Friday, June 24, 2011

My Italian Holiday: Part 1

I've been remiss in posting this blog because I knew that doing so would mean that my amazing Italian holiday was officially over.  It was one of the best vacations of my life, and I will cherish the memories forever.  Because I have so many photos, I decided to do three posts: two of our time in the Naples area and the other of our weekend in Sorrento.

Getting to Aversa, Italy from Atlanta, GA is no easy feat.  I took MARTA to the airport, flew about 9 hours to Rome, took the Leonardo Express train to Roma Termini, and a second train to Aversa where my sister-in-law picked me up and took me to their house.  Mamma mia!

I had been to Italy before but never to this part of the country.  I was amazed at how busy downtown Naples is...there are SO many people walking around.  Good thing I had an expert tour guide (gratzie Katie!) to show me around.  After a very windy drive, we hiked to the top of Mount Vesuvius to see the view of the bay of Naples.  It was very overcast that day, but you can kind of see the view below.  At the top of Vesuvius, we enjoyed some wine made in a winery close by...I just love that Italians can always find an occasion to drink wine.  Salute!
We had way too much fun posing in a cave formed from some craters.  
Someone had left this painting and prayer along the way...a prayer that the volcano will never erupt again.
The next day we explored Reggia di Casserta, a palace constructed for the Bourbon kings of Naples.  It was molto grande!  In fact, it was the largest palace constructed in the 18th century in Europe.  It was absolutely breathtaking and lovely.  Georgia and I would be quite happy to set up shop in one of the countless rooms in the palace.  
I was absolutely obsessed with the delicate chandeliers throughout the palace.  My favorites were the ones with flowers all over them-SO gorgeous and intricate.
I also loved the view of the interior courtyard and could just imagine myself flirting with a visiting prince from across the way.
Behind the palace are the English Gardens.  They're about a one mile walk...just long and far enough to be obnoxious.  Those Bourbon kings certainly must have been obsessed with size.  

This is the ceiling of a very old building in the gardens...SO romantic and mysterious.  Perfect for a secret rendez-vous.  
Check out this spectacular view of the back of the palace before a storm hit. 
What day in Italy is complete without gelato?
My brother, sister-in-law, and me before dinner.  
I miss them every single day.  


Steven E said...

Great Blog! The palace looks gigantic, and that garden is spectacular, I love the water flowing down the hill.

Mary Ann said...

Gorgeous pics! I went to the top of Vesuvius a few years ago; amazing, isn't it!?