Two firsts so far today: dipping my toes into the Mediterranean Sea and laying eyes on Mt. Vesuvius. We are winding our way down the coast of Italy on a five day trip that will take us to Naples, Pompeii, Amalfi, and Paestum, and our first stop was a small town called Sabaudia.
We left Rome on the historic Appian Way, a road that runs straight South from Rome and across the alluvial plain between the mountains and the Mediterrianian Sea. The ancient Romans recognized the potential of the fertile soil in this low lying area, but for mellinia were unable to adequately drain it. After WWI, thousands of jobless veterans looked to Rome, and were unable to find work. With the introduction of extensive drainage and pumping infrastructure, the area was drained and five colonies were planned for the area in order to create jobs and cultivate additional land. Sabaudia was designed by architects in the rationalist tradition, and was built in 253 days. The city has ties to the ancient world with a grid that features two primary axises which intersect in a large center square.
We spent awhile looking at civic buildings, which are severe and modern in their appearance.Stephen and I grabbed porchetta sandwiches, and speed walked across a bridge spanning the city’s lake and a spit until we reached the Mediterranean.
The view out the bus’ window is now more enticing than writing this post, so I’m signing off for now.