When planning our trip to Positano I was naive enough to believe we would pay for our train fares from/to Rome, a cab ride to/from Positano and a few bus tickets.
Being six people, when we go together somewhere, we end up in a Mercedes van. Not because we are posh but because it is the only way to move about.
The buses. The buses are a big NO. They don’t run on time and they don’t run very often. So we pay the considerable ransom to the Mercedes van drivers to get from our villa to town and back most days.
Well, there was that one day some of us got on the bus and others got left behind and Dorothy got elbowed hard by a French-Canadian. Don’t even get her started on that.
Then there was the day we thought we had outsmarted the Mercedes van driver by asking him to let us out at the Y in the road so we could walk the rest of the way to town. He said, “Oh, the spoon? Sure.” We are pretty sure he meant “fork” which was riotous to us but when we stopped at the “spoon” and he still charged us the same amount, that was less funny. Seriously. What. The. Fork.
On the day we chose to go to Pompeii, we hired Giovanni–or Johnny, as David came to call him– to drive us, which he did. But he also conducted a lot of business talking on the phone with one hand, gesturing with the other (he’s Italian after all), texting on his phone and shifting all while driving the perilous roads along the Amalfi Coast. At one point Johnny had to get out and help one bus pass another bus on a road too narrow for either one of them.
Somehow, no one got sick and we made it back safely.
We arranged a private tour guide to take us through Pompeii in three hours. Well. To be fair. Johnny arranged it for us, on the drive there–of course.