Monday the pilgrims ventured from the safety of Roma into the wilds of the Italian rail system that ended up being the ultimate in the comedy of errors. Their story was so outrageous I had to cry foul for a moment or two before finally believing.
The alarm was set for 6 am but the threesome slept through it and did not awaken until 6:45.
Undaunted by the tardy awakening, the teenage boy took his usual casual and prolonged shower. In the end they missed the 7:37 train, but did make the 8:47.
One stop from Naples, the train broke down. Classic Italian efficiency promised a 20 minute delay, only to come back later and admit they had no idea how long the repair would take.
Wingnut and bambini disembark from train and hail a cab. Protracted haggling over cab fare ensued. Victorious, Wingnut managed to talk the cabbie down from 80 euro to 40 euro--this was the highlight of the day.
Naples was then hit by a downpour and roads were washed out. The cabbie had to make several detours before getting the threesome to Napoli Centrale Station. Tickets were purchased for Villa Pompeii and a rickety subway was boarded. Unfortunately, this was the wrong subway and the pilgrims were required to backtrack to the station and board another subway.
Villa Pompeii was finally reached. They had planned on a noon arrival but had missed that by more than 2 hours, still they had 1.5 hours to tour the ancient ruins. The visit would be fast and furious, but it could still be done.
Following signs, they made their way 1/4 mile to the site only to be turned away as it was the exit and not the entrance. Trudging back to the subway station to find the entrance to Pomeii, a thunderstorm struck. Thunder, lightening, gusty winds and horizontal rain stranded the travelers beneath a metal awning. This proved to be the last straw and the pilgrims gave up on seeing the ruins and returned to Naples for pizza.
You would think this would be the end of the misfortunes, but you would be wrong. Still to be endured were the bathroom police, washed out rails, closed pastry shops and lost maps. Ah yes, Pompeii will be remembered.