The next stop on our tour through Italy was Sorrento, via Pompeii. We took a guided tour through the city and I’ll be honest – I didn’t know much about Pompeii at all before we arrived, so I can’t say I was overly excited for the day. Speaking to people in our tour group though, about half were most excited about Pompeii so that got me quite intrigued.
Our tour took us through the city and we saw the ruins of the eruption in 79AD. It was quite surreal to walk around and see some of the original buildings that have stood the test of time and natural disaster all those years ago. Our tour guide was excellent and absolutely overloaded us with information – which in my opinion is exactly what you want out of a tour guide. It was an optional tour for our Top Deck group, but I think every single person came along which goes to show how much everyone was looking forward to it.
In my honest opinion, it was cool, but not mind blowing to look at. Although, it was pretty impressive how it essentially became the sole source of information on how people lived during that time. That for me was the main highlight. If you’re expecting to see sights that will take your breath away, that’s not what you’re going to get. The majority of it really is completely ruined. I walked into Pompeii feeling quite indifferent about the whole thing, but did walk out feeling really glad I had been and definitely a lot more knowledgeable about the city.
After arriving in Sorrento we all headed out for dinner together and then some of us stayed up having a few drinks at our hotel bar overlooking the coast with a stunning view of the sunset. The next day was a free day for us to venture out wherever we wanted to – and for me it was an easy choice. Positano was one of the places in Italy I was most looking forward to (if not the number one) and I was not disappointed. We headed there on the bus and spent the day under umbrellas on the beach, drinking beer, eating pizza and swimming in the crystal clear water. There is definitely something to be said for pebble beaches – the water was amazingly clear (even though Jeremy and I both burnt the soles of our feet on the hot stones). Positano was a very small town, built up onto the cliff side of the Amalfi Coast. Floating in the water and looking back at the town was something I could have done for days on end. Our small group decided to take the ferry back to Sorrento so we caught views of the town from out on the water too. This was my favourite day of the entire trip so I hope the photos do it justice!
I loved Sorrento and Positano and think the Amalfi Cost is somewhere I would love to return to and explore a lot more. The shopping in Sorrento was fab and I could have spent an entire day wandering around the stores there. Sorrento (and Positano) have taken over Seville as my favourite city I have been to and my only regret is not being there for longer.
Tips for Pompeii, Sorrento and Positano;
– If you were to go to Pompeii, I would recommend taking a tour. I spotted quite a few people fumbling over their maps and information booklets, while we walked through every main spot and had a running commentary for two full hours. Worth forking out for. If you weren’t really phased about Pompeii like I was initially, then walking through it unguided might not change your opinion and you probably won’t enjoy it. But, that’s just my opinion anyway.
– Take the bus to Positano (€2 one way – SO CHEAP, 45 minutes) and then the ferry back (€17 one way, one hour). Only take the bus if you can sit down though (we were standing the entire time and straining our arms to keep upright on the winding roads).
– Splurge on getting an umbrella and loungers on the private beach in Positano if it’s hot (€12.50 each). It’s worth it to have the shade and somewhere to lie down off the ground. I can’t imagine lying down on those flaming hot pebbles. Also – €12.50 was the cost for the loungers from the third row back from the beach. Third row back was only 30 metres from the water – FYI. The most expensive are on the the waters edge for €17. We were considering these, but as we made our way from our spot to the water, it was really noisy with everyone going to and from the sea. I think the ones we had were actually the best for some peace and quiet and a cheeky nap in between swims.