We found a lovely campsite near Rome - all green with daisies (daisies always seem so summery to me!)
We didn't really do much else once we had got there, except make use of the hot showers and sinks for washing dishes and clothes.
On Tuesday, we caught the free bus to the train station, then a train from Prima Porta into Rome. We then had to switch to the underground train to get to the Collosium - holy shit, that thing is MAHOOSIVE!!! we wandered around the outside of the Collosium for a bit, but decided not to go inside due to the massive queue.
Then we got on a tour bus and travelled around the city on that for a bit. We got off at St Peter's Square and ogled the Vatican for a bit.
Another huge queue put us off trying to visit the Sistine Chapel (which we all regretted once we were back at the campsite!)
On Wednesday we left that site and set off down the coast as we wanted to get to Naples and Pompeii. We stopped at a site near Vesuvius, but it wasn't very nice and we discovered after checking in that they don't accept dogs. We kept Isis hidden and left the next morning.
Thursday we drove round the base of Vesuvius and around the outskirts of Pompeii. By evening, I had no idea where we were, we had driven through some towns that had really narrow streets and completely insane local traffic. It was also a complete shit hole - rubbish everywhere and it was filthy!
Just a quick note - if you're planning to visit Italy and youure an animal lover; don't go to southern Italy. They let their dogs roam loose and don't pay any attention to whether they live near a busy road or not. Everyone on the road is a complete nutter - they pay absolutely no attention to the speed limit, other drivers or lines painted in the road.
I've seen ten dogs since leaving Rome, 3 in the local village, 1 on the beach, 3 on the campsite and four dead by the roadside.
But we found a gorgeous site, right on the coast with private (pebble) beach access and a fantastic view! Mum says we're on the Amalfi coast but we don't know the area - we're staying at Camp Nettuno; it's a small camp with all the amenities needed, but it's basic - the view more than makes up for it though!!
When we arrived, we had a quick walk around then Matt, Alex and I went to the beach, the water was cold and the pebbles hurt our feet, but Alex & I managed a swim. We spent the rest of the day sunbathing :D
That evening we agreed we would stay here another night and just spend Friday (today) relaxing, resting and sunbathing.
It started to rain at 6am and hasn't stopped ALL day!!
We've met several other English couples, one couple are touring Europe (they're off to Greece tomorrow) in their camper (they sold their house & bought the camper!) and they told us the best time to get into the Sistine Chapel is late afternoon, there are hardly any queues!
We've discussed it and we've decided that tomorrow we are going to visit Pompeii properly, then head back to Roma before going on to Venezia!
Saturday 16th April
We got up this morning and set off for Pompeii. It didn't take long to get there, we walked around the 'new' city for a bit then we discovered an information point where a lovely woman loaded us with free guide books and lots of information.
We then spent a couple of hours exploring the 'old' city - the archaeological ruins of what is left of Pompeii after Mount Vesuvius blew it's top in 79AD.
It was fascinating to see how well items had been preserved, although these casts of bodies were distressing!
After we left the old city we had some lunch at a restaurant with dreadful service and a waiter who tried to overcharge us by €20! After a lot of calculating, he adjusted the total, but it was still too much. He got the manager who then got all stroppy, ripped up the bill and told us to pay whatever the hell we wanted while muttering something in Italian about the English - I refused point blank to pay the 15% service charge for a waiter who had to be asked to bring part of our meal (which was shoddy at best) and who couldn't even add up with a calculator!
Then we headed for Vesuvius. We had been told that we would be able to drive to within a kilometre of the summit and from there we could walk up. To my surprise; the van handled the drive up really well!
Alex, Matt, Isis and I walked the remaining 1100 metres while Mum stayed in the van and had a coffee. The view was spectacular! You could see miles and miles of Italy and right at the top, you could look down into the crater of the volcano!
After we drove back down, we headed for Roma again. We're about an hour away from the campsite now, but it's nearly 8pm, I'm tired and it seems a bit daft to pay for a spot on a campsite when we can just sleep here in a truck stop for nothing!
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