Ascea

Southern Campania’s Beach Resorts

Everyone knows about the Amalfi Coast. Positano, Sorrento and Capri are world-famous. The beaches at Positano are lava rock not sand. The beaches farther south in Campania are pure sand. The sea is very calm and gentle in the summer but violent with large waves in the winter. Jo Anne and I chose a second home in this area for both the beautiful beaches and high gorgeous mountains. Imagine laying on the beach feeling the sand, sun and water as you look at the mountains around you. There are four branches near us.

Marina di Casalvelino

This is a beach resort in every sense of the word. There are plenty of restaurants in walking distances as well as some great bars. There is a supermercato across from the sea. The main road at the beach has restaurants and stores on one side and the beach with palm trees on the other.

 

YouTube VLOG on Marina Casalvelino

The beach is large and beautiful. You can choose free beaches and take your own chairs and umbrella or a club that charges a fee, around 20 Euros/day (Discounts for larger time periods), for two chairs, and umbrella with a small table, free WiFi and music. These clubs also have restaurants that serve wine, prosecco, beer and food. We love this option as it is relaxing with no worries or hassles. There is a great market just off the beach each Friday.

There is a large marina here where you can rent boats or hire someone to take you out, There is a good train with connections to Salerno, Naples and the rest of Europe.

Ascea

Ascea is just south of Marina di Casalvelino and is another great beach. It has less foreign tourists and more Italians on vacation than does Marina di Casalvelino. This beach has similar free beaches and club options. There is a great market by the beach each Thursday.

This city is larger than Marina di Casalvelino and has many interesting small shops. We have not yet done a YouTube VLOG on this beach resort but it is coming soon. There is a good train with connections to Salerno, Naples and the rest of Europe.

Marina di Camerota

Marina di Camerota is a small beautiful city. This beach town is about a half hour drive south of Marina di Casalvelino. The beach areas are very small but the water is crystal clear with tints of green and blue colors. There is a large marina here where you can rent boats or hire someone to take you out, Take time to walk around this small town.

YouTube VLOG on Marina di Camerota

Palinuro

Palinuro is another small beach town just north of Marina di Camerota. You can easily walk this town. There are good restaurants, bars and gelaterias. The beaches are small like in Marina di Camerota but worth a visit. Our VLOG on this town will be published Monday January 9th.

Italy has some of the greatest beaches in the world and the water at these beaches consistently win a Blue Flag Award for cleanliness.

Be romantic at the beach …

– George

 

Categories: Ascea, Bars, Beach Resorts, Beaches, BLOG, Blue Flag Beaches, Campania, Capri, Casal Velino, Casal Velino Marina, Eating, Eating Italian, Europe, Food, Gelato, General Travel, Italian, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Marina Casal Velino, Marina di Camerota, Mountain Towns, Mountains, Naples, Palinuro, Positano, Prosecco, Romance, Salerno, Small Towns, Trains, Traveling without a tour, VLOG, WiFi, Wine, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Magnificent Views of Italy

It doesn’t matter where you are in Italy. There are views and eye-catching sights everywhere. You can be in a big city looking at a famous monument, on a small street, looking at a small city high up on a mountain, at the beach, climbing stairs or sitting at a small trattoria. Italy is all about its architecture. It has a personality all to itself. Here you stand on ancient roads, some dating pre-Roman. You feel and see its history. At the same time there is a modern culture all around you. iPhones, iPad and computers are everywhere. Most bars have free wi-fi service.

We come to Italy for the food, the people and these views. I love the feeling of being in an ancient place. Thinking about those ancient people and what they did, what they felt. Was their life that different from ours? These views can talk to you! Just listen and hear what they are saying. This is not a country to be rushed. Stop, relax and take in these views. Listen to them. Imaging yourself back in those times. Soon your modern problems give way to an appreciation of this great history.

My wish to all my readers is to be able to travel. experience another culture. Enjoy life more. There is so much to experience and learn. Pick a place you are passionate about and visit it. Put it on your bucket list. life is short but memories are forever.

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My passion is Italy, what is yours?

George

Categories: Amalfi, Amalfi Coast, Ascea, Beaches, Campania, Capri, Casal Velino Marina, Coliseum, Driving in Italy, Duomo, Europe, Florence, General Travel, Greek Ruins, Italy, Mount Vesuvious, Mountain Towns, Mountains, Perugia, Planning a vacation, Ravello, Regions of Italy, Romance, Rome, Siena, Small Towns, Smart Phones, Sorrento, Southern Italy, Spanish Steps, Stairs, Traveling without a tour, Tulli, Tuscany, Umbria, Velina, Venice, Villa Brunella, WiFi | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Blue Flag Beaches

Blue Flag is an award given to world beaches that have achieved a high eco-rating and trusted by millions of people. There are 4,154 beaches in 49 countries that have received the award. You can trust a beach rated with the Blue Flag as being clean of pollution, medical waste, etc. These are the beaches you want to visit worldwide. Click on the link above to get more information.

Italy works hard on their beaches and environment. You can find the Blue Flag awarded beaches from north to south along both coasts. Where ever you travel in Italy you can find a clean beach. Look up your area at the link above. Support this wonderful ecological system by visiting only awarded beaches.

Jo Anne & I have many beaches in our area of Italy that have the Blue Flag including the two closest beaches Casal Velino Marina and Ascea. We are lucky to have clean beautiful beaches so close.

Beaches of Italy

George

 

Categories: Adriatic Sea, Amalfi Coast, Ascea, Beaches, Blue Flag Beaches, Casal Velino Marina, Europe, General Travel, Italy, Marina Casal Velino, Traveling without a tour | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Top Beaches in Southern Campania Italy

Who doesn’t like a good beach on a hot summer day. If you have been reading our BLOG, you know that Italian beaches have clubs that give you a chase lounge or two, table and umbrella. They have great food service or you can bring your own, You can also go to nearby stores to get a pizza or panini. They serve all kinds of drinks right on the beach. A prosecco in a glass on the beach is divine!

There are many different types of beach in Southern Italy. Some with lava stone, small rocks or sand. All of these beaches are awarded the much coveted Blue Flag status.

Here are a small list of beaches to visit:

  1. Amalfi Coast – There are numerous small towns along the stretch from Positano to Salerno. Each may be on a beach or high above with stairs down. Some beaches are reachable only by boat. These beaches tend to be lava rock but the water is great. Pack a lunch and enjoy them.
  2. Capri – This island has two main beaches but they are small and heavy in boat and ferry traffic. Capri may not have the best beaches to relax on but is well worth a visit.
  3. Agropoli – has wonderful beaches and great for boating. This is a major town with an old section high up and worth exploring. The high-speed train stops here.
  4. Santa Maria Castellabate – This is a wonderful seaside town with small but nice beaches and a great promenade. There is the old mountain town of Castellabate high above and waiting to be explored.
  5. Casal Velino Marina – This is our beach town. It can get very crowded in August. The beach is wonderful sand. The waves are non-existent in the summer which makes it idea to swim and for small children. The beach clubs are wonderful. Friday is market day and an entire street is closed to an open air market.
  6. Ascea – We often go to this beach town as well. The sand has small pebbles but it is soft. There are beautiful rocks along the waterline. There are also great clubs here. Thursday is the market day and worth a visit. It is located on the road that parallels the beach. There is a train stop in this town.
  7. Sapri – Is a small town with a high-speed train stop along the sea. It is a cove with beaches and a great promenade.

Many of these towns have ferry services or small boats that can take you to other towns. You have so many choices in this part of Campania and it is home to the world-famous Mozzarella di Bufala. Have breakfast in a bar by the sea, have lunch in a restaurant or get a panini at a bar. There are so many choices of restaurants for dinner. This is paradise for both the beach goers and the explorers. Enjoy!

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Amalfi Coast, Ascea, Bars, Beaches, Blue Flag Beaches, Buffalo Mozzarella, Campania, Capri, Casal Velino Marina, Castellabate, Europe, Ferries, General Travel, Italy, Mountain Towns, Panini, Pizza, Positano, Prosecco, Ristorante, Salerno, Sapri, Small Towns, Southern Italy, Trains, Traveling without a tour | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Top Places to Visit in Southern Italy

Southern Italy has so much to offer. It is different from the north but has great places to see, great food to taste and wonderful people to meet. First let’s look at some of the differences:

  1. Fish – Is the main food in the south. There are meat dishes but great fresh fish is so prevalent.
  2. Language – Italy is barely 150 years old. It was formed by individual and warring states (small countries). As the Italian country was formed, Italian became the official language as it was spoken in Bologna. Each small state had their own languages and dialects. To this day the dialect is still spoken.
  3. Beaches – The south has many of its cities built on the coast. Beaches are important. Each seaport had a walled castle town in the mountains nearby. These would protect the people from pirates. These have become major resort areas for Italians and other Europeans.
  4. Wines – Wines and Olive Oil are a local made commodity throughout Italy. They differ by region and should be experienced as you travel. Always order the local wine.

The main places that should be on your bucket list are:

  1. Naples – Modern Naples is trying to clean up its act as a dangerous city. It is very old and poor but there is so much to see here. Most of what we think is Italian in America comes from the south and much of it from Naples. This is the birth place of Pizza and spaghetti with red sauce.
  2. Amalfi Coast – This very rich area is the vacation spot of the rich and famous. The island of Capri, Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi and Ravello are very beautiful. Each town is built on a mountain side and worth a visit. This is an area of ferries, steps and steep hills.
  3. Casal Velino Marina & Ascea – Two resort towns with beautiful sandy beaches. Ascea has a train station and Casal Velino Marina is very close to the north.
  4. Alberobello – A very unusual town with dome-shaped homes. You can not change the architecture of a building in this town. These homes are called Trulli.Alberobello
  5. Sicily – This is a beautiful island with many ruins, great cities and an active volcano. Many Italians argue it is not part of Italy.
  6. Ischia Island – This is a beautiful island off the coast of Naples in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Ischia is the name of the main port town on the island. The architecture is old and city is beautiful.
  7. Procida Island – Is another island between Ischia and Naples. The architecture is middle ages and a great place to explore.
  8. Matera – A town in the region of Basilicata southern Italy. The historical center is well-known and called the Sassi. Homes were built into the side of a mountain. This is one of the oldest civilizations on Earth. It is dated from the Paleolithic Period.

There so many other small mountain and beach towns that are worth a mention but too numerous to list. Just get out and explore each region.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Alberobello, Amalfi, Amalfi Coast, Ascea, Beaches, Capri, Casal Velino Marina, Europe, Ferries, Food, General Travel, Italy, Matera, Mountain Towns, Naples, Pizza, Positano, Ravello, Sassi, Sicily, Small Towns, Sorrento, Southern Italy, Stairs, Trains, Traveling without a tour, Truilly, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ascea & Velia Pictorial

Just south of Marina di Casal Velina is another beautiful beach town called Ascea. As you enter the town from the north, you pass ancient Greek ruins of a large port city called Velia.

Ascea has a population of just under 6,000 people. It has public and private beaches similar to Marina di Casal Velino. It is in the Province of Salerno, Region of Campania. There is a train station here that you can take it from Salerno or Naples.

Velia was called Elia by the Greeks. It is now a wonderful outdoor museum. You can walk among the ruins and get a sense of life. It was founded between 538 and 525 BC by the early Greeks. It was a port town on the Tyrrhenian Sea.

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Beautiful shells on the beach

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Tower at Velia

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Ruins of Velia

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Ruins of Velia

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Ruins of Velia

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Tower at Velia

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Thursday is market day in Ascea

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The beaches of Ascea

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Lunch at the beach

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View from our lunch table

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The beach club

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Lunch

Enjoy the beach with huge mountains in the background. Nature is exceptionally beautiful here. Days are slow here and the food is fantastic. Relax on the beach or take a tour of Velia. Life is to be enjoyed. Be romantic, slow down and enjoy what you have.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Ascea, Beaches, Campania, Casal Velino Marina, Europe, General Travel, Greek Ruins, Italy, Museums, Romance, Small Towns, Southern Italy, Trains, Traveling without a tour, Velia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Ascea Beaches in Italy

Ascea is a beach town south of where we live in Campania. It has a long road along the beach with plenty of sandy beaches. It is a Blue Flag beach.

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These beaches have a gentle rolling surf and wonderful views of the surrounding mountains. You have two choices at these beaches:

  1. Free public area – Bring your own umbrella and chairs.
  2. Clubs – Pay and get umbrella, table and chase lounges

The clubs usually have free WiFi and music. You can also have a lunch at them. Lunch is not just sandwiches and pizza but swordfish, pasta and salads. You can also get beer, wine and prosecco with lunch or at your table on the beach. The food is wonderful and you have great views.

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On Thursdays the close a section of the beach road and set up vendor stalls for a market. This market is mostly clothes and kitchen ware.

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There is a train that stops here from Salerno, Naples and Rome. It continues south to Sicily.   When going to Ascea, don’t miss Velia and ancient Greek ruin. This was a huge seaside city in ancient times.

VELIA

This is the way to enjoy the beach Italian style. Enjoy!

Tomorrow we travel south along the coast to the seaport of Scario.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Ascea, Blue Flag Beaches, Campania, Cooking, Eating Italian, Europe, General Travel, Italy, Southern Italy, Trains, WiFi, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

Best Beaches in Italy

Italy is usually thought of as a place to see ancient ruins and great museums. It is also a place to enjoy great food, chocolates, gelato and wine. Italy is also known for great beaches. They use a Blue-Flag designation to indicate clean great beaches. Italy has many of them. The water is greenish near shore and dark clear blue farther out. The sand can be white soft sand, volcanic black sand or rocky. Most Americans want the white soft sand.

The travel Channel listed the top beaches in Italy:

  1. Amalfi Coast –  The best and most crowded areas are between Positano and Amalfi. Many beaches are eroded and are of the volcanic black type of sand or small pebbles. The views are to die for. Our favorite place is Positano. This very hilly city is beautiful and friendly. It has great ferry service to the entire Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, Capri and Naples.
  2. Capri – The beaches here are made of pebbles and are small but again the views are magnificent. Capri can be expensive because it is the playground of the rich and famous.
  3. Italian Riviera – This is a magnificent area of golden sandy beaches. Rock cliffs are everywhere. This is every bit as impressive as the French Riviera.
  4. Tuscany – Tuscany is normally known for Florence, small towns, art and wine but it also has great white sandy beaches.
  5. Sicily – You can find white sandy beaches and exotic black sand beaches here. Sicily is and island and has many beaches. You can drive here or take trains or airplanes. Driving and the train are linked by the ferry (your car or train is loaded onto the ferry).
  6. Sardinia – You will find some of the best resorts and beaches here. There are many miles of great beaches.
  7. Tremiti Islands – Has great sandy beaches and is located in the Adriatic Sea.
  8. Venice – We don’t think of beaches in Venice but on the Lido Island there are great sandy beaches.
  9. Southern Campania – South of the Amalfi Coast is a little known (to Americans) resort area. There are many towns that have great pure sandy beaches and the water is to die for. We love Marina Casal Velino and Ascea. The train serves many of these resorts and it is also an easy drive from Salerno south.

Where ever you plan to be in Italy, you can find fun beaches with more than sun and sand. Many are in interesting small towns that beg to be explored.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Adriatic Sea, Amalfi, Amalfi Coast, Ascea, Beaches, Campania, Capri, Chocolate, Europe, Ferries, Gelato, Italy, Marina Casal Velino, Naples, Positano, Romance, Salerno, Sicily, Small Towns, Sorrento, Southern Italy, Tuscany, Venice, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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