Tom and Joan's Trip to Italy - 2005

In September of 2005, Joan and Tom, along with Joan's sister Kathy and her sister Barbara and husband, Lee went on a trip to the Bay of Naples and Rome.  Joan found this great "villa" online, which was advertized to be an old pirate's cave made into a villa right on the Bay of Naples, near Sorrento.  Well, it was a real interesting place to spend a week.  The location was fantastic and we used it as a base to visit the many sites around Naples, which include Pompei, Herculaneum, Mount Vesuvius, Caserta, Capri, Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast and Naples itself.  We spent a glorious week there and really saw everything we could.

Here is an exterior and interior view of the villa.


We took a boat ride from Sorrento to the Blue Grotto on Capri.  Here is a beautiful shot of Sorrento Harbor and then the ice blue waters of the Blue Grotto

Another beautiful day was a drive down the Amalfi Coast.  What stunning scenery!  Here's a view of Positano

Another of the high points was a hike to the top of Mount Vesuvius, which is still smoking!  It was a long trek, but the view from the top was breathtaking.  It seemed so odd to be at the summit of such a famous volcano.  Here's the intrepid group at the summit.

No trip to Italy is complete without a few days in Rome and this trip was no exception.  The one place Joan and I never got to see in all our previous trips was the famed Domus Aurea, or Nero's Golden House.  It was a fabulous home for that decadent emperor, who supposedly fiddled while Rome burned.  Rome's succeeding emperor so despised what Nero had done as ruler that he buried the house and built public baths on top of it.  After many years of excavation and restoration, the house opened up to the public a few years ago.  It's not much to see, since it was stripped of anything of value before it was buried, but it was something we always wanted to visit.  Here is a view down one of the grand hallways.