We left Rome and anchored up in Anzio just 25 miles up the coast. Ian, unusually, was up with the larks the following morning as there was quite a swell in the bay so, off we went at 7am to Gaeta. The year was rapidly disappearing and the weather can be more unpredictable plus we wanted to stop for a time in Salerno so we could visit the Amalfi coast and take in Pompeii so we had to get a move on. As a result it was just an overnight stop at Gaeta, then off to another anchorage on the west side of the Bay of Naples and then finally along the Amalfi coast to Salerno. The coastline is stunning and photos never do it justice.
There is no marina as such in Salerno, just pontoons that are owned by various people, we initially tied up alongside by the ferry terminal, which gave us time to wander around the pontoons to see if we could negotiate a price with any of them. We found one that would take us but even though it was mid October and had no showers they still wanted €85 a night and no amount of persuasion was he going to budge on the price. We promptly left and anchored in the bay, fortunately the weather forecast was good with no wind. The pontoons on the otherside of Salerno didn’t accept catamarans but they very kindly let us tie our dinghy to their pontoon, even helping us tie up. It can often be a problem to find somewhere you can leave the dinghy.
Ian’s Dad had raved about the bus ride along the coast road to Amalfi, because of the beautiful coastline. So, on his recommendation we did just that and it was stunning. Amalfi is a lovely town set in the mouth of a deep ravine at the foot of Monte Cerreto (1,315 metres, 4,314 feet). In the 1920s and 1930s, Amalfi was a popular holiday destination for the British upper classes and aristocracy and you can see why.
We visited the cathedral at Amalfi which is dedicated to the Apostle Saint Andrew whose relics are kept here.
We took the train to Pompeii. I‘d heard a lot about Pompeii but wasn’t expecting to be blown away quite as much as I was. It is incredible how intact so much of it is considering how old it is. It was buried under 4 to 6 metres of volcanic ash from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius on 24th August AD79. The city was largely preserved because of lack of air and moisture. When you looked down the streets you could imagine the Romans going about their daily lives. The shops still had the counter tops all intact.
The Amphitheatre of Pompeii is the oldest surviving Roman amphitheatre. Pink Floyd held a concert here in 1972 and Dave Gilmour returned for a solo gig in 2016
Human remains were found during excavation and they noticed that the skeletons were surrounded by voids in the compacted ash. By pouring plaster of Paris into the spaces, they were able to preserve the bodies in the exact position they were in when they died. They learnt a lot about how the Romans lived from these remains too.
Also on one of the walls in the House of Venus is a fresco of Venus.
Getting knocked Up
Whilst in Salerno “knock knock” one morning on the side of the boat several times, we didn’t get much time to react. When we came up on deck it was a local fisherman who had a fishing net reel on the back minus the net. We couldn’t work out, owing to the fact our Italian is non existent and his English was as good as our Italian whether he had dropped his net that morning or the day before (in which case it wasn’t marked) but he’d got his net wrapped around and around our anchor. There was no way the fisherman was cutting the net so after about half an hour we managed to untangle it. He then proceeded to drop it on the other side of the bay.