thought … oh boy … I hope this is correct, etc. but again, if I had turned wrong … it was 11 am and I knew other “walkers” were going to pass by any minute … Jeannetta, poor dear, met sections where it was necessary to belly crawl … and I did not see the need for that, but who knows, maybe there were twists and turns that she took that I did not ?? Don’t know. The only section that gave me pause was the section going around the gorge where it is shady the whole way, and damp and the path became dirt and I thought … ok … good time to start praying … and I did. When we reached Nocelle, we had a HUGE lunch at the Ristorante San Croce and I think that was where I had gnocchi for the first time and ate that an ravioli too because of the ravenous hunger that this “walk” triggers. Nocelle is eerily empty … at least the day I was there … did not realize that was a good thing … so I missed the chance to test my sprinting skills !!! Oh my goodness … I am so glad you girls lived to make it to the bus!! In addition to a movie about “Jeannetta’s travels and travails” we need to do a rewrite of the Sunflower Guide … “walk” = translation “hike” and 45 minute walk = all day excursion for all but the olympic volksmarchers in the crowd!!!  Keep it coming, Jeannette … gotta hear all the rest … I am glued to my screen till you finish, love!!

Peggy my hand to god there was no path, IT ENDED !!! i can do a path, i can do a rock path, a dirt one but we had NONE and no Germans which wouldn’t have helped me anyway crawling like a dog on that cliff, ok now i’ll get to what Kelly saw, after she left me and when she met Ellen

i’m writing it now…………..

The man and the umbrella…

After leaving me to my goat picture, Kelly proceeds down the lane, there’s a man standing there with an umbrella opened, it’s not raining, this umbrella is positioned waist level on him, like blocking the view of his waist which alarmed her, she looks hard at him, finds its okay in that region and rushes past him to find Ellen,

Kelly see’s Ellen with a concerned startled face and she’s saying to her “where’s Jeannette”? in an alarmed tone, Kelly says, she’s taking a picture of that goat, why Ellen? Now Kelly’s concerned because Ellen’s face is all weird looking, she says, “get Jeannette” she starts yelling “jeannnnnnnnnette” no answer. Than Kelly is really nervous and the next thing you  know the old man peeks his head around the corner and leers at them with that face with nothing growing right – now Kelly is totally freaked out, she says to Ellen “is this like one of those children of the corn towns”? she’s panicking because she thinks the umbrella man has gotten me and that the hills have eyes and the eyes have been watching us , the single-slow lady hikers, easy pray and we’re starring in our own “horror film” they wait for me and the rest u know now, the awful scary truth, no pics except one……..

trousers and tennis shoes I had, I’d like someone to video the walk “we did” and show me the rocky path because for me a path is a path, it’s able to be seen, a huge pile of rocks in front of me cascading down a cliff , isn’t !

thats why Kelly stopped and said “we’ve got a problem” and that book is right, there is no escape hatch,

i’d recommend this for very experienced hikers, is it gorgeous ? without a doubt stunning till i got terrified, after that i never looked again, plus u need to know how to navigate rocks, i tried to lean to the right, so if i fell i’d go that way, i would never classify this as a walk, some parts yes,

i’m just so grateful we made it out of there before dark, Kelly was saying what if we don’t get to the town and its dark, we can’t sleep we will fall of the edge, i told her , well we will tie ourselves to something with our scarves,

i was seriously going to pass out due to fear. i asked all Italians about it later, u know what they all told me, nope they would not walk that , pazzi, i don’t know if i spelled it right but it means “crazy” ……

Ellen’s take:

I finally arrived at the outskirts of the town, passed the goat, and thought, yay, we’re here. There was a stone staircase to walk down and at the bottom about 50 feet away, I saw a young couple come from a path on the left and take a left continuing down the stairs. I could tell that was a junction, but did not see a sign. When I got to the landing and turned the corner, I saw the three people sitting in the grotto…there had not been a sound of warning, they hadn’t been talking at all. There was the older man and woman, maybe in their 70s, no teeth, and a younger man, maybe 40ish, and nothing looked quite right with them. They were just sitting there, so I said “buona sera”, and proceeded to ask in Italian where to find the bus to Positano. The man replied in the Napolitano dialect but was clearly telling me to go in the opposite direction the couple had gone. He kept saying I show you, I take you and moved towards me. I didn’t want to be rude, but there was just something a little eerie…and with dead silence in the town and the sun lowering in the sky, I was not in the mood to be overly relaxed. I so wanted to go out ahead, but I knew I couldn’t leave J and K to turn that corner without warning. So I said to the man, Grazie, but I am waiting for my friends, I have to see where they are, and I walked back around the corner. Kelly appeared within a few minutes, and as Jeannette described, I said to her “where’s Jeannette?” about 3 times. When she said, “she’s taking pictures of the goat” I said, “well she should hurry”, and I tried to motion to Kelly that there were people around the corner, with a look on my face that said let’s just hurry up, something’s not quite right. When the man peered out behind me, I had no idea he was there, but Kelly understood right away that I just wanted to hurry out of there.

Then Jeannette came around the corner and luckily she caught on that something was up. My biggest fear with Jeannette’s friendly ways, she might try to chat with them, but I just wanted to confirm the direction for the bus and get out of there. I didn’t have to worry about chatting because Jeannette was speechless when she turned the corner, and practically started running immediately. (Kelly was barely waiting for confirmation of the direction; she just took off at a brisk pace). I said, ok Grazie, we are going, and was hurrying second when Jeannette came running behind me… I started laughing and saying where is all this energy coming from?? You could barely walk before. She said, I’m getting out of here, then I hear the click click coming faster I said don’t run I can’t run don’t leave me behind!! and we are stumbling down this path with high walls on either side!! What a sight it must have been…! We finally reach an open area and there is a boy maybe 18 and I ask him about the bus, and he says it will arrive in 20 mins and points to where the stop is. Jeannette and Kelly are out of breath and Jeannette is saying, I could really use a beer, let’s see if we can find a place, I said Jeannette, we are getting on that bus!! The next one is in an hour and you can have your beer in Positano!! We finally find the parking lot with the bus stop, and when we get on the bus we can finally relax after our adventure!

That night we went back to Chez Black for dinner and we mentioned to our friends there about what happened in Nocelle. One of them told us that there is a lot of inbreeding there …

Jeannette and I shared two bottles of wine that night–well deserved, I’d say! And then as we were walking to the main stairs in Positano, a group of guys called us over to have Limon cello with them. Kelly just kept walking because she was dead tired, but Jeannette and I stayed for a bit… Jeannette can pick up the rest if she wants… otherwise; we’re ready for the Napoli adventures…

Next i’ll cover my last night in Positano,

I always work up my wish list, yes the walk of the gods came from it but i’ll be more careful what i wish for – so coming to the end of my trip we’re faced with three things at least that we really would have liked to see, me and Kelly that is, everyone else has returned home, Kathleen to Venice and Ellen and Chris to Rome,

Caserta Palace – truthfully i never heard of this before, a poster on a Sorrento thread i had —- suggested it along with St. Benedicts Monastery, Ischia and Naples (the museum and the hop on bus)

I was torn with Naples because the fellows working in the Positano restaurant said “Naples is a must” but you must give it three-days, minimum,

so this is the decision making we are faced with the last night in Positano.

so back to Positano which sparkled as one of the most beautiful places in the world considering I thought God was going to tell me come home now on the path of the gods, so we are in the mood for celebration, exhausted yes but happy

I need two hours to get ready because I’m going to play and splash like a child in that shower, (that’s my usual lingo for a bath) but since our room had a shower, that’s what I said, I didn’t even want a time to meet at a special time, remember we have just been thru one heck of a day.

now Ellen has travelled here many times and they know her, so if she gets there first, no biggie, we just say plan whoever gets there first , wait for the others,

we’re back at chez black and it’s cool and i love heyy jeannetta when they see me and i can pretend yes i always come here LOL

t’s one great meal and we toast to surviving, travel, friendship and empowerment, I don’t know that I saw my little blonde b/f ? we get that nice heart bread and I found out from them how to do the oil which is so good, I order guess what ? Mozzarella and lemon leaves, Kelly was goo goo over her eggplant parmesan and Ellen got a seafood pasta dish to die for, I tasted it, matter of fact I fell in love with another app oh heaven’s what is the name? its deep-fried and mash-potatoes inside, heaven ! and I got a salad,

After dinner and saying our goodbyes to chez black, we meet a group of fellows who work in Positano , they all have a variety of different kind of jobs, one of them knows Ellen, Marco, they invite us for a lemon cello and I have to say they were a nice bunch, really nice and it’s fun getting acquainted, we close the place and work our way to the main street where our hotel is, things are getting ready to close but are not yet, (and that’s one advantage here in Oct) the hordes of tourists I’ve read of are not here but it’s not deserted either, it’s a real comfortable level, mostly all Italians but us, we decide on wine and they go into get it and out it comes, nice glass, owner saying hey no worry, if we close and u are not done, just sit the glass on this table, so laid back ….

So I have one glass but am fading fast from the days events, Marco asks if I’ll see him tomorrow but i make no promises, it’s a big day because we have decided on Naples, I can’t be coming home here facing Jeff on TA without a visit to his Bella Napoli that he is willing to share with us.

I’m not worried about crime really, I’m from Baltimore, have u seen the Wire? I also use common sense and protect my valuables, we bus to Sorrento, I sit for a bit to calm down from the bus sickness, we walk up to the train and it’s sitting there waiting, in five-minutes we are on our way. Good timing!

two things are important for me for this trip to the museum, Farnese and Pompeii, I didn’t get to Pompeii remember because I couldn’t tear myself away from Herculaneum

we get another train to piazza Cavour and walk up to the museum, we do see street characters and they are watching us but no biggie, there’s more than that on the street I live and they didn’t say one thing cross to us. Matter of fact, in trying to figure out how to get in the museum they showed what steps to go up,

while walking there I’m trying to take in the city because I have such limited time plus people in Positano said no no no one day, three-days minimum with eyes sparkling about Naples but something was better than nothing, so I’m studying shops and signs and traffic and people and now we are in the museum, well if I didn’t know which way to go, those statues have radar and draw you, we hit the Farnese first, this is just about amazing to me as u can get, now I thought I saw statues in Rome, lots of them but these were just incredible and HUGE, I had Kelly take a photo of me at one just to prove I came up the the kneecap !!!

The Hercules is STUNNING!!! I’m a sculpture girl and as usual something somewhere I travel always has a connection to my man Michelangelo and this is no different because we’ve got things of the Medici another of my favorites, (Lorenzo and Cosomo)

but let’s get to Hercules…… this is some info I’ve collected and I want to show u a picture too and I stared at this so long and circled round and round I was afraid they were going to say move along girlie why u here so long ?

The heroically-scaled Hercules is one of the most famous sculptures of Antiquity, It quickly made its way into the collection of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, grandson of Pope Paul III. Alessandro Farnese was well placed to form one of the greatest collections of classical sculpture that has been assembled since Antiquity.

It stood for generations in its own room at Palazzo Farnese, Rome, where the hero was surrounded by frescoed depictions of his feats by Annibale Carracci and his studio, executed in the 1590s.

The Farnese statue was moved to Naples in 1787 and is now displayed in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale.

About the medici:

The jewels in the Farnese Collection are displayed in three places at the bottom of the gallery of the Farnese statues.

The collection is partly formed by the collections of Pietro Barbo, later Paul II, and the Medici collections of Cosimo and Lorenzo de’ Medici, which include the celebrated chalcedony Cup, made in the II century B.C. at Alexandria, and the cornelian of Apollo, Marsyas and Olympus. The most prestigious pieces in the Medici collection were marked with ex gemmis LAVR.MED. The Farnese jewel collection also includes Fulvio Orsini’s collection, valuable both for the importance of some pieces, such as Artemis with the torch, and for identifying the faces of the illustrious men depicted.

If you are on the fence about heading into Naples just for a day I highly recommend it and this museum, we spend a good bit of time on the sculptures and exhibits and we are now trying to find the Pompeii exhibits and after getting quite lost,

I find thanks to a kind lady, what I want to see is closed for renovations, we are a bit disappointed but we explore more till we realize we have to leave; I also wanted to do the hop on and off bus but there was just not enough time. I don’t regret a bus from Positano feeling green around the gills to Sorrento and the train to Naples, I’d do it over and now know I’ll come back and I’ll come with friends and we will tackle the beast together! Me and Kelly decided it while walking back to the train station, than forgot we took a train from the main one to this one where u only stay on for one stop, yep we completely forgot about that and couldn’t find our way, all thru this station and we know we’ve done something wrong, we ask and ask cannot figure out the answer? than spy a group of about 13-year old boys, about this time we now realize ohhh we have to get to the main one, garibaldi so we ask these little fellows for help (little characters really) oh and i have forgotten to mention my thighs are so incredibly sore from the path of gods that each foot up to a curb causes a whimper, Kelly is having the same but her pain is the calf and big toe,

i mention sore limbs for one reason because of what those little buggers did to us , the 13-year olds !! I want to find their momma’s and tell!!!!

So there’s a nice little group of kids, all boys, we think let’s ask them, I speak to them asking piazza garibaldi? it’s a group they all rapidly start speaking to each other and next thing u know they push if u ask me the smallest one in the group right to the front, he’s been elected to speak to us ! And they all are GRINNING because we don’t know they are about to have some fun with this at our expense!

I think they were saying “se se se se “ and motioning and walking with us where to go, grins are still on, now boys I tell them, u are telling us the truth right ? no funny business? Pointing a finger, se se se se, they say and the little one with arms swinging in many directions showing where to go, I know I see it in those little faces they are leading us wrong wrong wrong !!

u have to at least give them the benefit of the doubt right?

As they now rush away from us, far enough we can’t get to them but where we can hear them crystal clear, the entire little group yells in PERFECT english , *** on the beach !!!!!!!! Me and Kelly look at each other just dumfounded! Kelly says lets find them, follow them and tell their mother, I said I would but I cannot walk more ,

no extra we’ve got to find the train, we are at complete wrong tracks, than wrong halls another track and low and behold we wind up at a track and who do we see right across the tracks ? the little devils, me and Kelly say to each other , should we ?

no we are too sore

esson learned ? Don’t ask kids for directions, especially boys!!

Ellen is still in Positano this day, there is to be an autumn festival, I do see lots of signs posted for it, she’s going to hang out at the beach if the weather is good or shop and just take it easy and rest, especially since she has been thru the same thing we did the day before with the walk.  We saw lots of Italians coming in when we were on the bus stop to go to Naples, we almost thought, are we making a mistake leaving here today? I don’t know all the details about this autumn day festival but if u are going to be there than, it would definitely be worth checking into,

At last we reach Sorrento, whimpering and walking from the station we know we will never make it back to Positano without eating, tho it can’t be a leisurely meal, we have a 9 pm bus to catch back to Sorrento. I could have a date but decide against it, we are wiped off the map tired.

we chose the same place we ate for Kathleen’s birthday dinner,

We are hardly speaking while being starved and chewing makes it better absorbing conversations around you. At some point, I notice the elderly British couple next to me and the lady is done up nice and has a husky Betty Davis voice with a British accent,

Somehow we get smiling (or I do ) which leads to talking and they were a pistol I tell you ! big big travelers, been all over , we tell them about TA and all our friends we met here and travel with, the lady is enchanted with our stories and tells us hers, she loves Spain and tries to talk us out of Ireland and into Spain, we get to talking about tipping, now she doesn’t believe in tipping, doesn’t think she has to and most certainly isn’t going to do it which caused her problems in the USA. So we very kindly and gently explain how we still tip in Italy 10% Kelly is always accusing me of doing more but I don’t really, well maybe sometimes but we are explaining how the tips are your wages at home and you really should tip and next thing u know our meal is finished and so is theirs and we are having mini-heart attacks because we have 7 minutes to get to the bus plus have to buy a ticket, WE TIP, she sees us tip, she gets all generous and she puts down two euro with her tab , we are saying our goodbyes and next thing u know, we see her, reach down, get that tip and she puts it right back in her purse !!!

Well she tried at least! And we tried to make the bus and missed it! now we are waiting for 10 pm bus, we won’t move from the corner because this is the last one back to Positano, this bus comes about 10:30 pm than sits 20 minutes while we’re in it, a lady comments “he’s fighting with his g/f” I don’t know if that’s true but he did stop that bus once for a couple of minutes and was on that phone again, these buses you get are decent really, it’s a more cushioned seat, places underneath to put your luggage, I thought they were going to be more like the buses I’ve taken in Rome, as usual I get bus sickness, I think it’s the turns, my stomach seems to go nuts the most at the turns, now I’m worried this ride, if I get sick, into what? If you have motion sickness, plan to take something with u, I never had motion sickness on vehicles till I got to this region, I am getting paralyzed with fear and embarrassment that this may happen and I have no bag. I didn’t thank God but I have to play all kind of tricks with myself to make it stop, small breathing, stare at something, press my purse against the tummy, I will take med’s for this next time I’m there, I never dreamed this would become a worry, back in the US first day driving back to work, I get it again, this is sure baffling, what’s happened to me ? so …… the ride in uneventful except for one small event, a man has entered, not odd looking, kind of plain and ordinary and we hear him say to the bus driver “Nocelle” me and Kelly who across from each other in the aisle just look at each other “wide eyed”

The lights are on in the bus so the windows make like a mirror of the people inside the bus, well while glancing at the Nocelle passenger I notice “odd behavior” no it’s my imagination I’m thinking, no it’s not I say to myself after confirming it with my eyes more and more, I mouth whisper to Kelly, watch nocelle, mouth the word “WEIRD”, she nods and looks, after watching him her eyes are popping out mouthing OMGGGGGGGG, I nod yep.

How to explain what he was doing? constant activity with his hands and his face and his arms, like a compulsion, that’s the only way I can describe it, everything was a movement over and over, I’m not watching anymore because it’s making me nervous and Kelly who’s a nervous Nelly anyway doesn’t need to be concentrating on this, so I mouth “he’s not bothering anybody” so no worry we guess, probably the poor thing was fighting bus sickness just like me really with his own tricks to combat it , who’s to say?

We don’t see Ellen, it’s late and I’m now thinking what if I run into Marco I’m not up for a date so me and Kelly scurry like rats rushing to the hotel and up the steps safely, we’ve got to pack and head to Sorrento tomorrow, u feel that kind of heart sickness as u realize your trip in unwinding and u are getting close to your trip home and u don’t want it to end, we fight that off and lift our hearts some well, we’ve got Sorrento to get back to than a bit of Rome, we’ll be okay right ?

The bus is delayed in Positano to take us to Sorrento, the clocks changed last night at 3 am, I believe we got to the bus stop 9 am but didn’t get on the bus till like 1030 am, Ellen spoiled us in riding us with jean luc to Positano because lugging the luggage up the hill to the bus stop wasn’t pleasant but we made it and had a good long rest waiting for the bus.

We are back at hotel Nice and they are nice and remember us, this time we are on the 3rd floor and have a balcony facing the street, I think it is the same exact spot that Chris had but up one floor, we throw down the bags and go out to the balcony and sit.

Kelly needs to get shopping done, we know with what’s left in the day there can’t be any real sightseeing like going to Caserta palace or Ischia which I so regret not seeing which is okay because I’m bound and determined I’m coming back one day,

We are hungry and head down the street away from Piazza Tasso, this one pizza place looks lively and we keep going making a mental note if we don’t see something better we’ll come back to this, nothing is better so we walk back to the busy place which became an experience all in itself.

This pizzeria called “Pizzeria Da Franco” is bustling with Italians, its long picnic type benches and tables more a community style seating, there are large Italian families and as we’ve mentioned before I like watching them, what they order, how they eat, I don’t stare in a rude way but love to observe them.

I want a cold beer and pizza, Kelly too (but not a beer) and waitress who looks like Uma Thurman ( a little less pretty )  she’s really busy but is completely ignoring us.  Ok that’s how it’s done here, we wait.  And wait.  My love and thirst for a cold beer takes over and now I’m up practically do the “wave” with my body to get her attention.   She comes over with a dirty look of like “what”?  a waitress says something to her, she rolls her eyes and says to the other waitress, with a long sarcastic sound   (ennn glee se) uh-oh we’re not liked, me and Kelly look at each other, she wants to know what we want and I don’t even know she gave us no menu, she scoffs off and retrieves two.  We think, let’s make our choices quick because now we’re both scared of Uma so Kelly gets mushroom and I see Napoli and get that and it has anchovies on it but what the heck I think it may be different than anchovies at home so I order it and the beer which uma plops down with a “I don’t like you “look.

Mean Uma or not I would DEFINTELY go back to this place, they’ve got the big wood fire in the back and delicious pizza, we must of got here at a good time because when I went out to smoke there was a big line forming of people waiting, now Uma is working like a dog, families are getting long long sheets of pizza and I spy a beer (I think it is a beer)  that I’ve got to get to the bottom of, it came in like a brown jar type glass with a medal sealer at the top you can close back up, I’m sure they recycle these, I think it said “fisher”  on it does anyone know about this or has had it ?  it looked really good but I wasn’t about to be daring with Uma looking on so I didn’t order any.

Now we get table mates, an Italian man and his son’s who’s about nine I guess, note we are the only foreigners in this place and  thank god for that man and his son because of Uma’s dislike for us she wasn’t looking nor speaking to us and the Italian man sees this and I would not have been able to have another beer or anything else had it not been for him who would tell her what we want and when he told her, she did it, Uma doesn’t like us and it’s just the way it is and we accept that,  Finally able to get the check (thanks only to the Italian man) we pay and leave and with such attitude from a waitress our first thought was “don’t tip her” but Uma worked like a dog and we forgave her for hating us so we tipped her well actually.

Sorrento is shutting down.  The streets are becoming deserted and quiet.  Not a mood booster with your heart hurting know you are leaving in a couple of day, so we mope and go back to the room and take a nap, I actually slept 20 minutes !  We get dressed for the evening, come out of the hotel, Sorrento is alive and well again.  Yeah!!!  We’re off to shop but prior to leaving we smoke on the deck, my heaven’s I see some little witches walking around, Kelly spies an occasional ghost?  How about that we might get to see some trick or treaters ?  Do they celebrate Halloween in Italy?  We’re about to find out!

Shops do have Halloween decorations up, we’ve seen some of them, we go about  doing our shopping, I wasn’t going to shop, Kelly was and next thing you know I’m the only one who’s bought stuff and she has nothing !  you may be able to get I’ve bought scarves and there’s a problem in one shop, the cc machine is not working but they own two-shops, the Italian girls says can I go with her there, sure I say and we head back to piazza Tasso to another shop than back to her shop, I’m standing near the cash register and a pile of Italian trick or treaters comes running in the door and shouts out “trick or treat” to me in Italian, I say ohhh so cute, trick or treat and they than shout “englishhhhh englishhhhh”  hey they want their candy , they don’t care where u are from !   I look at the girl who comes to the register and gets them some candy.   Sorrento has transformed, her lanes are filled with witches and goblins, skeletons and Spiderman, fairy’s and beautiful princesses, there’s a good deal of pumpkins too !  Now the streets are closed down, policemen are on the corners, there is excitement everywhere and in every child’s face!  There’s 1000’s of them and their momma’s and papa’s and Nana’s and some of them are dressed in costume too!   The children run to every shop and restaurant they can find, families are hurriedly trying to keep up!  The little lanes (pipes as Julie calls them) were so jam packed we were elbow to elbow and making baby steps like in inches!  Who cares we thought, there’s celebration in the air, I never dreamed Halloween would be this big here and it’s a beautiful sight watching these kids faces glowing with enthusiasm,

We decide to eat where we started, I’d been by there a few times but without eating and they would say to me “Jeannettaa Jeannettaa where you go”?  I’ll be back I’d say each time, so now it’s time.  We get big hugs when we see them.

The restaurant is so lively tonight, we are a mixed-bag, happy and sad, remember we have been fighting off the blues since leaving Positano, the man arrives, the singer and did he sing, he is singing so incredibly beautiful that your hair stands up on your arms and you have goose bumps, it takes every bit of my power and control to not start sobbing right at the table, it’s that beautiful, so many people stop and video him, the staff is so so great to us, Sorrento could not have given us a better goodbye, not one thing could be better.  We eventually have to tear ourselves away and the staff is shouting to me, we’re hugging.

Jeannetteaaaa Jeannettaaaaa, please don’t leave Sorrento!

Jeannettaaaa please don’t go!!!!

Don’t go!!!

I’ll never forget that.

Rome:

Rome greets us with tears, great big rainstorms of them AND thunder, lightening, we are staying by Termini not where we stayed at the beginning of this trip, I’m at Hotel Italia and Kelly is at another hotel around the corner.  Somehow I think we don’t need a taxi and let’s walk and find them.  So with umbrella’s, suitcases and rain but joy in our hearts that we’re in Rome again we walk thru puddles up to my ankles, my suitcase is wet, backpack, so is Kelly’s  plus the umbrella’s are going inside and out with the wind, yikes !

We find the hotels and agree to meet after checking in and changing into dry clothes that was wishful thinking on my part because everything in the bag was wet!  No matter, no choice, shoes are wet too so I opt for my wedge boots and am not really trusting them either on slippery cobblestones but they did okay and kept me dry.  we have to eat soon but we need to get some culture first, where to get it I’m not sure yet so let’s just keep walking, the rain is way less now thankfully,  ahhhh I spy culture !!!   This place I have been wanting to visit since my first trip with the mom’s.  Each time I’ve been by, it’s closed, today I see people around now –are they just taking photos of the courtyard or are they getting inside?  I ask Kelly to check because I’m smoking.  She comes back chipper its open!!!  Yahoo, I’m trying to give her the low down of the palace quick though I have no notes with me, just prepare to be stunned I tell her.

It is the “Doria Pamphilj” here is a link on it:

http://www.doriapamphilj.it/ukipix.asp

I believe the first time I knew of it was finding it in my National Geographic book on Rome, a regret, not buying the audio guide but it was still was very good !    I’m wondering if Julie has seen the Caravaggio’s there?

We slowly walk thru taking in the majestic rooms, art and furnishings; I had thought of getting one of their books while I was there but decided no next time since I definitely am planning to come back.  We had no lunch nor breakfast just coffee before leaving Sorrento so food was in order and we of course want to head over to the Pantheon and get our glimpse and than head to  Osteria Spaghetti, my favorite place in all of Rome.  It feels like coming home, to our Rome home, we have not been back since the March trip and we get big hugs and catch up and Sergio knows we’re starving and gets us right away an anti-pasta plate that was so delicious but we told, we are just getting started !

We’ve had spritz but I don’t what I don’t know why Sergio’s are the best hands down.  Me and Kelly take a sip and just sigh, this is a spritz.  We were originally outside but the heaven’s opened up again and we moved inside.  We see Georgio and Jorga and the girls and everyone is big smiles and happy to see us, they are asking about all the girls and where is Lilly and we are feeling so incredibly happy to be there.

We order grilled vegetables, steak, roasted potatoes and pasta!   Sergio comes and sits with us for a bit.  We get talking about all kinds of things, the trials of running a restaurant, his plans on settling down one day getting married plus he would like about twelve children, that woman of his is going to be one busy girl, that’s all I can say, than I did something I’ve never done to an Italian man, I completely shocked him,

and you know what did it?  I somehow mentioned the choice of the husband or the wife once the family is complete getting fixed for that, lots of men do it because it’s easier of the two, he is looking at me stunned, telling me

I never hears of this

no Italian man will do this

Jeannetta I am in shock, now for two-minutes after you tell me this I still am shocking Jeannette.

I can’t believe this,

no man’s should do this,

I will never do this !!

He was horrified and Kelly and I were shocked because he was so shocked, so after horrifying poor Sergio we go outside with a drink and a smoke along comes Chris and Ron!  after shouts of joy and introductions we settle down, the wine and spritz were flowing, we share stories of what we’ve done since we parted, Chris went to orvieto and was filling us in on their activities since being in Rome, wow it was such a good time laughing, joking, Ron has a wicked sense of humor that is so entertaining, we horrified him too, on the merits of “ice tea”

Rome is so good to us this last night, the same as Sorrento was, me and Kelly walk back to the hotel, it’s late and quiet and we were just mesmerized by the beauty around us, we decide one day we are going to just walk all night long, it was really serene and captivating.

We have a super early start the next morning, an 8 am flight, the plan WAS to get the Leonardo express since we’re experts at that now but I oversleep and did not pack the night before, I just crashed, Kelly stayed up and packed all her things except what she needed I sadly did not, I get a call I have a visitor, than send her to me I answer in a nightgown, help!!!!!!!!!!!  so rushing about I somehow get it together but no way can we take the train,, I ask Kelly to go and get us a taxi, he’ll be here if four-minutes the hotel clerk says, perfect except I had no coffee and I can’t function so well without coffee but I do it, Kelly is nervous about making it in time to check our bags, I am concerned too but I’m smoking, it’s one thing to not have coffee but it’s whole other thing making me get on planes and sit in lobbies without a smoke so I tell her go on, save yourself,

Eventually I catch up with her and have nice piping hot coffee in my hands, it’s time to board and we do, I’m feeling sad about leaving and I’m not saying anything to her about it kind of suffering in silence, seat belts buckled, sighhhh, than I glance over at Kelly who proceeds to burst into tears, Jeannette when are we coming back?  Please stop crying Kelly I say , u are making me cry now too, we’ll come back, I promise we’ll come back, when she says?  I don’t know but we are…

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