We are back from our vacation to the Bay of Naples/Sorrentine peninsula/Amalfi coast area of Italy. The weather was sunny and warm, and my husband had a great time riding his bicycle with other St. Louis Cycling Club members. I got to see the sights, eat delicious food, and take pictures, of course. I explored the Island of Capri, the ruins at Pompeii and Herculaneum, the archeological museum in Naples, and saw the stunning Amalfi coast from the bus windows. Thank goodness public transportation—boat, bus, train, and taxi—was available everywhere, because the roads were truly those “European roads” you hear about: narrow, clinging to the side of a cliff, no room for error. And yes, the drivers were crazy.
I tried to take pictures not only of the scenery, but of patterns and colors that might inspire my quilting when I came back home. I will post pictures over several days, starting with the Island of Capri ….
This view of the Sorrentine peninsula was taken from the Island of Capri. If you drive down the right side of this point (on roads you cannot see here), you reach the city of Amalfi. The left takes you into the town of Sorrento, where we stayed, and around the Bay of Naples to Pompeii and eventually Naples.
An interior view of Villa Jovis, the palace of the Roman emperor on the Island of Capri. The walls seemed to be constructed of a jumble of stones between layers of bricks. In fact, those stones must have been carefully placed, since they’ve lasted for 2,000 years.
A view of Mt. Vesuvius from the ruins of Villa Jovis. Can you believe Vesuvius was THREE TIMES this size before it blew up in 79 AD? That’s a lot of mountain that rained down on Pompeii and Herculaneum. This wood railing separates you from the edge of a sheer cliff.
It’s very difficult to get a picture that shows just how far it is down to this gorgeous blue water. I think blue is going to show up in my quilts for a long time to come. That little white blip you see here is a boat. You can see a few tiny whitecaps on the water, too. We did not get to go into the famous Blue Grotto on Capri because the water was too choppy. You go in by rowboat, but the opening is only about 3 feet high, and you have to lay down in the boat! So choppy water closes down the rowboat business. The blue glow inside the cave is caused by sunlight filtering down through the water, then up into the cave. Next time ….
This is a street on Capri. No kidding. There is just room enough for a tiny electric vehicle and maybe one pedestrian. Several times we had to flatten ourselves against the walls so a vehicle could pass. Even the garbage trucks and ambulances are tiny. We made the trek from the town of Capri to the Villa Jovis along streets like this, looking into people’s gates and gardens.
This is the gate to a villa on Capri. The gate itself is unremarkable (we saw many that were prettier), but you can see the ceramic house number 7 set into the wall on the left, and a picture of the entrance itself done in ceramic tiles and set into the wall on the right. Every house had a ceramic tile with its number and sometimes the name of the home. The street names were also written on tiles and set into the sides of buildings.
We passed a shrine to the Virgin Mary on one street. I looked down and saw these colorful tile fragments set into the floor. Very quilterly, no?
More ceramic tile at Giardini Augusto, a public garden. Very colorful.
More unbelievably blue water and the houses of Capri perched on the hillside.
Next: Herculaneum and Pompeii.