In this second piece about the group trip we took to Napoli, Italy, I’ll talk about our travels and settling in to our villa. Plus I’ll discuss our first excursion in Naples. Visiting the ancient ruins of Pompeii, having lunch at a vineyard with a generous wine tasting and climbing Mount Vesuvius. This was a tremendous kick off to our Italian vacation!
After months of planning and coordinating our group trip, it was time for us to travel to Napoli and our get away in Southern Italy. We descended on Copenhagen airport and made our way to the RyanAir terminal to board our plane. Ahead of us were tiny plastic seats and 2 hours of a crying toddler in seat 25F – there’s always a crier on every flight and their parents never seem to be bothered. Still, when you’re flying RyanAir, it’s the least of your worries.
We were excited to land in Naples and feel the warmth of the sun – something we had been lacking in Copenhagen. Rental cars securely picked up and loaded with luggage, we were off to the villa.
We explored the amazing property and scrambled to get food and booze. We had a late dinner where the drinks flowed and despite the cool night air, 3 of us tested the pool.
The next day we woke, made an impressive breakfast and lounged at the pool for most of the day. We even did a water aerobics class and made the most of our sublime surroundings. This was a great afternoon for day-drinking and relaxing since we had an early wake up scheduled for the first of our two excursion days.
We probably stayed up too late, but whatever — we were on holiday! The next morning, hangovers sorted, we grabbed carbs and a few bottles of champagne from the kitchen. Then we scrambled down the mountain of a driveway to meet our transfer bus and guide. It was off to our first stop, Pompeii.
We booked a private tour, because it could take weeks to visit Pompeii on your own. You can buy tickets at the box office for 20 euro or search GetYourGuide to book a ticket with a guide, transfer or a full day tour that includes other attractions. I highly recommend having a guide, especially with a group. Just search below for the best one to meet your needs.
As we walked into Pompeii and were led to one of the open forums near the city hall. It was breathtaking to see such a well-preserved ancient city and the expanse before us had us eager to learn and see more.
The most impressive part of Pompeii is just how large and advanced the city was. There were rows and rows of streets to wander and it would take a week or more to soak in all of the history and archeological research that has been accomplished at this site. You also can’t help but notice that Mount Vesuvius is eerily in the background of everything you’re taking in. It’s a wonder that the Roman city that was wiped out in 79 AD had so many modern amenities, like indoor plumbing, that took centuries to resurface in Europe. It made me imagine how lost Europe was after the fall of Rome compared to the days of Pompeii where Romans had abundant clean water in every home, community baths and spas, hot street food stands, amphitheaters and of course, brothels.
Soon it was time to board the bus and head off to Cantina del Vesuvio, a beautiful winery where we would tour the site, have lunch and of course drink copious amount of wine. They offer cooking classes, tours, tastings and other experiences on their website.
We had an amazing tour, lunch and lots of wine, but this may not have been the best time to stop for wine. Of course, after walking around Pompeii in the sun we were ready to cool off and drink some wine – but we still had to climb Mount Vesuvius. This was not the best climb while wine drunk, but we managed and were rewarded with a gorgeous view of the sea and the hillside (plus the bus drove us most of the way up).
The day was incredible, getting a blend of history, hiking and of course – great Italian wine. We were feeling really lucky to be having such a fun adventure and we were already looking forward to the next day – a boat trip around the island of Capri.
Have you ever been to Pompeii or Vesuvius? What did you love about it?
Are you planning a trip there? What are you most looking forward to or what do you still want to know?
– Comment your thoughts –