Italy’s Amalfi coast, Positano town.
***Amalfi Coast, one of Italy’s most scenic coastlines, stretches between Sorrento and Salerno with dramatic cliffs and picturesque resort villages with close-packed, steeply terraced houses on cliffs, including the classy, upmarket resort town of **Positano or the artist’s favourite Italian destination (among others, D. H. Lawrence, Gore Vidal, Greta Garbo), **Ravello. Ravello’s dramatic Villa Rufolo offers concerts through the summer until the end of October. The views are breathtaking, as are the prices so budget travellers will need to do a lot of leg work.
Blog Post – Southern Italy in winter – Hi bugcrew…
Just back from our trip with a great many souvenirs of Naples splattered liberally over our arms, hands, legs, faces and bodies.
When we woke up Day 1 we couldn’t work out why our eyes were all swollen, like aliens. We did not imagine it was an allergic response to the little critters who’d been feasting on us in the bed.
Day 2 and husband looks like he has measles. I explain in my non-existent Italian that there are animals in our bed biting us and the receptionist does not look at all surprised but changes our room.
Day 8, back in the UK, the bites take a turn for the worse and I have to take Piriton to stop the itching and get to sleep. Very strange toxin. In all our days of grotty travelling, this is the first time we get bed bugs – in a 3* hotel! Mind you, Naples is the filthiest, strangest, scariest, most ill-organised and anarchic city we have ever seen. You have to go there. No, don’t. It also has the best pizza I have ever tasted – by far.
An area of superlatives – Pompeii and Herculanium totally fascinating and outstanding.
Vesuvius covered in snow – closed but that never stopped us. Husband slithered the car through thick snow as far as we could go, then nipped through a fence and trudged up in the company of a pack of large dogs, which seem to accompany you wherever you go in this part of the world – the crater immense, steaming, extraordinary how half a vast mountain can re-locate in a very short period of time.
Herculanium was covered by sixty feet of volcanic material – it used to be on the beach, but the sea is now 800m away!
The Amalfi coast lived up to its reputation of being the most beautiful coastline in Europe – tho’ a bit of sunshine would have made it even more beautiful.
Stayed in the most outstanding B&B in the world, I’m sure – tell everybody to go there – Villa Oriana, Sorrento. It was sensational – the welcome, the view, the fire, the lemon groves, the room, the breakfast, the level of care.
Walked the Pathway of the Gods and that was amazing – tho’ started in the rain. Have to say, the weather was crap. Also, only Feb but so little space that cars were parked everywhere and it was hard to find a space. It must be hell in summer. The hotel keeper told us that everyone travels by boat as the roads are impassable.
So that was our holiday. Not as relaxing as our usual breaks – the weather, the bugs, the ugliness of trash city and its vast sprawl and the endless cars lining the wonderful coast roads.
Scratch that, Mandy
Naples, the true home of the pizza, is not one of Italy attractions for us – it’s polluted, noisy, shabby and chaotic, making the old saying ‘see Naples and die’ sadly ironic. It can be a fascinating city though, if you live like a Neapolitan and watch your wallet constantly.
The Museo Archeologico Nazionale is worth checking for Greek and Roman artefacts and Naples is an ideal gateway to Pompeii, Herculaneum, the Villa Oplontis and the island of Cápri. See our Italian Islands Guide.
The resort of Sorrento, a package-tour favourite, can be another good base for those sights.
***Pompeii, one of the greatest Roman cities was abruptly terminated by Mt. Vesuvius’ eruption in 79 AD; it offers magnificent walks along genuine Roman alleyways past well-preserved villas, bars, bathhouses and brothels in Europe’s greatest archeological site. Although a combined day-ticket with Herculaneum is available, it is rather optimistic to do both, since seeing Pompeii alone should take 5 to 6 hours. It opens 8. 30am-6pm in the summer and until 3. 30pm in winter.
**Herculaneum, another Roman site buried under the lava of the Vesuvius is smaller and less impressive but better preserved than Pompeii.
**Paestum, magnificent ruins of a 7th century BC Greek city, with three of the world’s best preserved Doric temples and a fine archaeological Museum. An hour bus or train from the port town of *Salerno.