Sunday, November 13, 2011

Our first family visit: Benvenuto Ernesto!

Finally- One of our family members missed us enough to come see us!
I'm (half) kidding.

My brother Ernesto along with his friend Jade came out for their first Euro-experience. They spent a week in London and Paris, and then headed south and spent a week with us in Italy.

Day One:

They arrived late afternoon, so after getting settled in and catching up for a bit, we took them to our favorite local spot "Country house" (yes, it's in English). It's right off the base, and the food is dependably delicious!

There they had their first Southern Italy Pizza experience!

That night we just chatted and got some quality rest in preparation for our fun-filled week!

Day Two:

Our first adventure was the Amalfi Coast drive!
James and I had driven it before (with Chris and Vicki), but we turned around at about half-way in Positano. So the second half of this drive was a new experience for us as well.

In Sorrento (the first city on the drive), we pulled over to take pictures:

Conveniently, where we stopped there was a women selling peppers, large lemons and other fruits, lemoncello, and a few other random things:
Ernesto and Jade were able to pick up a few things at a good price.

We were so excited about the beautiful views along the drive that we just didn't know what to do with ourselves:

Group Shot!

We didn't realized the photo op wasn't over...

Finally, after about three hours of a curvaceous-at-the-edge-of-your-seat drive, we reached the end!

Hello Ceramics at Vietri:

Ernesto checking everything out:

Jade and the super friendly store owner:

After the long nerve-wracking drive we were ready to eat, so we tried a new restaurant that a friend told us about called "Old Village" (Yes, another Italian restaurant with an English name) Ernesto and Jade were loving Italian food, so we tried to get as much of it as we could. James and I, on the other hand, are used to the delicious Italian food, so I changed it up and ordered fagiole alla Messicana (Mexican beans)- which were oh-so good!

But we still ordered our new favorite Italian-appetizer:
Mmmm, Prosciutto e mozzarella!

At home, Jade and Ernesto showed how proud they were of their giant Lemon from Sorrento:
Sorrento is known for their lemons and lemoncello.

Day three:

We took a hike up Vesuvius... then visited Pompeii (the city destroyed/preserved by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D.).

Happy at the beginning of our hike:

Jade with her hiking stick:

At last, we made it to the top!

Ernesto decided to be an overachiever:

The view from the top was worth the intense 20-minute hike!

James and I had done the hike before, but it was a cloudy day so we didn't get to see this gorgeous view!

That night we decided to get some real Neapolitan pizza. So naturally, we were off to L'Antica Pizzeria Da Michele!
This is my favorite pizza, so I was quite the happy train rider!

My fave pizza preparers hard at work:

Dinner is served!

Unfortunately, it's a very happening pizzeria and there was a two-hour wait to sit down, so we decided to get our pizzas to-go and found a little spot to sit and eat outside on the sidewalk.

James couldn't join us because he had school that night...

Day Four:


James had to work, but I am pretty familiar with Rome so I took Ernesto and Jade there one day to show them the ropes (then they went again another day without me).

First, we stopped and got a quick little meal at good ol' Mickey D's in the train station:

Because the catacomb times are a little random, the sun sets earlier in the winter, and it was a little out of the way, we started out day at the Catacombs of San Callisto.

There are approximately 40 catacombs in Rome. The catacombs were used in the first through fifth centuries AD because Christians preferred to be buried rather than cremated, but the land was very expensive, so landowners donated their land- well the ground under their land anyway. The catacombs were layers and layers deep. They built tunnels and then started burying people from the top down in little pockets in the side of the tunnel walls. Then they would close the pocket (tomb) with a piece of marble.

Now, the tombs are emptied out, but you can visit and get the idea as well as see some old wall paintings.

Unfortunately you can't take pics inside...

Buuutt I may have snuck one with my iPhone *shhh*

Next, I took them to all the major hot spots (of course) that we could fit in, so we started off with the Coliseum.

And of course we had to stop and get some caffe at one point:

On Heather's Quick-Tour-di-Rome, we dropped by my favorite fountain:
Fontana di Trevi

Then, from there we headed on to the Pantheon, where we saw a lady painting with spray paint. I had never seen this kind of art before- she is really talented.
Jade bought this piece.

And finally, the Pantheon (followed by dinner and the train ride home):

Day Five:


Just arriving to the beautiful island:

While Capri is what most people think of when they think of this island, that's actually the name of the island itself and also the name of the touristy city. It's the more expensive city as well. However, some tourists don't know that if you go a little more upward to Anacapri it's the same idea, but cheaper and has more to do and see. So we went strait up.

Walking around Anacapri:

After checking out some of the shops we sat down for lunch.

Ernesto and I split the fish of the day with a side of potatoes.
It was a little out of my food-comfort zone, and was the first time I had fish with bones in it, but it was rather tasty and worth the fishy risk!

Next we headed to the Blue grotto, but my bad luck came back to haunt me, and we missed it by just a few minutes. Closed!

Then we headed back up to the chair lift to ride up to the highest point of the island-
but wouldn't you know... closed! Again.

I was a upset, but it was so beautiful we just enjoyed the views and the weather with some gelato!
Always a way to turn the day around.

We got around the island on bus...

Let's just say those bus drivers have skills!!!

Once we finished exploring the island, we played in the water while waiting for our ferry:

Since they couldn't get enough Italian food and the ferry dropped us right back in downtown Naples, we took advantage of that opportunity to get pizza!

This time we went to "Trianon" which is right across from L'Antica Pizzeria Da Michele and is said to be there competition.
Trianon is bigger and has more variety of pizza which makes it convenient and fun, but I still love my L'Antica pizza!

Day six:

Jade and Ernesto went to Rome on their own.

Day Seven:

Time to say goodbye.

They're flight left at noon, so in the morning I took them our for their last Caffe! We went to a local "bar" and enjoyed a typical Italian Breakfast of pastries and caffe.

Oh, and before the flight, we swung by some Burger King!

We American's love our fast food restaurants don't we?!

I had a great time with Ernesto and Jade! I was so sad right when I dropped them off!!!

...Now who's next?!?!


1 comment:

  1. awesome that your brother got to come visit! Looks like you had a great time. Love all the pics!