Scintillating Sicily …

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Sicily has been tantalisingly close ever since we hit Southern Italy – I have heard so much about it from a dear friend who has lived here, and others have said what a fantastic place it is to visit – for the people, the history, the climate and the food. It is the land of prickly pears, huge arancini, gelato, cannoli stuffed full of delicious pastry cream, fresh fish, colourful vegetables, excellent local wines, richly flowering oleanders, brioches served with granita or filled with ice-cream, crazy driving and parking and indolent and sultry afternoons – it is vibrant, colourful, enticing, exciting, and entertaining as you will see from my next few posts – only one place has been a little disappointing …. watch this space.

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We drove from Tropea to Messina with ease and boarding the car ferry was simple – the whole process ran like a well-oiled machine and once on the boat, within thirty minutes we were disembarking at Messina. Setting foot on land, I had the immediate impression Sicily would be spellbinding and it surely is ….

From Messina we drove to Taormina for our first three day stop. Taormina is a stylish town – coastal, historic, elegant, pretty and best of all, relaxing. Our hotel was the Grand Hotel Miramare and grand it is – with an old world elegance reminiscent for me of the Alhambra Palace in Granada. Our fifth floor room had a large balcony and offered an expansive view the bays below. We watched beautiful sunrises and sunsets from there and having a balcony makes for good drying of washing which you can discreetly place in the sun …

Our first mission was to find food – the hotel’s large pool complex serves drinks and lunches so we enjoyed salads in a shady spot before making off into to the town for an orientation stroll, ending with drinks at Cafe Wunderbar overlooking the Bay of Naxos – its a great way to people watch. The passeggiata (evening stroll) was just beginning and the streets and piazzas were filled with well-dressed couples, families with children, lovers, elderly couples, and tourists alike. We completed our first busy day in Taormina with dinner in the hotel terrace restaurant.

 

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Next post – a taste of Taormina

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Tropea … a town of two halves…

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Personally, I left Matera reluctantly – it is a truly unique place and I could have spent hours more exploring it, but Tropea was our next stop – chosen to break our trip after the long drive from Matera.

Frankly it was a little disappointing and we had quite an ambivalent response to it. Tropea is promoted as a lovely seaside resort and the accommodation we looked wonderful – at least from the enticing photos on we saw on the Internet. In reality, Tropea Boutique Hotel, is set among some pretty run down buildings but it stands out from them with its relatively classy sign and quite elegant entrance way.

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We had asked for rooms with sea views, but there were no windows in the rooms, so it felt claustrophobic, and the view was only possible once you stepped out onto the large shared terrace. Once out there, the view was quite enticing if you ignored the dingy buildings below:

The rooms were perfectly adequate, with clean sheets and towels. But it was not a room to relax in … so off we went to explore the town. It was not inspirational during the day with so many business taking the usual long Italian lunch break – it was filled mainly with tourists like us, and locals languishing in restaurants under shade. We chose to keep strolling and not finding much to cause us to linger we decided a drink was in order. We sat outside in the shade with our drinks – a not very good Margherita for me:

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About to have a Margherita

We did find a little bit if local colour:

We returned to the hotel to freshen up and rest after the long drive, then set off again in the early evening in search of food – and something strange had happened. Tropea had come alive – it had a completely different vibe – it was much more colourful and engaging. We continued walking and came upon a lovely little courtyard, which for me felt like something out of a Shakespearean play:

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We were all rather taken with this little haven so we perused the menu and Phil was delighted to find it offered Spaghetti Bolognese (which would be his first in Italy). We tucked this place away thinking we would probably return and after venturing not too much further,  we decided we couldn’t better it and made our way back. We had delicious meals there and really enjoyed the surroundings – it was not on the busier main tourist trails and the ambience was welcoming and relaxing.

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Dinner al fresco

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The Juliet balcony in an apartment over the courtyard

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Pretty vines in the courtyard

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The view down to the church and monastery from our terrace

Early the next morning we rose early to go and explore the area below the hotel and check out the beach. In the morning light, everything looked a little grimy and uninviting, plus there was litter everywhere. It is certainly a perfect location, perched dramatically on high cliffs, but it seems unloved…..

Breakfast on the hotel deck did offer the most amazing views – very much as you would see in a glossy promotional brochure and the breakfast spread was fine – it was wonderful sitting up there in the morning sun looking out onto the azure blue sea – but Sicily was calling …..

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Next post -Sicily!

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Matera weaves its magic …

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We had full day planned today – a return to the other side of the gorge to view it in the morning sun (and luckily the sun obliged), followed by an Ape (ar-pay) tour with one very handsome Paolo, and a two hour walking tour of the Sassi Caveoso in the late afternoon.

After breakfast we set off for the gorge and were please we did, as it looked spectacular:

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The Sassi Caveoso from the other side of the gorge

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A photo bomber

Returning to the villa, we were picked up by Paolo in the cute Ape – it was a bit of a crush and Paolo’s English was basic but we achieved what we set out to do – getting more of an overview and seeing some of the Sassi Barisano on the other side of the Cathedral.

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Best pic I could get of the rather handsome Italian driver….

The ride down to town over bumpy roads and cobbles was an experience in itself – an Ape ride is not to be missed, but soon were in the glowing stone environment of the Sassi (which means stones). I confess to not being able to identify correctly everything in these photos due to Paolo’s strong accent, and being seated in the back seat it was very hard to hear him … but come along for a pictorial ride:

After taking morning tea in a pavement cafe, and buying ourselves a takeaway lunch we walked back to the villa to relax by the pool – lovely in the sun, but the pool was rather cold!

After a refreshing swim and an afternoon siesta we went back to town to meet our guide Silvio – he was excellent – our two hour walking tour with just one other couple was so interesting as he was extremely well-versed and passionate about the Sassi Caveoso. He gave us a enlightening history lesson before embarking on the walking tour including the fact that Matera was the first inhabited European city, and third in the world after Aleppo and Jericho. In 1952, the Italian Government ordered the evacuation of the caves, due to the poor conditions and sanitation which caused severe illness and death – this was viewed as a national shame.   Many of the over 15,000 inhabitants were reluctant to leave but alternative accommodation was provided. Impetus to renew the Sassi began in the 80s and it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993.  Today approximately 3,000 people live there – small hotels have begun to pop up, converting the caves to luxury rooms.

Our walk started from Domenica Ridola and moved on down in the the Sassi which by now was in shade so it was very comfortable . Again the photos will do the talking….

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Silvio giving us a history lesson

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Sassi Caveoso in the shade

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Light divides the Sassi

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The government closed off cave entries after inhabitants were forced to move from them in 1952

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Looking down to the Church of San Pietro Barisano

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Capers grow wild from the putty coloured rocks

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A Rupestrian church

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The rocky environment

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Shade and light in the Sassi

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Church steeples in a line…..

One of the most telling parts of the tour entering a cave which had previously been inhabited, complete with the contents – the further we progressed through the cave and its various levels, the colder it became and it is impossible to imagine what the conditions would have been like with adults, children and livestock housed together:

When the tour concluded, Silvio took us to a bar/cellar, where we were invited to taste local products prepared for us to enjoy  – a selection of delicious pastes spread on small pieces of bread.  Having been treated to a wonderful history lesson in the lanes where The Passion of the Christ was filmed, we decided to return to Van Gogh’s for a final meal in the most amazing and unforgettable town.

Next post: Tropea

Alberobello, Locorotondo and a bit more of Matera …

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Torrential rain foiled our plans to leave early for Alberobello, but we waited it out and as it started to clear we decided to risk it, detouring off the route a little to take in the Sassi Caveoso from the other side of the gorge. It certainly looks very biblical from that side. It was rather gloomy and dim – here is how it looked to us:

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Menacing clouds above the Sassi

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The old and the new

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It is impossible to imagine that these caves were dwellings

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After the detour we decided we would return in the morning if the sun was shining and continued on our way to Alberbello, the Puglian town famous for its limestone trulli (houses). We managed to find a park but as we began walking in search of the lunch and the trulli houses, the skies literally opened. We ducked into a couple of restaurants in search of food and shelter but each had no spare seating. We returned to the first one we had seen and thankfully they were able to accommodate us.

As we sat eating panini, the rain began to abate and sun began to shine  – a relief as we had come to see some trulli and it turned out that we were very near the church behind which there is a cluster of them – they are very attractive and unique because of there conical roofs.  As we neared Alberobello, we had seen many less well cared for trulli in the fields where they are apparently used as sheds, but these whitewashed ones are the star attraction:

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Chiesa dei Santi Medici Cosma e Damiano

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Trulli are found in the area behind the church

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Prisitne and pretty

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The church bell towers

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A trullo down a paved lane

 

Locorotondo was next place on our list but we had limited time to spend there due to our late arrival in Alberobello. It is a white Baroque town and was in a very sleepy state when we arrived. Very few tourists could seen and we virtually had the town to ourselves as we strolled thought the historic centre – a collage follows below:

 

While there was so much more to see in Locorotondo, the afternoon was drawing on so it was time to return to Matera and freshen up after the drenching we received in Alberobello. Later in the evening, we went off in a different direction in search of dinner and came across a rustic cave cucina but it didn’t open until 7.30pm. Directly across from it was Charlie’s, a speakeasy bar so we spent a pleasant hour in there, listening to jazz music while reflecting on what we had seen and looking forward to seeing so much more.

 

Nipping back across the road, we dined in the cave ristorante – it had a great ambience but the food was very ordinary – one of the few disappointing meals we have had here. Speaking of food, for the most part it has been delicious, plentiful, and best of all fresh! The fish has been fabulous and I have become a fan of swordfish….

Next post – Matera, the last magic day

Magical Matera …

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Our journey to Matera was uneventful apart from a long detour due to roadworks. Italian roads are fantastic in our experience – inner city roads situated in historical centres can cause issues for the GPS lady every now and then, but so far we have managed to get ourselves where we want to go..

We arrived at our lovely B&B, Casino Ridola in the early afternoon. It is a small, pretty pink villa and the rooms feature interesting grotto-like ceilings. Both our rooms had Juliet balconies and overlooked the pool.

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Casino Ridola

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Once unpacked, we ventured off into the town to find food as it was after two o’clock. We found a conveniently located parking garage and were soon sitting in ‘Hemingways’ on the Via Domenico Ridola which was busy, with many tourists flocking to the well-known point offering views of the amazing Sassi Caveoso. Later on, we joined those tourists and were blown away with what we saw – layer upon layer of tiny buff-coloured houses cascading down the slopes towards the valley below – and that was just a cross-section of what there is to see in Matera. It is the kind of place that leaves you lost for words ……

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Via Domenico Ridola

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The Sassi Caveoso

Having seen the Sassi laid out before us, we chose to explore some of the shady lanes down past the famous view-point – it was hot and they were cool, but we were soon aware that we needed to take care walking on the large cobblestones made from pietra a trani because they are extremely slippery! We were excited by what we saw in the late afternoon, strolling as we did right up to the C13th Duomo dedicated to Santa Maria della Bruna before returning to the B&B to tidy up and rest a little before we went back for dinner.

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Found me a bike

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The Duomo comes into view

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the roof of the Duomo

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The interior is magnificien t

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Inside the church

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Stunning arches

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Facade of the C13th Duomo

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This stained glass window is outstanding

Having freshened up, we returned to a lovely little ristorante we had seen on the Via Domenico Ridola when we were having lunch. Van Gogh’s provided us with a simply tasty meal and the opportunity to watch the locals enjoying their passegiata (evening stroll), which we joined ourselves later to walk off our filling dinner.

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Playing peepo in Van Gogh’s

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The Museo at the end of the Via Domenico ridola

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The Sassi at night

Next post: Alberobello, Locorotondo and a bit more of Matera

From Praiano to Paestum

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Our last night in Praiano called for a celebration of an amazing week where we stuffed ourselves full of Italian culture, delicious food and excellent local wines, but tonight we pushed the boat out and went to Ristorante Mama – an unprepossessing name but it certainly surprised. We had a superb fine dining meal there, sitting on the rooftop terrace which afforded spectacular views of the coast.

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Looking out ot the coastline from the terrace

Leaving the villa was bitter sweet for me – I loved it and I enjoyed the time we spent with Domenico as he was so informative and quite passionate about the area he knows so well. There were some things we could have done better though – we could have explored the local beach (La Praia) and more eateries in the village for instance, but we wanted to enjoy the amazing panoramic view the villa provided. We have all agreed though, that Sorrento would probably be a better base to work from to explore this area because it so easy to take day trips from there and the town has a wonderful colour and a vibrant ambience.

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LA Praia Beach – Praiano

Having been fondly farewelled via phone by Domenico, and in person by his father who was there tending the garden, we left for Paestum. The drive was easier than expected and we managed to see Minori and Maiori – Maiori has the largest and flattest beach of all the coastal towns and reminded us very much of a Cote d’Azur beach town.

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A bride on the promenade in Maiori

Travelling along the road parallel to the coast leading into Paestum we noticed the roadsides were littered for miles with endless streams of rubbish – bottles, cigarette packets, paper – is was quite astonishing and it is a tendency we noticed all over the parts of mainland Italy.

The drive up to our country house accommodation was promising and when we pulled up to the gates we knew we were going to like the place. Borgo la Pietraia is superb – not only  because of the the location, but also the rooms are stylish and the large pool is well-sited to take advantage of the view – the place was simply restful and calming – a perfect antidote after the last busy week when we had crammed in as much as we could see and do on the Amalfi Coast.

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Borgo La Pietraia – it has commanding position on a hiillside offering panoramic views of the valley below

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The verandah of the suites were we stayed

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Nice breakfast room

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Superb pool

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Not a bad place to chill …

The lovely young receptionist had us quickly settled into our rooms and then we set off to a very interesting place for lunch which she had recommended- a buffalo mozzarella farm call Tenuta Vannulo, which sold mozzarella cheese, yoghurt, chocolates and leather. We sat down to eat in a large room which felt as if it could have been a family dining room. It was packed with families lingering over lunch but we had a mission so we had entree meals (the ravioli in butter and sage was so delicous!) and moved on eagerly to the find the famed Greek Temples of Paestum.

Only once previously have I been completely awe-struck by an ancient ruin and that was when I first saw the Pont du Gard, but the three doric temples at Paestum had a similar effect. They are absolutely stunning in the true sense of the word. They stood under the hot sun projecting a honey-coloured glow – remarkable remnants of an ancient civilisation – enchanting, enticing, exciting….

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The incredible Temple of  Neptune (or Hera II), the best preserved of the three temples, built around 450 B.C.

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Neptune

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Standing in the temples allows you to take in how huge they are

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A lady on the steps of  Neptune (Hera II)

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How did they do this?

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Two blokes in a temple

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A side view of Neptune

 

The temple of Hera is the oldest of the three temples built around 550 B.C. It is less well preserved than Neptune but it is impressive nonetheless.

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Magnificent structures

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A man in Hera

The third temple, Athena stands separate from the other two and is fenced off, so there is is no possiblity of walking through it.

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The temple of Athena

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Athena

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Athena

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Incredible columns

I think we were all rather overcome in the presence of these wonderful structures – they are certainly memorable, and we strolled back to the car from this quiet little place knowing we had seen something very special.

Dinner at the country house was another fine dining treat – we were led to a very pristine white dining room and could see we were in for a treat – with amuse bouche being offered to start, just as they had been at Ristorante Mama. The meal was superb and we all agreed Borgo La Pietraia couldn’t be faulted – its location, the accommodation, the helpful staff, the food and service were impeccable.  It is a true gem, which along with viewing those magnificent ruins, has made our time in Paestum high on our list of favourites so far.

Next Post – Matera

Spectacular Pompeii …

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Thursday dawned wet and stormy so we postponed our trip to Pompeii and Phil and I set off to  explore the lower reaches of Praiano – there was so much we hadn’t seen.

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San Gennaro church – it was closed so we couldn’t see inside…

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It had been pouring all morning so the square in front of the church was wet and slippery

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Wonderful sculptures on the side doors of San Gennaro

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The main doors of the church

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A different view of San Gennaro

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One of the many Conca along the Amalfi Coast

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Exploring the tiny lanes in Praiano – Phil found a friend

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San Gennaro through the trees

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Walking back to Villa Horizon

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Praiano

The next morning we set out early for our drive to Pompeii, expecting to arrive early – what happened in effect however was that we joined the morning commute into Naples! It was not a problem really except that it slowed us down. Arriving in Pompeii it was obvious to see that it is rather a tired and dingy-looking town and we decided it was a good move to flag staying there and to go to Rome instead. That being said the ruins delivered exactly what we had expected – spectacular antiquity.

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In the Teatro Grand amphitheatre – so well preserved!

Parking was easy and we were soon walking past all the usual roadside stalls looking for a guide.

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Passing the stalls outside Pompeii ruins

Roger quickly spied a woman in a navy dress –  she was guide Silvana, an animated Neopolitan with a good command of English – her price was 120 euro for an hour and a half for all of us, so off we wandered as she explained the history and wonders of this amazing place beginning in Porta di Stabla and moving on to the incredible House of Menander:

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Our vibrant guide, Silvana

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An altar in the house

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The colour in the interior is surprising

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Doric columns feature in the peristyle

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The impluvium (into which rainwater from the roof fell

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This fresco is believed to depict Menander

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Clarity of the frescoes surprises

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Human remains of those who could not escape

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There was no escape from the deadly gases

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The preservation of colour is astounding

Since we arrived early it was not too busy but as time wore on the crowds burgeoned as the sun started beating down. Initially the size of the place impressed – 66 hectares, with 44 hectares having been excavated – it was probably just as well as it would take days to explore. We were really after an overview which is what Silvana provided – the main highlights which for the boys included the brothel …

Because there is so much to see in Pompeii, what follows are more photos to pique your interest. It would be fruitless to try to describe everything we saw- Pompeii is far too amazing to even try …

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Cobbled roads and neat kerbs

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Holes in the curb for tethering animals

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A shop with cavities for holding large pots

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Stepping stones and marks from chariot wheels

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This is an electioneering message…

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There are wonderful examples of mosaic floors

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Mosaics!

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The Basilica

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Petrified dog

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Small child

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Nearing the forum

Next post – Paestum

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Confused in Capri …

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We caught a traditional taxi down to Capri town – not the cool red fiat convertible this time…. and started our walk through the town. It was very warm and sticky, and the place was bulging with locals and tourists like us. We stopped at a view point beside the funicular station and I realised I was already feeling a little disappointed… while the views are spectacular from this isle, Capri wasn’t exciting me.

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An art work in Capri

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View from near the funicular

Domenico lead us on to the busy main Piazza Umberto I (Piazzetta) but we didn’t linger –

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Chiesa di San Stefano – the church near the Piazza

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Apparently the Piazzetta is the place to be to sight the rich and famous in pavement cafes and restaurants

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The clock tower in the Piazza

Instead we continued on down through shady lanes looking at the designer shops and noticing that the streets were rather clean – a big tick for Capri as we have noticed rubbish is a ‘feature’ in some Italian towns, especially along the roadsides. Capri, however, had industrious street cleaners working their magic in amongst the throngs. An indication I guess that there is the infrastructure here to cope with the masses.

It was becoming obvious there is money in this place – there are some very luxurious hotels, restaurants and designer shops, with tempting displays of quality goods

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Nice outfits for the boys

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Grand Hotel Quisisana – a luxury hotel in Capri

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Chanel is opposite the hotel

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The Chanel shop

Domenico had another panoramic viewpoint he wanted us to see so we kept walking and came upon a beautiful shaded path along which was the famous parfumier – Carthusia, where I took the chance to try their two newest pefumes – beautiful and surprisingly affordable but not for me….

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Carthusia – heavenly aromas inside

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Continuing on we reached the panoramic view Domenico wanted us to see from the Augustus Gardens – the gardens were small but the view down to the azure waters below in the Bay of Marina Piccola (to the right) and to the huge Faraglioni rock formations on the left was quite something….

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azure blue waters

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Stunning view of the Via Krupp with its hairpin bends

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A couple in the gardens

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The faraglioni ( 3 rock formations, one with a natural opening)

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The Gardens

After the gardens we had little time to do anything more except to return to the funicular station in time to catch our ferry back…

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The ferry wharf is picturesque

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There are plenty of boats to take you to the Blue Grotto

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Leaving the Isle of Capri

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On the way back to Positano

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The sun sets on another wonderful day

I admit to feeling a little confused by my reaction to the town of Capri – several of my friends had been and absolutely loved it. We of course chose not to do the Blue Grotto – none of us was keen, plus we really wanted to make the most of having a native guide with us. It was the town of Capri itself which was a little disappointing, but as for Anacapri – we loved it!

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A quiet street in Anacapri

Next Post – Pompeii

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Captivating Anacapri ~ on the Isle of Capri…

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Following Phil’s quick recovery we were all looking forward to our boat trip to Capri so we set off eagerly to take the Positano bus from Praiano where Domenico met us as organised at the top bus stop. As we walked down to a beach-side cafe I  captured a bit more local colour – I love this place!

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fullsizeoutput_2d2eWhile Domenico went off to sort the ferry tickets we had a coffee under the shade umbrellas and watched the locals go by – a very nice past time in Positano I must say.

Soon we were speeding off on a very smart ferry heading to Capri – around a thirty minute ride and worth every penny of the fare as we were soon to discover:

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Li Galli – islands once owned by Rudolph Nureyev

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Church seen a hill from the ferry

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Coming into Capri

No sooner were we off the boat than Domenico leapt into action and bundled us into a very stylish red Fiat convertible. It was a great thrill ascending to Anacapri in that flash machine – I felt as if I was in a movie….

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As we alighted from the taxi I got the feeling we were going to love Anacapri and that proved to be true.  It is one of two towns on the Isle of Capri and the pace of life up there seemed so relaxed compared to the frenzy we had experienced at the jetty in Capri as we waited for the taxi.   Anacapri is more removed from that frenetic vibe – it is picturesque, historic, and less tourist-oriented from what we saw during our time there.

With the taxi driver paid, Domenico took us to explore the streets of Anacapri and we were captivated. Of course there were shops targeting tourists, but several were closed as is common here during the long lunch break. We wandered at leisure with Domenico enjoying the calm ambience of the streets with their pretty whitewashed shops although the famous Casa Rossa did stand out – it was apparently built by an eccentric American…

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Casa Rossa

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Window in the famous Casa Rossa

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The ubiqitous blue and greens linen

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The shops in Anacapri are very attracive

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Enjoying a shady lane

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The abundant vines were glorious

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Gotta love a decorated bike

Domenico had a treat in store for us when he took us to a quiet Piazza containing the impressive monumental Cathedrale of San Michele. It is an architectural treasure to be sure with its amazing hand-painted tiled floor depicting the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden.

A boardwalk skirts the edges of the floor which allows you to get up close and personal without damaging it but the most spectacular view is from the balcony above the floor.

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Entry to the balcony is via a steep spiral staircase – and it is worth the climb.

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The Church has a beautiful dome and many ornate altars – it was obvious Domenico is rightly very proud of this stunning place:

After our vist to this very special church we continued to explore the town where I took the chance to duck into another very simple whitewashed church to look at the beautiful icons within. It too had a wonderful domed roof.

By this stage we were starting to get a little hungry but Domenico had a viewing point he wanted to share with us – to reach it we wandered along a shady lane which happened to contain a shop where a sandal-maker would make shoes on the spot to fit your foot – how would I resist?’

While my sandals were made we followed Domenico to viewing point and we could see why he wanted to take us there:

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Walking to the view point

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Domenico and his crew

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Looking down to Capri

By now hunger was starting to cause us to fade a bit, so we returned to the shoe shop to pick up my hand-made sandals, followed by a visit to an authentic family restaurant which Domenico assured us we would love – he was right. We had a superb pasta meal with fish fresh from the sea which was served at our table by a skilled waitress who removed fillets from the bone and piled them onto the delicious fresh pasta. This will be one our most memorable meals of the trip.

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traditional fare

Lunch was followed by shopping for Frances and me while the boys took the funicular up to the top of Monte Solaro – both said the view were stunning and the ride was great….

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Next post – Capri

Positano to Amalfi by sea….

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The best laid plans sometimes go awry and today we planned to go Capri with Domenico, but Phil had a bit of a dicky tum so we postponed the excursion. With Phil’s blessing, Roger, Frances and I decided we would really like to look at the Amalfi Coast shoreline from the water so off we headed into the village to catch the bus into Positano. The road was busier than the first day we took the bus and there were some quite hair-raising moments as bus squeezed beside bus along the narrow streets – sometimes so close you could almost touch the passengers in the passing vehicle… not for the faint-hearted.

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Once in Positano we drank in the view again from the top bus stop where we alighted – it is such a picturesque place, with something new to catch your eye on each visit.

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While we waited for our ferry I took the chance to shop for a linen shift – I luckily found the perfect dress which I chose to leave on because it was so warm. While sifting throught the huge array of shifts on sale, it occurred to me that the reason there are so many either rich blue or pretty deep aqua colours is that those hues are reflections of the Blue and Emerald grottos…

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When I returned to the jetty Roger and Frances were sheltering under a shade cloth in the queue for the ferry to Amalfi – we watched several ferries of all shapes and sizes coming along side the wharf to take on passengers or to allow them to disembark.

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Once on our ferry I positioned myself to take photos of the coastline – I was so glad that we decided to make the trip as the view back to shore allows you to see how clusters of houses cling impossibly to the craggy hillsides, churches sit on high hills, hotels perch precariously on rugged promontories, old roads twist and turn along the rocky escarpments, tiny inlets house private beaches dotted with colourful umbrella, caves – both large and small dot the coastline, and boats of every kind take to the water. I am going to let the photos do the talking …

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This photo shows the tiny disused church below our villa in the middle at the top and the villa to the right of it.

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Looking back towards Positano

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A clipper close to Amalfi

As we pulled into Amalfi we decided we would return to Positano on the next ferry as none of us had fallen in love with the town, but there was an half hour wait so we returned to the Pasticceria where we had enjoyed the good coffee and cakes – pushed for time we had to hurry them up a little, but we made it back to the ferry in time to enjoy the ride back.

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The Amalfi wharf

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Delcious cakes in the Pasticceria

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Goodbye Amalfi

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And we zoom off

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How did that tower get there?

 

 

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Praiano – our village and the Church of San Gennaro

Having returned to Positano, we wandered back up to the bus stop through the busy colourful lanes stopping along the way to buy takeaway sandwiches. There was no issue with the bus being full this time and we arrived back to find Phil feeling much better.

The rest of the day was spent relaxing and making the most of the Villa and its panoramic views  – and witnessing another beautiful sunset….

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Another beautiful sunset at Villa Horizon

Next post Capri and Anacapri