Agropoli

Our Home in Velina Italy

Velina is a very small hamlet that is part of Castelnuovo Cilento. It is close to the highway (SP430) that goes north toward Salerno to the A3 Autostrada). It has many shops for pasta, chocolate, pastry, bread, wine, Bufala Mozzarella, Vegetables and clothes. It even has a supermarket (Supermarcato). From our condo we have wonderful views of Stella mountain.

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We also have views of the sea.

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The food here is the best with emphasis on fruits, vegetables, pasta and of course fish.

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The local church is small but old and beautiful. It has very special doors.

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It is perfectly situated near two beaches (Ascea & Casal Velino Marina), many mountain towns and the larger towns of Agropoli and Salerno. Life here is slower. Go to a bar for breakfast and enjoy the local people, After lunch take a walk at the beach or in town. Remember the locals are doing the same so shops close up tight between 2 pm and 4 pm. Dinner is late. Most restaurants don’t open until 7:30 pm. Go to a bar for happy hour.

Tomorrow we talk about the trip north to Rome to catch our flight home to the USA.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Agropoli, Ascea, Autostrada, Bars, Beaches, Bread, Buffalo Mozzarella, Campania, Casal Velino Marina, Castelnuovo Cilento, Cilento, Eating Italian, Europe, General Travel, Italy, Marina Casal Velino, Mountain Towns, Romance, Salerno, Small Towns, Velina, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Paestum, The Greek City in Italy

Paestum is a perfectly preserved ancient Greek ruin in Italy from 600 BC. It was preserved because of a malaria outbreak here in the 18th century. We have written about this ruin before but it is such an important site, we wanted to write about it again. After coming down the mountain from scary town of Castelcivita, we needed lunch and some wine. We headed to Paestum and found a great restaurant just off the ruins property.

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This trattoria was perfect. We sat outside and could see one of the temples at Paestum. Lunch and the wine were perfect. We had parked inexpensively in a lot across from the trattoria. Refreshed we walked up the street to enter Paestum. You have to buy your entrance tickets at the museum across the street from the ruins and then enter through gates to the ruins. The street here is a bit touristy with a lot of trinket stands.

After entering Paestum, we walked the paths through the ruins and saw three great temples and the remains of a coliseum.

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Paestum is located about halfway between The A3 Autostrada at Battipaglia and Agropoli. It is just inland from the sea. The sea here is a gulf and to the south you can see Agropoli and to the north Salerno and the Amalfi Coast. On a clear day you can see the island of Capri. This is a do not miss stop if you are in the Amalfi Coast area.

Tomorrow we visit the beach city of Ascea. It is summer and ones thoughts go to the beaches. This area of Italy has the best beaches around.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Agropoli, Amalfi Coast, Ascea, Beaches, Campania, Castelcivita, Coliseum, Europe, General Travel, Greek Ruins, Italy, Museums, Paestum, Salerno, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Castelabate and Santa Maria Castelabate

Santa Maria Castelabate is a beach resort very near the town of Agropoli in southern Campania. Like most Italian towns it has a sister town, Castelabate, high up in the mountain and walled to protect against pirate invasions. Today the only invasions are from tourists. This town was the location of a very funny Italian movie called Benvenuti del Sud. This is an exaggerated movie on the differences between the Italian north and the south. The video is only in European DVD format (PAL).

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In the movie, a postal worker is assigned here from Milan. He wears a bullet proof vest and is told that the south is the wild west. There is a sign in the town that says here you do not die.

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In the movie the sign was changed to read here everyone dies. The town has an old castle at the top. The best parking is near here on the road up from Santa Maria Castelabate. After several sets of stairs down and small passageways we arrived at the piazza where the film was made.

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The bar at the end of the piazza was the Post Office in the movie.

Near the parking lot is a great place to eat overlooking the cliff down to Santa Maria Castelabate.

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At the base of the mountain on the sea is the beach town of Santa Maria Castelabate. It has a walkway called the Promenade. There are beaches and plenty of restaurants and bars. Parking along the Promenade is easy.

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These two towns have everything for a tourist. The beaches are beautiful, the mountain town has scenic views and the food, as always, is fantastic. Enjoy your stay. The town of Paestum is near here just north of Agropoli. Be romantic in the most romantic country in the world!

Tomorrow we visit Castelcivita for a scary ride up to this mountain town.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Agropoli, Beaches, Campania, Castellabate, Europe, General Travel, Italy, Mountain Towns, Movies, Paestum, Parking Garage, Romance, Small Towns, Southern Italy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Everybody Wants to go to the Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi coast, in Campania southern Italy, is beautiful and has tourists stops like Sorrento, Capri, Positano, Amalfi and Salerno. You can see Naples on the way. If you don’t want to drive how do you get there. Naples has busses and trains from Rome. Getting to Capri (an Island) can only be done by a ferry. The Amalfi Coast is difficult except by car or ferry. Salerno has good train service from Naples.

Many people do not like to drive especially in this area of narrow winding roads. You have two choices:

  1. Hire a driver from Naples or the Naples airport
  2. Take the ferry (hydrofoils) – there are two types the cheaper and slower kind and the higher speed more expensive type. We always opt for the high-speed.

From Naples you can go to many cities by ferry including:

  1. Sorrento
  2. Capri
  3. Positano
  4. Amalfi
  5. Salerno

Then from these cities you can ferry to others. Local ferries stop at many small towns that give you a glimpse of life in Italy. Check schedules and return schedules so you don’t get stranded in a city. You can also go to Agropoli but service is limited and usually requires an overnight.

These cities along the Amalfi Coast are hilly and roads can be very crowded in the summer (especially August). You do not need a car! Take the ferry and enjoy the sea and the beautiful water. We recommend seeing Sorrento, Capri and Ana Capri, Positano and Amalfi. From Amalfi you can take a bus up the mountain to Ravello. Spend at least a night on the Island of Capri. It changes in the evening after the day tourists leave. Spend a couple of nights in Positano. It is a very magical town. Amalfi and Ravello can be seen in a day. Take a ferry in the morning from Positano to Amalfi. See the church and have lunch in the Piazza. Then catch a bus (near the ferry stop) up the mountain to Ravello. You can be back in Positano for a late (Italian style) dinner.

All of these towns are walkable. They are not very big area wise but towns like Positano have many steps. Be prepared. The one road in Positano is steep but saves you hundreds of stairs. On a hot summer day, stop for a gelato. It gives you a break from the steep climb and a refreshing snack.

George & Jo Anne

 

 

Categories: Agropoli, Amalfi, Amalfi Coast, Campania, Capri, Driving in Italy, Europe, Ferries, General Travel, Italy, Naples, Positano, Rome, Salerno, Sorrento, Southern Italy, Trains | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Potenza Italy

Yesterday we spoke about Castellabate and Agropoli. Today we will look at Potenza. Potenza is a city high in the mountains north-east of Agropoli and east of Salerno on the RA5 autostrada. From Rome you take the A1 south to Naples then the A3 south to the RA5 (east). It is in the Basilicata region of Italy.

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Potenza

The population is about 68,000 people. The main sights are:

  1. Duomo
  2. Churches
  3. Old castle
  4. Noble Residence
  5. Roman villa ruins

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Potenza Center

Like most Italian towns it is a fun walk around. You can observe life and Italians being themselves. The center has a piazza with restaurants and bars. Step back in time and enjoy this beautiful city. This is a great place to stay a night or two or an easy ride from Naples or Salerno.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Agropoli, Bars, Europe, General Travel, Italy, Mountain Towns, Naples, Potenza, Rome, Salerno, Small Towns, Southern Italy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Castellabate Italy

Castellabate is a mountain town in Cilento, southern Italy. It is located south of Agropoli. This town was featured in the funny Italian movie, “Benvenuti, Sud”. This DVD is only available in PAL (European format) but does have English subtitles. It is a very funny movie about the perceived differences between the north and south of Italy. We laughed all the way through this movie.

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Castellabate

Like so many seaport areas of Italy, this town has two parts. One is called Santa Maria Di Castellabate and is on the shore with beautiful beaches. It overlooks the bay and you can see the tip of the Amalfi Coast and the Island of Capri. The other is a fortified mountain town called Castellabate. This is a pedestrian town only. You park in one of several parking lots and walk into the center. The views are spectacular. You can see the entire Amalfi coast and Salerno. You can take a ferry to various towns on the Amalfi Coast.

From here you can go to the large city of Agropoli or father north to Salerno. You can also visit the Greek ruins at Paestum (about half way between Salerno and Castellabate. There are hundreds of small beach and mountain towns waiting to be explored. Take your time because each little town has its own treasures to be discovered.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Agropoli, Amalfi Coast, Beaches, Campania, Europe, Ferries, General Travel, Italy, Mountain Towns, Paestum, Salerno, Small Towns, Southern Italy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Small Towns in Southern Italy Pictorial

Our pictorial continues with small beach and mountain towns of southern Campania, Italy.

Vallo della Lucania

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Castelnuovo Cilento

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Marina Casal Velino

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Paestum

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Salento

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Acciaro

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Santa Maria di Castellabate

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Maratea

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Old Town Agropoli

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Pisciotta

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Wherever you go in Italy, you see old beautiful towns. Each make their own foods, wines and olive oils. Give yourself and your tastebuds a vacation … go to Italy and experience the real people and places. Don’t settle for a tour with bad food. Enjoy life and be romantic!

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Agropoli, Beaches, Campania, Casal Velino, Castelnuovo Cilento, Cilento, Eating Italian, Europe, Italy, Maratea, Marina Casal Velino, Mountain Towns, Paestum, Pisciotta, Small Towns, Tour Groups, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Paestum, Italy

Have you been to the beautiful Amalfi Coast? If you are planning a trip, there is a lesser known place just south of Salerno called Paestum. Paestum is an ancient Greek city located in the Campania region of Italy. It was founded 600 BC. It is also where the Allied Soldiers landed to defeat the Germans and drive them out of Italy. It is located on the sea with Salerno about 27  miles (1 hour) to the north and Agropoli 5 miles (19 minutes) to the south. There is a modern outlet mall nearby.

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 The buildings to see are:

  1. Temple of Athena –  shown above
  2. Temple of Hera
  3. Roman Forum
  4. Roman Amphitheater

These still stand and are magnificent to see. They are in better shape than most monuments in Greece. There are ruins (just foundations) everywhere. This is an easy site to get to. There are two roads between Agropoli and Salerno. One runs along the sea and has beautiful views of the sea. The other is a good road with gas stations, bars and restaurants. It runs between Agropoli and battipaglia. Then you get on the A3 Autostrada to Salerno or Naples. The sea is the Tyrrhenian Sea which is separated from the Mediterranean Sea by islands and Sicily.

Salerno is a large city with an ancient old town. Agropoli, we spoke about yesterday, has great beaches, an old town and a large city. The A3 Autostrada links Naples (and the A1 Autostrada to the north) to the south and Sicily. This area ia very mountainous with mild climates all  year-long. The mountain tops can have snow in the winter.

Tomorrow we will speak about another ancient Greek site from the same period called Velia.

George & Jo Anne

 

 

Categories: Agropoli, Campania, Europe, Italy, Naples, Salerno | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Old Town Agropoli

Agropoli is a large city in the province of Salerno and region of Campania, Italy. It covers about 15 sq, miles and has a population of 20,600 people. The city has a beach, hospitals and many businesses. It also has a railway station on the Naples line. The SP 430 highway starts near here and runs south. The A3 autostrada is nearby as well. The closest larger city is Salerno.

Near the center of town is a large harbor and a small mountain that leads to the old town. You can’t drive in old town but you can park by the harbor and walk in. All the streets (pathways) head up the hill. Most soon turn into stairs. As you get to the top there is an old gate. Passing through the gate brings you into old town. You can find small restaurants, pizzerias, ancient churches and an old castle. The castle has a moat around it which is now filled in with grass and used as a parking area for deliveries. Climbing more stairs leads to the draw bridge entering this fantastic old castle. Each turret on the castle affords a magnificent view.

The views in each direction are amazing. You can see the harbor, the beaches and south towards Castellabate. You will need your GPS to get in and out of Agropoli. There are many turns and very small streets. It is easy to get lost. Once at old town, you are brought back in time. The present time seems a long way off. Life here is simpler. Stop at a bar and have a drink or coffee. Observe the locals. Say hi (buongiorno). Italians will smile an answer you back, buongiorno.

From Agropoli it is a short car drive to the ancient town of Paestum.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Agropoli, Beaches, Campania, Eating Italian, Europe, Italy, Trains | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to buy a Place in Italy – Part 15

We wake up to another beautiful day in Italy. The sun is out and the mountains are aglow. We can see the water of the sea shimmering in the sun light. As most days, we start at Isola Verde for breakfast and our portion of high-test coffee. We sit like the Italians, relaxing and watching those around us. We can see bathers on the beach and waking on the sidewalk in front of us. We connect to WiFi and connect to family and friends. Some may question technology in such a beautiful place but we have a need to stay connected to those we love and miss. The week is half over but we don’t want to think about that just yet. We plan our day. Thinking about the small and large cities around us. Which should we visit today. Agropoli is the largest city nearby. Our bank is located there. We have been there but not to the old city. We have read about an old church and the castle. We decide to make our day trip there.

The Drive on the highway is easy until we get to the part that was destroyed by the rain. We are diverted off onto a mountain road. It takes about 10 minutes longer. We arrive in Agropoli and you need your GPS turned on. We use Tom Tom Western Europe on our iPhones. The streets are narrow with lots of twists and turns. The city is large and you can easily get lost. Finally we arrive in the old town area and look for parking. George finds spaces near the marina at the foot of old town. You buy a ticket (biglietto) at a machine for so many hours of parking. We can not see the ticket machine anywhere. George asks some people nearby and they don’t know. They ask others and finally we discover the machine is about a 1/4 mile away. After getting our ticket and displaying it in the car window, we head up the steep streets toward old town.

These streets are lined with shops that we browse. After awhile the street (pedestrian only) is so steep it just turns into a set of steps.

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You are rewarded for the climb by seeing a beautiful old church and a castle at the top of the hill. It has a moat (which is now grassed and serves as a parking lot and delivery entrance. From the castle are magnificent views of the harbor far below.

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 That evening we had our first guests to our house. We had some prosecco and then went to dinner together. Dinner was wonderful! We ate at a restaurant called Mama Angelina’s in Marina Casal Velino. It was on the street by the beach. We had a seafood dinner. Plates just kept coming. More fish and more fish. Finally we had to say BASTA (enough)! The food, wine and company were delightful.

Later we sat on our deck and watched the starry night. The sky is alive with stars here. We don’t want to go to bed because we might miss something spectacular. Tomorrow is another day … we will discuss Thursday in paradise tomorrow.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Agropoli, Campania, Casal Velino, Eating Italian, Europe, General Travel, GPS, Italy, Owning a home in Italy, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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