This post continues from our September 2018 trip to Napoli.
The next day we said goodbye to Naples, and rented a car from the Avis at the central train station. I was a bit wary of driving in Italy, having never driven anywhere outside the UK, but there wasn’t really a better way to get to the hills above Sorrento, where we had booked an Airbnb apartment in a small village called Sant’Agata.
Avis gave us the keys and we went to get the car at the nearby garage. The service engineer vaguely pointed at the features of the car, and the fact that the gearstick had a kind of trigger you had to pull up to change gear, which I’d never seen before. In fact, you only needed to pull the trigger to go into reverse, but I thought you had to do this for any gear change, which resulted in me thinking that 3rd gear was 1st gear, and being unable to get up the garage ramp, followed by a trip down the motorway to Sant’Agata via Pompeii largely in 3rd gear. It was only when we left the parking lot from Pompeii that the owner of the parking place told me what I was doing wrong, and I felt a bit silly, but less silly than if I’d then tried to climb up the Sorrentine hills in 3rd gear, which would have been impossible.
Anyway, after a bit of a hairy drive to Pompeii, we walked around the incredibly well-preserved Roman ruins for a few hours in the baking sun, and it was pretty magnificent. I had been there once before when I was 11 but I don’t remember it being so impressive. It’s huge, and I could have spent days there, exploring. One of the most famous houses, the brothel, with its famous depictions of various sexual practices offered in each room, was so crowded that there was a queue to get inside, and we didn’t see it because our time was limited. It would be amazing to go there in the even more off season, and walk about it on a drizzly autumn day when you could almost feel like it was a quiet town where everyone was just sleeping or indoors.
This next part of this post continues to Sorrento and nearby.