Friday, June 20, 2008

Italy - Day 3

The day began wet and early (it had rained overnight) with a continental breakfast featuring slices of ham, egg, some delicious pie thing, and the kids' favorite: cereal resembling Cocoa Puffs.

We boarded the bus for departure at 8:30 and had an hour long drive to Pompeii, where we spent the majority of our day meandering along the ancient, uneven stone roads, themselves worn with grooves from ancient wheels.

During the morning hours (from 10:00 to noon) we were led by a local guide named Mario, according to Mrs. Vitt, the best guide she's ever received at Pompeii (out of 6 visits with students). With him we saw the city's two theatres, one of the bath houses, the largest mansion/house, the central forum, countless store fronts and several smaller homes, and many stray dogs (not part of the exhibit itself, of course), all sitting calmly under the ever present and watchful eye of Vesuvius.

After Mario departed we took a short break for lunch (and to rest our feet), then Mrs. Vitt continued our tour throughout the back sections of the city. We saw remnants of the Roman aqueducts, burial tombs outside the city walls, the amphiteatre, and we stopped to relax for a few minutes while Mrs. Vitt read an historical fiction story set in Pompeii (on a personal note, it just happened to be the same story that captivated and sparked my interest in Pompeii back in middle school). After filling our water bottles from a Pompeiian public fountain we left the city to be accosted by merchants selling trinkets and postcards, as well as delicious servings of gelato, of which many of us indulged.

A few minutes before boarding the bus, the sky released a rather wet downpour, which unfortunately continued long enough to prevent us from walking to Pollio Felix's house before dinner.

After a delicious double course meal of pizza / rice and fish / beef / soup, students had about 50 minutes of free time before bed checks at 10:00. Wake up call is 6:30 tomorrow morning so we can catch our 8:30 ferry to the island of Capri.

That's the news for today. I'll leave you with this quote of the day:

"If I were an olive tree I would only have been bearing fruit for 4 years." - Michelle Vitt.

"I dream about arm-wrestling large men" - Mary

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