I never saw anything Mafia-related go down. Sadly.
Post-palace and some free time, we departed for Sorrento, our home base. For the rest of our trip, we stayed in a hotel surrounded by lemon trees, with a view of the coast (that's the Mediterranean, baby!):
Lonely Planet calls Sorrento "an unabashed resort town," which may be true, but it's also the slice of Italy everyone's looking for: White buildings, blue waters, sun, clean streets peppered with little trattorias and souvenir shops selling limoncello. Natalie and I opted out of climbing Vesuvius one afternoon and spent it walking around and sipping white wine on our hotel's rooftop solarium. In Amalfi, after another breathtaking tour of a cathedral, Aine, Natalie and I sunbathed on pebbly beaches and collected sea glass.
Natalie, Aine and I, cute as a Christmas-card, on the beach:
The cathedral in Amalfi:
The church, as Amalfi was a maritime republic in the days when spice trading with the Orient was like oil trading with the Husseins, has a lot of Moorish influences:
In WWII, the Allies used this as a base of operations. In addition to furniture looting, they cut the ornate doors, so they would open two ways (Italians like to point out Allied damage to Italy, while convieniently leaving out their own cooperation with the Nazis, but you know, whatever):
This entryway was also where George Lucas shot scenes of Queen Amidala's palace
Aine taking a picture of a throne at the end of a typical room inside the palace:
The palace had magnificent gardens, including Baroque fountains, statues and reflecting pools like in Washington D.C. that we got to walk around:
I spent the days in the sun senza sunscreen, working on my tan (and by tan, I mean "sunburn and freckles"). After saying, "People's feet never get sunburned," this is what I looked like back in Viterbo, city of rain and pigeons: