Vico Equense, Italy

November 26, 2009 at 02:44PM     Travel Italy

Immediately after graduation in Waterloo on Saturday, I hopped on a plane to Rome (via Frankfurt—all roads may lead to Rome, but all flights to Europe lead to Frankfurt, it seems) and then a train through Naples to the small seaside town of Vico Equense, about an hour south of Naples. My purpose was to attend the QuantumComm 2009 conference and give a talk on my paper The Case for Quantum Key Distribution.

My talk was Monday morning so I was cutting it close. I was working on my talk while sitting on a train platform on Sunday night at 11:15pm. But I got the talk done, and got to the hotel before midnight.

Pool at Grand Hotel Moon Valley
Since it was dark as I was arriving, I couldn't see anything from the train save the graffiti in the train stations around Naples. I woke the next morning to the view at left. My hotel room overlooked the hotel pool which in turn looked out over the beautiful hillside.
Sunset on Vico Equense with Naples and Mt. Vesuvius in the background
From the patio by the pool (where we had our conference coffee breaks), you could then see out over the sea and along the coast to Naples and Mt. Vesuvius (at left). And below is a panoramic view from the hotel patio (click for a full version).

My talk on Monday morning went quite well, with a number of interesting questions afterward and discussion with attendees. On Monday the focus of the conference was quantum cryptography, which was interesting to me. Wednesday's talks as well were interesting, but some of the other days got more into the quantum optics and experimental side of things which was less my bag. Still, I learned a fair bit and it was good to keep up with what's going on in the field.

I spent a couple of days during my week in Italy exploring as well, and I will write about that in upcoming posts.

Sorrento town square
Streets of Sorrento at night
The town our conference was in (Vico Equense) was just a short 20 minute train ride from Sorrento on the Amalfi coast. We went for dinner in Sorrento one evening, and it's a very nice town.

One of the highlights of visiting that area was the food. I love Italian food, and this was really good Italian food. The Caprese salad was incredible and I could not get enough of it. Naples nearby was where the pizza was invented, and the specialty is margherita pizza—just cheese and tomato sauce—my favourite!

Here's a view of Mt. Vesuvius and Naples at night from the waterfront in Sorrento.