I spend the evening in Salerno, strolling along the Trieste Lungomare and eating seaside at Casamare Via Porto 31. When I awaken the next morning, I lay out my map and plot my course. Route E45 continues to travel where I want to go, so I’ll fly by eye and follow the road from Salerno to Naples. At forty-one nautical miles, it’ll be a short flight.
I lift off shortly after breakfast, the morning sun rising.
E45 winds along the mountains.
Red-roofed houses gleam in the morning sunlight along the Amalfi Coast.
Soon, I fly over Pompei. I’ve been here, long ago, on a rainy day trouncing amongst the ruins. I recall the plaster casts of people entombed in volcanic ash and the looming proximity of the Goliath of Vesuvius. Perhaps it was the rain, or the gloom, but it felt solemn, quiet, like visiting a graveyard.
As the memories play in my mind, Vesuvius appears off my right wing.
Soon after, Naples comes into a view, a sea of buildings dominating my view.
When I set down at LIRN Naples International Airport, Vesuvius still lingers, watching.