Around Italy in three weeks – week three  0

After two wonderful weeks in Italy there was another week ahead. Exciting places waiting for us!For day 15 I planned a route that I wanted to do for so long! I was so excited! We would spend the day at the famous Amalfi Coast! Driving along the Amalfitana, the narrow road with the glorious views at this beautiful coast and villages.

Starting from Paestum, we passed Salerno, a city we should definitely take a look at next time. But our first stop for this day was Vietri sul Mare, the first village of the Amalfi Coast and famous for its ceramics.

I had the plan to buy beautiful plates. We strolled through the nice old town, where ceramics are everywhere, on the walls and of course in the shops. Shopping was successful!

Then we drove up the mountain, because the next village to visit is high above the coast line. –  Ravello!

 

I saw pictures of the Terrace of Infinity before and wanted to see it with my own eyes. Through the garden of Villa Cimbrone, now a Hotel, I reached the terrace: it is not big, but the view is really overwhelming! The ground falls steep to the sea, you can overlook the coast and the statues are beautiful. It was worth it!

After this we had Pizza in the Restaurant Vittoria.

Then an espresso at a bar on the piazza and we had to leave beautiful Ravello.

The road down again is one way and this time we didn`t wait long. And then: Amalfitana, the famous road!

As I had read before, it was narrow, curvy and crowded. But. It is so beautiful! Picturesque! Stunning!

Amalfi and Positano were so crowded, it was impossible to get a parking place. But I don`t mind. Maybe it is better to visit those villages out of season. Not in August.

After driving the complete Amalfitana, we reached Sorrento. What a day! From Camping Bluegreen, at the high coast of Sorrento, we enjoyed a wonderful sunset with sight on the island of Capri. The camping was surprisingly empty, but we had already end of august….

 

Day 16: this day excursion started at the railway station of Sorrento. Tickets to Pompeji!

The roman town was buried under the ashes of vulcano Vesuvio nearly two thousand years ago.

The archeological site is really big and one has to come early to avoid the crowds. The excavated buildings and streets, the floor mosaics, the wall frescos, all utilities found under the ashes are so impressing. You can imagine how life was in this town before the Vesuvio covered it. Very touching are the plaster- -casts of human beings dying in this catastrophy.

After spending hours exploring the streets and houses it was getting too hot and too crowded. The rest of the day we spent in Sorrento.

High coast means: if you want to go to the beach, you must go really, really far down! The beach had black sand and was small and very, very crowded. And after this we had to go steep up where we came from! A kingdom for a vespa! Can you spot the beach on the first picture?

 

 

 

Day 17: special excursion: Capri!

By bus we went to the port, which is: surprise! steep downhill! We took the ferry to the Island of Capri. This little island is very famous for its beauty, the rich and beautiful people, the lemons…. So we took a look.

 

There were so many people in the harbour Marina Grande and most of them wanted to take the funicular up to the village Capri,  just as us. From the main square the crowds moved into the narrow streets.

The village is quite pretty, one can find calm spots, but the main streets with all the famous (Dolce and Gabbana!) and expensive shops are very crowded. Capri is exclusive and expensive. Nevertheless I bought a small bottle of perfume at Cartusia.

We tried lemon slush, very refreshing on a hot summer day. Because we couldn`t find an affordable restaurant, we went to the bakery to get spicy and sweet food. Delicious!

 

After walking, resting, looking, enjoying Capri village we took the funicular down to Marina Grande. We needed a bath and placed us at the nearby beach.

Before waiting for the ferry, we ate Pizza in a small restaurant and had the famous ice cream Gelato al Limon.

We reached Sorrento at sunset, the light was so beautiful!

A bus took us the steep road up into town. It was a bit difficult to come back to the camp, because in Sorrento was the White Party this night and busses didn`t go on plan. So it was dark when we walked back very, very tired after this beautiful day in Capri.

Day 18 started slowly, still tired from the days before. In the afternoon we took the car to go to Pozzuoli. We wanted to visit an active vulcano. The vulcano solfatara is so easy to visit. Parking, getting tickets and you can walk around until you reach the middle of the crater.

There are no more plants, it is like walking on the moon. Dusty, hot. At some spots you can feel the heat and see sulfur changing from yellow to a orange – red colour which means it is very hot!

Sulphur vapour comes out of the ground, it hisses and puffs. Under your feet it is getting very hot. In some holes it bubbles and steam is rising. Over all is the scent of sulfur. This place is a little intimidating although the houses of the town reach until the edge of the crater. And INSIDE the crater there is a camping place, but the whole area is not crowded.

After shopping in a local supermarket we took the way back to Sorrento along the whole Golf of Napoli. This was a long way, too many cars on the streets! So we had sunset in the car, driving the coast back. Not too bad.

What was left to do in the Golf of Napoli? A visit to Naples of course!

This was the programme for day 19. Again we took the train (it is still not recommended leaving cars in Naples) to the town. Naples has the reputation of being dirty and dangerous. Well, we wanted to check that out.

We wandered the narrow streets of the old town. It has its charme. There are beautiful places and churches to see.

I took pictures of a great variety of street art and graffity.

 

And we saw the famous Galleria Umberto I. One could spend more days in Naples, see more than we did, but I only wanted to feel the atmosphere of this town, not hunting for sights. So this was the last excursion in the Golf of Napoli.

On day 20 we packed, checked out and took the highway north. Direction Umbria. We passed Rome and spent lunch time in Perugia. A very old town with a famous university. And it`s pretty.

But our destination this day was: Assisi. The town of the Holy Francesco. A place of pilgrimage. Because the weather forecast was bad for us (rain!), I decided to rent an appartment for two nights in the middle of the old town of Assisi. Difficult as always when I do something like this (renting a flat in the middle of an old town because it is so beautiful!): How get there? Sometimes you are allowed to drive into old towns, but parking is impossible! Same here. At last we arrived in our flat, just beside the church of the Saint Clara, a pretty pink – white striped church at a wonderful square overlooking the wide landscape!

This night we were sleeping in beds for the first time in three weeks, we didn`t care for the thunderstorm outside.

Day 21: half of the day we spent in the appartment, chilling and doing laundry. In the afternoon the sun came out again and we visted Basilica Santa Chiara and walked through the picturesque town of Assisi to the famous Basilica di San Francesco. This is so impressing!

Not only the wonderful and colourful frescos inside the churches, the whole area with the wide view is a very special place. So glad we came here to the end of this long journey.

This evening we had our last italian dinner in a typical restaurant. “Il Duomo” in the old town of Assisi. Perfect ending.

But still not the end of the road!

Day 22 was the way back home. We crossed the beautiful landscape of Umbria , passed Bologna and spent a lot of time on the highway with some traffic -jams. After passing Milano, the direction was: over the alps. Well, I don`t know how, but I took a wrong branch on the highway…. so we couldn`t take our usual way home from Italy. I decided to take the road over the Pass Lucomagno in Switzerland. This was so good: very few cars on the street, beautiful landscape… For the break outside the car we didn`t have enough clothes on, it was so cold!

What a nice ending point for this interesting journey!

 

 

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