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We flew from Paris to Naples, met our driver, and rode to Positano. On the way our driver talked about food, Star Trek (he’s a fanatic Trekkie), and how Northern Italians hate the Southerners. Although I’d been dimly aware of it, I hadn’t realized how deeply felt this North-South antipathy was. Americans were everywhere and the town itself felt very touristy. Still, it is breathtakingly picturesque with buildings stacked wedding-cake style tumbling down to the sea.


Here is an evening view from our hotel room balcony.

The first night, we ate at a great down-home place high in the hills, Ristorante da Costantino, where we had a wonderful meal with awesome home-made pasta and were entertained by stories from the owner. Instead of vanilla rum, in this region, we get a cold bottle of Limoncello and frosty shot glasses.

This stuff is addicting!

We visited Amalfi the next day. I was very impressed by the Sant'Andrea Duomo

with its incredible works of art. You should absolutely not miss the museum and crypt

which supposedly contains the remains of Saint Andrew.

Pompeii next.

MIke R

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you re going to love Pompei....the ruins from Vesuvious are remarkable.....I have a quiz question for you...tell me how you can figure out which building was the brothel..and there IS a way....

and the north south thing is very much alive and well...when my mother speaks her Sicilian dialect north of Naples, she is often looked upon like some kind of trailer trash freak...and Sicilian was her first language so she is beyond differently than some New Yorkers would react to a hard core Mississippi accent


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Mike, I am in Virginia but am organizing my pictures and recollections in stages. There is a lot of stuff to go through and yes, we loved both Pompeii and especially the brothel. Most popular exhibit it seems.


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Limoncello is a darn good alternate after dinner treat!

Enjoy Pompeii-a high light. Amazing that they are still uncovering new sites there.


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mmm....stunning! i saw my positano hotel in your photograph, josh....great memories!!

i can't wait to see pompeii through your eyes!

did you happen to make it to ravello? villa cimbrone, by chance?


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GC: We did get to Ravello. I thought we should have stayed there. We visited Villa Rufolo (Wow!) and glanced at Cimbrone. Will get to those photos soon. Breathtaking views and gardens. Our hotel in Positano is the yellow one in the foreground of the first picture - the Marincanto. Was that yours as well?

Here's a better view of it from the other side of town.

It's kind of a high rise in levels built into the cliff. Do you see the parking lot at the top and, lower down, the pool and sun deck?

Here's how it looks from the stairway at the beach.

You need be in good shape to enjoy Positano! It reminded me of Santorini.


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in the second photo, upper left side, it's the red building with vines (wisteria) all around the exterior. hotel miramare.

i had one of the greatest meals in ravello at cumpo cosimo right on the square. i was there during the ravello festival. nothing like listening to classical music outdoors while overlooking the amalfi coast under a full moon.

the first time i was ever moved to tears by nature was when i rounded the corner in the gardens at villa cimbrone as the sun was setting and saw the view of the sea as far as the eye could see and the city of amalif down below. all of this under a full moon! the jasmine was blooming so the air was incredibly fragrant! it was a magical moment!

you're right...the stairs WERE brutal, especially after several shots of limencello after dinner!!!


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here's the hotel miremare. i lost the majority of my italy photos in the great hard drive crash of 2007, so this is all i have! i guess i'll have to go back!


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The dreamy quality works for me, Missy.

Perhaps the most interesting thing we did was to tour Pompeii. It is amazingly well-preserved having been buried under tons of ash from an eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Here is the forum in Pompeii looking toward the mountain.

The volcano is still active and it is worrying that many more people who don’t want to move now live in its shadow in modern Naples. It felt amazingly similar to a modern middle-class town, with a harbor, stepping-stones and chariot ruts,

a brothel with stone beds and illustrated positions on the walls (I can’t post those pictures here), fast food joints with sliding doors on tracks, a wood-fired brick oven and grain mills,

ornate and cleverly engineered steam rooms and baths,

and, of course, an amphitheater.

Here is a house entryway complete with “Beware of Dog” embedded in tile.

We saw reproductions of this sign outside of several houses as we continued our tour of the region like this one in Ravello.

More about Ravello coming up.


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did you notice that the chariot ruts were the deepest near the "house of ill repute"? that was pointed out to us by our guide!

pompeii was AWESOME! such a freaky place! i noticed the dog mosiac, but never put it together with the signs i saw on some villa entry ways....interesting!

i'm REALLY looking forward to your ravello photos! feel free to post many...i'm just sayin'!


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We visited the Villa Rufolo in Ravello with its spectacular gardens

and amazing view.

We hiked down to Atrani through vineyards, olive trees, and farmland.

Here’s something you don’t normally see hiking in the US.

Atrani had just recently experienced a tragedy when a flash flood swept through the town and carried a girl out to sea. You can see how narrow the canyon is.

Here’s the main town square.

We also stopped at the town of Praiano with its pretty Duomo.

Our next stop was Capri.


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Capri is a magical island. We were there once before on a day trip but it’s a totally different experience if you can stay for a few days. We stayed at the Hotel La Minerva at the left edge of this photo taken from the high perch of the Belvedere Cannone.

More importantly, the photo shows the iconic Faraglioni rocks jutting out of the sea and the pretty gardens called Giardini di Augusto with its own lower viewpoint. Looking the other way you can see Marina Piccola.

No trip to Capri is complete without participating in the mad circus known as the Grotta Azzurra or Blue Grotto. Skilled boatmen in small rowboats jockey to take tourists (lying flat on the floor) through a tight opening between swells into a sea cave.

Once inside you are amazed by the blue light emanating from the water

and, perhaps, chagrined to listen to the boatmen’s half-hearted attempt to sing “Volare” or “O Sole Mio.”

Afterward we took a 3 hour hike from the grotto to the lighthouse “Il Faro” along a spectacular trail called Sentiero dei Fortini on the rugged west coast. The path was well-annotated with beautiful ceramic signs that explained the flora and fauna and punctuated with little forts

and stunning villas.

We also spent one day in Sorrento which has great shopping. I had to buy an extra carry-on bag before flying home. Because we flew on Air France through CdG, we ran into a work slowdown as protest over pension reform which caused a tight connection time but no other problem. Thanks are due to many of you on the forum for helpful advice in planning this trip. Every day was special!


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wow! your photos brought back so many great memories of my trip several years ago.

i enjoyed a very long (and very expensive) lunch just above the blue grotto. no boats were going in as the swells were very high that day. our waiter said it was a good thing because sometimes, depending on the way the wind blew, you could hear many versions of 'o solo mio' wafting up from down below.

thank you for sharing this photos with us! your trip had to have been simply magical!!!


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Josh it has been an absolute pleasure traveling with you. Your pictures took us right along the streets and paths you yourself roamed-grazie, grazie mille.

MIke R

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great stuff...I love Capri so much...I will never forget walking across the piazza in Capri and coming towards me is a guy with one of my P Town Cafe T shirts on....blew my mind

when the time is right, and Wendi and I do the I will show you my Italy and you show me your France trip.....much of what you posted will be in my "tour"