10 things I did in Pompeii & Amalfi Coast (Italy)

Italy was too long a trip (3 weeks) to complete the “10 things I did in [insert city]” series at one go. So I thought I should separate it into four: 1) Rome & Vatican 2) Amalfi Coast & Pompeii 3) Florence, Pisa & Milan 4) Venice. I would love to write more for pictures cannot convey what I feel or think, but looks like time only permit me to complete half of my grand plan. Here’s a quick one before the year ends…

1. Enjoy the scenery
Amalfi coast is a cliffy area at the south of Italy with terribly winding roads. The Italians are not known to drive reasonably, I half fear that the car will sverve and I’ll end up in the sea. But all it worth it when you’re there. The scenery is picture perfect. It’s so blue! No wonder it’s a UNESCO world heritage site under the landscape category.scenery2

2. Try Limoncello
Lemons are everywhere here. A must try is limoncello (and I bought a napkin with it’s recipe!)

3. Paper
Paper produce called bambagina is also popular here. I almost wanted to get one with hand painted caprese and a recipe. As I will probably ruin it before the trip end without a proper place to keep it, I didn’t. Sigh!

4. Have seafood
Chef black. We ordered seafood since we’re at the beach. I think the food, though fresh, is nothing to shout about. Though a lot of celebrities dined her. There’s a wall full of their photos. Zhang Ziyi is one of them.

5. Have citrus drink
Fruits were in abundant when we were there and we visited the prettiest fruit stall I’ve ever seen. Grapes, juicy tomato and huge lemons. At Pompeii, I saw a lemon as big as a melon! Naturally, we must try their fresh citrus juice. (It taste the same just that the location makes it more enjoyable). Oh, and this smooth Italian man smile and wink at woman, in such a gentlemanly way. Later in Venice I learned that Casanova is a real person and he’s an Italian!

11. Learn about the earliest Roman civilisation
We went to the ruins of Pompeii. Having seen a few in Rome and Ephesus in Turkey, I must say this is truly the most well-preserved ruin. Having been buried in ashes and pumice for many years, its construction not demolished by war and the earth preserved many things. I think if one can only visit one ruin, this would be it.

7. See dead
During the eruption which completely destroyed Pompeii, many died instantly and their body preserved. Here’s a slave (if I’m not mistaken), hiding in the cellar and possibly praying. There’s also a chained dog trying to free itself. Their teeth shows that the boy below (the one with me in it and I’m sorry I look too happy), was only of 16 – 18 years of age. Poor thing!

8. Look at ancient brothel and sex menu
People say prostitute is the oldest profession and I’m so happy to witness is first hand. Men are so smart! They have phallic symbols on the street to point to the red light district! To avoid confusion (to travellers who speak different language) and dissatisfaction, they even have a sex menu painted on the walls to allow patron to choose (?!). The tour guide who is the third generation said that the menu used to be much clearer when he was a child about 30 – 40 years ago. So, do go before it fades!

9. Check out olden days kitchen and restaurants!
For someone who enjoys cooking, of course I have to check out their kitchen only to find out it’s situated next to the toilet (?!). I was almost disappointed until the tour guide pointed out that this place existed over 2000 years ago. To think that every home has a kitchen is already impressive, wherever it is located. The generation before his, has to leave their home to a nearby communal toilet. So true!

10. Learn that even commoners enjoy spa
Spa, one of my favourite guilty pleasure, is a right to every citizen in the city of Pompeii. They even have lockers (or a place to put their clothes).



I was so wowed by their technology and thinking. This trip inspired me to read more on early Roman civilisation and art. When I return next, I shall be able to enjoy and understand the place much more.