On our last morning in Sorrento we packed up our backpacks, said arrividerci to the Hotel Elios and our oceanviews, and hopped on the Circumvesuviana to Pompeii.
Walking around the ancient ruins of Pompeii is pretty incredible, and I couldn't help but feel a little uneasy as I looked up and saw Mt. Vesuvius standing tall in the distance.
It was hot that day, freakishly hot. We bought a frozen water bottle before paying to enter Pompeii, and within an hour the entire bottle had melted and was getting a little warm. Aahh the plight of traveling through Italy in August. =P Okay I may be complaining a teensy bit here, but if you are there in August I really really really recommend buying that frozen water bottle from a vendor outside of Pompeii before you enter. Pompeii is huge, and exploring the city can be exhausting in such intense heat. Oh and, there is one cafeteria inside Pompeii but they don't have frozen water.
Like I mentioned before, Pompeii is huge and can be really, really confusing to navigate through. Also, random rooms and areas will be closed for renovations which further complicates things. Be patient, grab a map, and hey.. download Rick Steve's free Pompeii audioguide. The audioguide really helped us when we were lost by mentioning random points of interest (oh you know like the brothel) that helped us orient ourselves.
After leaving Pompeii, we grabbed the Circumvesuviana back to Naples, then took a taxi to the Naples airport. Once at the airport, we picked up our rental car and took the autostrada (the Italian equivalent of a toll road) to Tuscany. We loved that in Italy the left lane is only used for passing. Ahh if only people in the US could jump on that bandwagon it would be sooo much easier to get from place to place.
The drive from Pompeii to Montepulciano (the hilltop town where we stayed) was beautiful.