As I mentioned in this post, the original itinerary for the cruise had Naples, Italy as a port of call, but for some unknown reason it was changed to Mykonos. During our midweek day at sea we were informed that a Sirocco wind (unusual at this time of year) was blowing across Malta and it was too dangerous for us to venture down towards the island, so instead we were being diverted to Naples, Italy!
We were obviously thrilled that we would finally get to see the Amalfi coast and Capri, but also a shame that we would not get to visit Malta. One of the benefits of living in Europe is that we are only a hop, skip and short flight away from all of these wonderful destinations, so we can and will visit Malta another time.
Given the incredibly short notice (and all of our Neapolitan research left at home), we thought it would be for the best if we booked a tour, so as not to miss anything. The tour office sprang into action and within 90 minutes a new set of tours were available to be booked. Unfortunately, the tours to Amalfi and Capri were beyond extortionate and we knew the visibility (due to the Sirocco winds) would be less than ideal, so we opted for a tour of Sorrento and Pompeii. Again, Amalfi and Capri will re-join Malta on our wanderlust list 🙂
Bright and early, we hopped off the ship and onto a coach for a tummy turning drive along the coast to Sorrento, passing by Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii and looking out to the islands of Ischia and Capri.
We had a happy and enthusiastic tour guide, Alexander, who provided much mirth and insight into the local area. On our drive along the coast, the coach pulled over into a popular lay-by so we could take in the wonderful view.
I can only imagine how stunning this view would be with a bright blue sky. The sirocco wind ensured that it was completely overcast, very hot and humid and of course, incredibly windy!
Winding our way down the coast we arrived in Sorrento for a few hours of free time before going to Pompeii.
Excellent Italian cappuccinos were calling, so we found a sweet al fresco café for refreshments. On the coach journey, Alexander recommended an Amalfi specialty, Delizie al Limone (Lemon Delight). We were dicing with the wind gods, so there wasn’t time for a pretty photo; we had to dive in, before it fell foul to the Sirocco! It was delicious, a light lemon mousse with a delicate sponge base, thank you, Alexander!
We spent our time in Sorrento wandering though the tiny cobbled streets, buying a few little souvenirs and being awe-struck by the biggest lemons we have ever seen!
These were the size of Pomelos.
I am completely smitten with peaches, so bought a couple of huge white fleshed peaches for later in the day. Needless to say, they were the most fragrant and sweetest peaches we have ever eaten!
We bought some local dried herbs and spices.
Of course no trip to Italy would be complete without a scoop or two of the world’s best ice cream; nothing ever compares to authentic gelato!
Then it was time for the hair-raising journey back up the coast to Pompeii…