Monday, May 9, 2016

Mozzarella, Paestum and a Farewell

Today we were up by 6:00am – woke up before the alarm and got ready for the day. We then went down to breakfast and it was a big spread. There were scrambled eggs, bacon, ham, cheese, different breads, assorted pastries, fruit, yogurt and cereal. To drink there was milk, blood orange juice, pineapple juice, coffee and water. So we sat down to a nice breakfast and enjoyed the view of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Once we were done eating we went back to our room so we could wash our hands and brush our teeth.
Fresh Water Buffalo Mozzarella
We got our day bags and went to the lobby to meet the group. At 9:00am we boarded the bus with a new driver – Giuseppe. Our first destination for today was a mozzarella farm (Tenuta Vannulo - Mozzarella di Bufala) in where they make water buffalo cheese. We arrived around 10:00am and we got a tour of the facility by Stephanie. We saw where they actually make the mozzarella and we got to see the water buffalo. It was interesting and fun to learn about the buffalo.
Water Buffalo
There are quite a few females and only eight bulls and the females start having babies around three years old and that is when they start giving milk. There is a spot where the buffalo can rub up against a bar and get a back massage – they do this on their own. They also get in line to get to the milking machine – it was funny to watch them wait their turn and then walk in and get milked – all on their own. They actually like getting milked since they produce more milk than they need for the calves. Once the tour was done we made our way to a small dining room for some cheese tasting. They served us fresh handmade mozzarella and ricotta cheeses. We also had a lettuce and tomato salad with some bread and wine. The cheese was so good – I liked the ricotta a little bit better than the mozzarella. After we ate we went to the café that they have on the property and we got to choose either a cappuccino, espresso or gelato. Thomas got the cappuccino and I got gelato (caffe and pistaschio). At 12:30pm we boarded the bus for our next destination.

We drove about ten minutes to Paestum – aka Poseidonia - (a UNESCO World Heritage Site).

Temple of Neptune

This is an area of Greek and Roman ruins with a large museum on the grounds. We had a guide (Sylvia) who took us through all the outdoor ruins and gave us plenty of information and history. There are three really nice temples (Hera, Neptune and Ceres) and the ruins of ancient houses.

Close-up of ruins.

There are also ruins of a Roman forum and an amphitheater. This place was founded by the Greeks and colonized by the Romans. After a great tour of the ruins we made our way to the museum (Il Museo Archeologico - Paestum). We saw a lot of artifacts that were found among the ruins. And we learned a lot about the way they lived here. We also got to see some of the painted tombs that were found – a famous one as well – The Tomb of the Diver. After the museum tour we had about 45 minutes to wander the area and souvenir shop before we returned to the bus and headed back to our hotel. Here are a few more links to information about Paestum . . .

Paestum Archaeological Site

Paestum Tourist and Travel Information

Paestum - Ancient History Encyclopedia

When we got back to the hotel we went to the room and put our things away and then decided to head down to the beach. Thomas, Dave and I went up to Floor 0 and then found an elevator outside of the bar area that took us down to the beach.

My walk on the beach.

The elevator is glass and you have a great view as you ride down. Dave went swimming but Thomas and I didn’t have swim suits so we took off our shoes, rolled up our pants and walked at the edge of the water. That didn’t last long because the beach wasn’t sand, it was small rocks and pebbles. We barely lasted five minutes before we put our shoes back on – the rocks really hurt our feet. We walked up and down the beach and picked up some sea glass. Thomas and Dave went back to the room before I did and when I made my way back up the elevator and got to the bar I found Thomas, Dave and Deanne having a drink so I joined them. About 6:00pm we all returned to our rooms to get ready for dinner.


At 7:00pm we met the group in the lobby and boarded the bus to go out to dinner. It was sort of a farewell dinner because five of the group hadn’t signed up for the extension to Naples. So it was a time for us to say goodbye to Teresa, Toni, Mel, Sheila and Lynn. We drove from Vietri sul Mare to Cetara to have dinner at Ristorante San Pietro. For dinner we had a few choices either from a meat menu or a fish menu (you could mix and match). It was a great dinner and we all had a nice time. We left the restaurant somewhere around 9:30pm to head back to the hotel. Once we were back at the hotel Thomas and I got some things packed because we leave the Amalfi coast for Naples in the morning. I am now finishing up pictures and headed for bed. Our trip will soon be coming to an end – but we have a couple more days.

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