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My Wanderings and Musings
I'm a sucker for those men in uniform, even if it does involve tights...
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Sorry for 2 in one day, Internet troubles...
Well, I guess it was a 2000 year old brothel with no trace of the former inhabitants. Of course I am describing one of the many preserved businesses in Pompeii. This site was the main reason I came south of Rome and it did not disappoint. A labyrinth of roads and buildings, most of them open to explore. An ancient jungle gym that was a treat to navigate. I also visited a fast food restaurant, a bakery, theaters, temples and beautiful private homes. But the brothel stood out with its tiny rooms, stone beds and menu of services captured in frescoes on the walls. Blush....
It was another hot day and everywhere I went in Pompeii I encountered stray dogs basking in the sun or just watching the tourist go by seeming to be in an eternal holding pattern waiting for their former owners to return or maybe reincarnations of the original inhabitants. I imagine Han and Leia playing here and the scene would be much different. Han would be weaving in and out of the tourist groups soliciting attention and Leia would be sniffing and exploring every nook and cranny as fast as her feet and nose will take her. They would bound down the streets and up the theatre steps. Strange how the Pompeii dogs are so chill. Can you tell I'm getting homesick for my babies...
Against my better judgement, I left Pompeii on the train and headed to Naples, a healthy dose of reality. The train between Naples and Sorrento is not the most pleasant experience but not as bad when I did not have my luggage to cling to. The carts are covered in graffiti and many of the passengers are young and rowdy. Its funny, I felt transported back to the 80's, with rolled up jeans and teenagers playing with rubics cubes. Arriving at the main train station for he second and last time in my life, I kept my eyes forward and walked with all the confidence I could muster. Repeating in my head, "I am Attia, I am Attia" (for those of you who don't know, she was the ruthless alfa mother of Augustus) I channeled her briefly until I made it on the subway and arrived at the museum. I was more uncomfortable here than any mexican border town I've ever been to. I was certainly out of my element, but the museum with all the treasures of Pompeii was worth the trek.
Then I took a walk from Rick's book - a slice of Neapolitan Life. The people are fabulous and interesting, the shopping was fun, but the feeling I had in Naples was sadness. This was a rich seat of power in the world for centuries and the buildings, monuments and churches are still here to remind us of the tradition and beauty. But, the outsides are littered with graffiti and trash and many of the people appear poverty stricken. Even one of the most important museums in the world is run down on the outside but when you walk in the main hall it is lined with 20 foot tall statues from ancient Rome and ascends up the stairs to reveal a dome and countless rooms of artifacts and art. The city is such a contrast to the rest of Italy, but is certainly lively.
I came away unscathed if only moderately traumatized (I've lived a sheltered life), a belly full of Neapolitan pizza from the pizzeria out of Eat, Pray, Love and had the best cappuccino in all of Italy at the Mexican Cafe. The men at the pizzeria are sweet and all had a picture with Julia that is proudly displayed on the wall. The locals still come here and I watched my pizza bubbling in the brick fired oven while the people around me laughed and argued loudly. As it was getting dark, I took a cab to the ferry terminal for the trip back to Sorrento where I immediately indulged in a glass of wine thinking I should admit to Franco and Joe that they were right about Naples. Humility sucks!
Foodgasm: margeherita pizza and beer in Napoli. I know you are surprised. Tonight I am in desperate search for a vegan Foodgasm, I will keep you informed.
Bacci ball wisdom: Today take nothing for granted - got it, no problemo
"Si signore, I'm looking for the bus"....but if you want to kidnap me to your little casa overlooking the sea, I'm ok with that too. Unfortunately, I found the bus
As you can see I was enchanted by everything and everyone on the isle of Capri. The cliffs towered above the boat as we pulled into port and I headed to the blue grotto boats just a couple docks down. Immediately I realized these must be the descendants of the ancient roman gods as I encountered a whole team of jolly Capricians with their dark sun kissed skin, heart melting smiles and boisterous flirty personalities. One of them started singing to me as I nearly fell climbing on the boat and he caught my hand. I apologize to any of my male friends/family who are reading this, but I gotta share with my girls.
The blue grotto was my favorite tourist trap! We pulled up to the entrance on a boat full of Japanese tourist, me and an Argentinian family as the little row boats fought against the current to get close enough to the big boat to allow us to jump on. 4 to a boat which is pretty tight. I had the strange experience of laying down between the Argentinian mom as we squeezed through the the tiny cave opening. As we entered the cavern, the rowers started singing "oh solo mio" and the cave lit up in a color blue my eyes have never seen. Too bad I was snuggled up to the Argentinian mom because it was a very romantic feeling to be in the cave with the echoing of the Italian music penetrating the small space. The Japanese tourist were hysterical as they took turns on the little row boats. They would come back on the boat giddy, giggling and squealing. It was so endearing.
Then I went on my long awaited hiking adventure around the island. The sun was shining and it had to be in the 70's. What a nice break from the bustling cities and museums. I was completely alone and happy to be exerting my energy bouncing along the edge of the cliffs to the various ruined forts built by the brits. At times I stopped and reclined on the warm rocks, closed my eyes and just took it all in. Until a lizard crawled across my leg and I was screaming and dancing trying to ensure it did not crawl up my pants. If anyone did see me, I'm sure I was a comical site.
It was on this hiking expedition that I got a little off course(surprise) and encountered the lovely non English speaking Caprician in a white tshirt and jeans, sweat dripping from his forehead from working in his garden, that helped me find the bus but did not kidnap me. Lol. Maybe I should write pathetic romance novels because this sounds pretty sad. The bus, typical caprician bus driver included, took me to another part of the island where I took a chair lift to the highest viewpoint. Unforgettable. I stayed on the island as long as I could shopping, lingering over wine and finally leaving on the last boat to Sorrento. As dusk slowly engulfed the white buildings of Capri and we pulled away from the port, the city started lighting up in fitting blue Christmas lights reflecting on the water and my blue grotto memories.
Bacci ball wisdom: Love too is sometimes a matter of fortune - well since one of my other Bacci balls said fortune is on my side, I should head back to Capri.
Foodgasm: Lemon gellatto