As we were making our way to Sorrento, we stopped to tour the ancient city of Pompeii. The city and its population was buried in up to twenty feet of volcanic ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD and was lost for over 1500 years before being rediscovered and recovered over time. It’s incredible how most of the city has remained intact from the lack of air and moisture, allowing for a recovery process whereby liquid plaster is poured into voids in the ash to show the inhabitants’ final moments. We walked through this ancient town in awe and wonder at how this city uninhabited for nearly 2000 years remains in its ancient state.
Next we continued on our way to Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast! Known for its central location, Sorrento is the gateway to many amazing nearby destinations, including Positano and Capri which we visited. Positano is a picturesque town built along the hills leading into the water, with a beach that dreams are made of. We enjoyed the perfect beach day filled with sun, games and relaxation.
Our next stop along the coast was the resort island of Capri. We took a funicular (tram) up to Capri town to walk around with views overlooking the marina. Then we boarded our private boats and were taken around the island and into the grottos for breathtaking views and a dip in the deep blue water. This beauty of this day felt somewhat surreal and was filled with incredible experiences and great times together!
Florence was our next destination and an introduction to Italy’s Tuscany region. Our first evening was spent checking out the world-famous leather market with vendors and shops of all sorts, all featuring Italian leather known for its superb quality. We also took part in a cooking class at Apicius cooking school and made our own dinner! Together we made tagliatelle pasta with tomato sauce, zucchini stuffed with ham and cheese, bruschetta, crespelle alla Fiorentina, panna cotta, and Florentine cake. We all brought out our inner celebrity chef and cooked up a phenomenal dinner to enjoy together.
Our next day in Florence brought us to one of the most iconic pieces of art in the world: Michelangelo’s David sculpture. David was completed in 1504 and is a 17 foot tall marble sculpture of the biblical hero that defeated Goliath. The work of art came to symbolize civic liberties of the Florentine people. The statue is at the end of a large hallway and its sheer size and amazing details are truly incredible.
We continued on our way to the famous Ponte Vecchio, which is a medieval bridge crossing the main Arno river. It is currently adorned with art dealers and jewelers and is known as the one bridge in Florence that was not destroyed during the second world war.
Our night ended on the dance floor at Space Electronica Disco as we took over the dance floor and danced all together. The music was bopping, people were dancing, and the times were amazing!
The next morning we visited Mercato Centrale, a food market in central Florence offering many Tuscan ingredients and local cuisine. The aromas and life within the market were the epitome of Italian culture. We then headed to the Duomo, otherwise known as the Florence Cathedral. We had the opportunity to climb up the Duomo tower which is 278 feet tall and has the most spectacular 360 degree views of the city!
Our final night in Italy ended with an impromptu song and dance session in front of a carousel in Piazza Della Repubblica. The square is surrounded by restaurants and shops and is a hub for Florentine nightlife. As our time in Italy came to an end, our sense of family hit new heights as we realized we were reaching the end of our adventures together.
Our final destination would be Nice, but we made two iconic stops along the way: Pisa and Monaco. We had lunch and took pictures holding up the famous leaning tower of Pisa. The tower is leaning due to a faulty foundation and soft ground underneath that can not hold up the weight. Then our evening was spent in Monaco, where we walked along the pier and saw the most spectacular yachts and had dinner along the water. We then walked by the famous Monte Carlo casino.
From Nice, we took a day trip to the city of Cannes, home of the famous Cannes film festival, where we spent the day by the beach, relaxing in the sun and playing in the waves. On our final day of the trip we rode a banana boat and laughed the morning away. The rest of the day was spent on the beach creating some lasting memories together and our evening concluded with a nice big family dinner! Everyone received an award and we all wrote down our favorite memories of the trip and placed them in a bottle, which we sent out into the ocean together.
Our adventure has come to an end but the memories will last a lifetime!
The Westcoast Blogger
Have you always wanted to explore the Amalfi Coast and beyond? See our incredible 19-day and 28-day ON TOUR European Experience!