Ruins and Stuff and a Little White Lie

Days 6-8: Ercolano and Corigliano Calabro

We leave Rome early Monday morning to make our way south to the ancient town of Herculaneum (henceforth referred to as Ercolano, its Italian name, because the H word is not only difficult for me to say but much too long to type). Since I had already visited Pompeii many years before, and Isaiah could go either way, we decide to visit Ercolano, a much smaller but just as well-preserved archaeological site.

Getting there, even with the navigation system, is a bit crazy. To reach the site, we drive through the town of Resina, in other words Crazy Town. These are the most crowded narrow streets I have ever seen. People are walking and driving every which way. No one heeds the stop signs or signal lights. We even follow a motorino the wrong way down a one-way street. Isaiah quickly learns that the safest way to drive is to drive like the locals, even if it means breaking traffic laws (more like suggestions).

At this point, traffic and other delays have turned our 2-hour drive into a 3-hour drive, and I need to pee! In the parking structure, fellow tourists catch sight of my dance and start gibber jabbering to me in French and pointing upstairs. I love how, without hesitation, they offer me instructions as if I can understand the actual words they are saying. Yes, the toilet is upstairs.

We enter the site, once a chic resort town for the Roman elite, and are blown away by the beautiful mosaics and architecture. The book we buy tells us that Ercolano, before Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D., enjoyed sea breezes and views overlooking the Gulf of Naples. Must have been nice!

Little remains of its Greek origins, so what you see here is what the town was like during ancient Roman times.

Frescoes in the Skeleton House (so called because archeologists found a skeleton on the top floor)

On the road called "Cardo III"

A thermopolium, where you could get a snack

Mosaic depicting Neptune and Amphitrite

Portico of the Argos House

A view of Ercolano with Mt. Vesuvius in the background

The private beach at our campsite in Corigliano Calabro

Our two days in Calabria are very relaxing and pretty uneventful. We sleep, go for walks on the beach, and read our books. We attempt to go to the castle in the city of Corigliano, but it's closed for siesta when we arrive.

At check-out, the campsite clerk asks, "Cosa avete fatto?" (What did you guys do?)

I can't think of the words to express "we relaxed at your campsite," and the one word that comes to mind, niente (nothing), isn't quite accurate.

So, I do what any girl would do. I lie, "Siamo andati al castello." (We went to the castle.)

" É bello, no?"

"Si, bellisimo."

Technically we did go to the castle, we just didn't see how truly bello it was. Sometimes it's easier to lie in a foreign language than it is to tell the truth.


  1. Amazing. You wouldn't believe what a dork I was -- just some weeks ago (good grief, I believe it was before Christmas), I was Google Street viewing Pompei, because I soooo much want to go there.
    Thank goodness for Google Street view, really. And for bloggers like you, ha!

  2. Fantastic post. Thanks for bringing us along on the journey! Doing nothing in such a beautiful place sounds good to me.

    Very true about white lies in a foreign language.

  3. Looks like an amazing place. Would be interested in learning more about camping in Europe.

  4. So lovely! I've never made it so far South in Italy but Calabria looks awesome.

  5. Juanita - not a dork at all. I use Google Earth all the time to spy on the places I'd like to visit...

    Kathy - Thanks! and you're welcome. Those 2 short days in Calabria were the first days we felt like we were really on vacation.

    Chantal - Stay tunes for more camping information!

    Fly Girl - You know, I'd really like to go back and explore more of Calabria. It's not as well-known as other parts of Italy but just as beautiful and cultural.

  6. Oh feels like I'm there. Thanks for posting your photos.BY the way we too enjoy shopping at Lidl.

    A Mexican chica living in Europe


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