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Published: July 15th 2015
Took one of those super fast, super comfortable trains from Florence to Naples. Did some bag checking so we wouldn't be on the train with our junk (more on this later) and then headed to the Circumvesuviana to get to Pompeii. These trains are on the lower level, stairs are in line with track 13, you go down and go as far left as possible. You can only purchase tickets there. Take a picture of the time tables so you know when to expect trains. This is a VERY VERY
cheap way to get down to Pompeii or Sorrento. You're not going to beat the price. You're also not going to get to buy the tickets you want: we checked our bags because we wanted to come back and eat in Naples and wanted to get roundtrip tickets to/from Pompeii and then one way tickets to Sorrento. The dude at the window was like NO! NO round trip! you go to Sorrento from Pompeii! and there was this crazy argument that ensued before he FINALLY sold us the tickets we wanted. Amore!
Anyhoo, the trains we were on to and from Pompeii during the day were basically subway cars. They were HOT! Veyr crowded with people and their luggage, locals whose public transportation this is and people's freaking backpacks, luggage and other travel crap (we did catch an express train in the evening to Sorrento that was a new train car with nice comfy seats and a/c, so it's possible if you keep waiting there are new trains that will arrive). We didn't get around to buying the artecard (which I wanted to do because of the travel included, esp. the NEW comfy campania express train that had like NO ONE on it that you can take if you have the card - though it had a limited schedule it would SO be worth planning your schedule around it's schedule) so this was just part of the adventure.
Pompeii. It sucks. They are in expanding the site, so there are construction sites and blocked roads EVERYWHERE. There's also some art exhibit that has all the death casts in one spot so you don't even get the illusion of coming upon dead people (yeah, yeah, I sound morbid, but you know that's why you're going). My foot flared really bad here, wound up 'walking' around shoeless with just my socks on and I'm sure that added to the wonder that was this experience. Anyway, it was probably in the top 5 most boring/omg-i'll-never-get-that-hour-of-my-life-back things I have done ever.
We came back to Naples and make our way to the oldest pizzeria http://www.damichele.net/ or I don't know if it's the oldest, but it's been around for a long time and for good reason. fuck getting cheese, get the marinara pizza. get the biggest size. and shut the front door! that shit is AMAZEBALLS good. like that sauce! i don't even know what was in that, but immediately ordered another. AND it's not breaking the bank either. It was like a 15 min or so walk from the train station. Come out the front of the station, head across the street to the nice looking plaza on the left, walk to the end of that plaza until you hit a major street and make a left. There are barriers in the street so if you haven't crossed over when you exit the plaza, do so once you see an opening (but it's crazy being a pedestrian here the cars are INSANITY). About the time you think you've walked too far, you'll stop and see a big red sign for like another restaurant/pizza place that's like the flatiron building, well the place you want is just to the left of that.
After our delicious meal, we headed back for our bags (the bag places closes kinda early like 8pm or something) and then were off to Sorrento. As I mentioned before, this train was new and the ride was much better except for the super stinky guy with the bike who Susan's smile attracted and thus we were forced to marinate in his funk for the better part of our trip. Got to Sorrento in about an hour and change and it was an easy walk to our airbnb (which be mindful that a lot of airbnb's are not as they are advertised in the US, this was a legit hotel/bed and breakfast type set up on the top floor of someone's house NOT an airbnb that was someone's home). Tip: when leaving the train station and heading into the main strip, there is a bar on lefthand side of the street, this is where you buy your Sita (bus to get you to other points along the coast) tickets. We picked ours up that night so there would be no rushing when we headed back the next morning to catch an early to Positano.
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