Maratea, Italy

Maratea is in Basilicata Italy. It is the only part of Basilicata that touches the Tyrrhenian Sea. The city is high on a mountain and has a peak above it with one of the largest Christ crosses in the world. The road up is twists and turns and hangs off the mountain in spots. This city is wonderful to walk around. It has a great main piazza with a beautiful old fountain. The shops and restaurants are fantastic.

Come walk with us around romantic Maratea Basilicata, Italy.

– George

Categories: Basilicata, BLOG, Driving in Italy, Eating, Eating Italian, Europe, Food, General Travel, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Maratea, Mountain Towns, Mountains, Ristorante, Romance, sea, Small Towns, Southern Italy, Traveling without a tour, Tyrrhenian Sea, VLOG, Walking, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is it Time for you to Take a Trip to Italy?

Have you longed for a trip to romantic Italy? Have you dreamed about eating real Italian food? Do you long to see the museums or architecture? Maybe you have relatives there and just want to reunite old ties. What ever your reasons are, Italy is a great place to spend a vacation. After a week you are feeling relaxed and enjoying life. After two weeks you are totally relaxed, speaking some Italian words and loving the food. Longer periods in Italy will make you an Italian for life!

The northern lake Area offers beautiful scenery overlooking the Alps or maybe Tuscany with its wines and romantic scenery. The large cities of Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome or Naples are great places to see Italians being themselves. They also are great for seeing living history. Look at the buildings the architecture and envision the people that built these great cities. Maybe southern Italy with its Amalfi coast and Capri or farther south into the Cilento National Park. Beauty unspoiled by man and pristine beaches. What is stopping you?

If it’s being afraid of big tours or doing it on your own, we offer an alternative for the selective traveler to see what they want to see and spend as much time as the want. If you find a great Italian spot, the last thing you want is to be taken away by a tour bus. It would be wonderful to change your plans and just stay in your new found location. Italy is all about love, romance, beauty and spontanaeity.

Italy creates many wonderful memories and experiences but you have to touch it! Get away from the crowded tourists areas and meet real Italians. See places that will change you forever. Don’t eat in tourists restaurants. These will be memories you will never forget.


Categories: Amalfi, Amalfi Coast, Anacapri, Architecture, Beaches, Benvenuto al Sud, Blue Flag Beaches, Buffalo Mozzarella, Campania, Capri, Casal Velino, Casal Velino Marina, Castellabate, Cortona, Eating, Eating Italian, Fish, Food, Gelato, General Travel, Italian, Italy, Maratea, Matera, Mount Vesuvious, Mountain Towns, Mountains, Naples, Paestum, Pantheon, Pasta, Pastry, Perugia, Pizza, Pompeii, Positano, Romance, Rome, Saint Peter's Basilica, Small Towns, Southern Italy, Traveling without a tour, Trevi Fountain, Tuscany, Umbria, Vatican City, Venice, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Maratea Pictorial

Maratea is a town and commune of Basilicata, in the province of Potenza. It is the only town in Basilicata on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is a small mountain town with a huge cross on the mountain top above the town. The historic center is beautiful with two piazze (squares) and many shops and bars and restaurants. This is a town worth walking. Beyond the piazza (square) are many steps that climb up to the church and other parts of town. It is 1,000 feet up from the sea and has 5,200 people living in it.

You can get here by driving (2 hours) on the A3 autostrada south from Salerno. Exit towards Longonegro Nord (north). Follow the SS585 road and then follow signs to Maratea. You can also take a high-speed train from Salerno (or Naples or Rome) south to the beach town of Sapri. Here you will need to rent a car or hire a driver to continue up to Maratea.


The cross


Looking up to the church


Stairs at every turn

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Jo Anne and George enjoying lunch


The road narrows to one car in each direction at a time

Controlled by a light


Fountain in the piazza

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Narrow streets and passageways everywhere

This is a city to enjoy slowly. Come early as the shops close between 1 and 4. Shop the stores. Stop at a bar for a coffee and cornetto (sweet roll). When the shops close, stop for lunch at a restaurant. Walk the streets and climb the stairs. At every turn you will be rewarded with the beauty and uniqueness of this small romantic town. Vai … vai … (go … go…!).

George & Jo Anne

Categories: Bars, cornetto, Europe, Food, General Travel, Maratea, Mountain Towns, Small Towns, Trains, Traveling without a tour | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

At the Beach in Scario Italy

Scario is south of us in Italy. There is a good highway (SP430) the meanders south through the mountains (tunnels) to the beach area of Scario, Sapri and Villamare. Sapri is a major stop on the railroad. A new high-speed train runs from Naples to Sapri. Scario is a beach town that looks south to Sapri and the mountains that contain Maratea. Maratea has the 5th largest cross on the mountain top. It can be seen from Scario on a clear day. You can drive up to this cross.

Scario is on the side of a hill leading down to the sea and docks. Follow signs to parking, docks and boat loading areas. You will come to a street that runs from the parking area along the sea. There are restaurants and docks with boats and fisherman everywhere.

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At the far end of this road is an old church which is now a private home.


From this old church go down the steps toward the sea to a path that runs back along the church. The views are great. There are streets that are narrow, some turn into stairs, others are a steep climb up the hill.


One restaurant right on the beach is Tipiteca. You can sit outside near the water and eat wonderful Sicilian dishes. The owners mother cooks them from old Sicilian recipes. We had a fish encrusted with pistachios and of course some pasta.

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The owner is very friendly and speaks English.

Nearby, a sign on the wall says Adesso ci siam noi (Now we are there).


As you walk this small seaside town, you know you are there!

Tomorrow we travel back up to our area to a small mountain town called Casal Velino. A town forgotten by time.

George & Jo Anne



Categories: Campania, Casal Velino, Driving in Italy, Europe, General Travel, Italy, Maratea, Mountain Towns, Naples, Romance, Sapri, Scario, Sicily, Small Towns, Southern Italy, Trains, Villamare | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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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Santa Maria di Castellabate

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Old Town Agropoli

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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

Maratea, Italy

One of the small mountain cities we visited was Maratea in the province of Potenza. Maratea is high up on a mountain and the mountain continues up to a pinnacle behind the town. On this pinnacle is one of the world’s largest Christ statues with hands out like a cross. The road up is precarious. It often hangs off the cliff on pillars. You are driving out in the sky with nothing below you. The city is old! Maratea is 26 sq miles in size and a population of 5,200. It has been described as “the town with 44 churches.

Maratea Maratea Cross

This is a city with hotels, restaurants and a great public square. It is a walking city. Cars can not go inside the old city. Most roads (walkways) turn into stairs. To reach the main church at the top of the city, you must climb a lot of stairs. The views are worth it. Walking here returns you to a less busy time. The cobblestone streets are the same the as the Romans traversed. You can almost hear the chariots on the cobblestones. Stop for lunch or dinner. Have some wine or a soft drink and take in this fabulous city.

There are good roads most of the way to Maratea. The last 30 km or so are smaller roads but in good condition. You can get to Maratea off the A3 Autostrada from the north (Milan, Florence, Rome or Naples) or from the south (Sicily). The A1 Autostarada in the north turns into the A3 at Naples. From the north you reach beach towns like Polinuro and Sapri. This is a rugged but beautiful part of Italy. Not many Americans visit here but there are many European visitors.


Categories: Europe, General Travel, Italy, Maratea, Mountain Towns, Potenza, Small Towns | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to buy a Place in Italy – Part 14

Now it’s Tuesday in Italy during our vacation. Waking up each morning to these views and sounds (church bells ringing) make it all worth while. It’s like we stepped out of time and our in a different world. Italy is very different from America. It still has all the stuff we gave up along the way. It has real food grown organically. Very little packaged foods and all most no frozen foods. You eat what nature grew here. As you smell and taste the food, you can’t help but wonder why did we let big business change our foods. Our kids don’t even know what a real tomato smells or tastes like. The bread would be enough reason to buy a place in Italy. Crusty outside and soft inside that tastes so good! Everything is farmed and made within a few miles not other countries.

OK back to our story about this wonderful place. We ate the cookies we got yesterday at Franco’s and made some espresso. Italian breakfast. The pastry and cakes and candies here don’t contain as much sugar as in America. They taste good without sugar. Even their milk chocolate is far less sugary than ours. Jo Anne & George are always amazed at how less sugar there is in these products but how much better they taste. George loves Croissants made like you get in Paris. The Italians do it as well. George says the test of a great croissant is after you have consumed it, there is a pile of crumbs in front of you. They are so flakey you can’t help but make crumbs.

Of course each day we journey the mile and a half to the beach to Isola Verde to get on the internet (free WiFi). Communication with family and friends back home is important. Today we decide to drive to the mountain town of Maratea. Our journey starts on a good highway (SP 430) then exits onto a good mountain road and we pass the beach towns of Sappri and Villamare. The water is beautiful with gentile waves and plenty of beach goers. Now the last leg of our journey goes up a mountain road that gets smaller and smaller. You have wonderful views down to the sea. There is not much between you and the sea. Maratea has a protected city center (pedestrians only) like many Italian towns. We park at the bottom of the town and walk up steep hills and stairs through an ancient town. On the mountain high above the city is a huge cross (the 5th largest in the world).

Finally we climb to the city center. It is relatively large with plenty of shops, restaurants and banks. Many people are strolling the streets.

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                   Cross high up on Mountain                                        Old streets and stairs                                      City center fountain

We have lunch at a wonderful restaurant in the piazza. We start with fried zucchini flowers (done lightly fried like tempura). Then we shared a risotto and mushroom dish to die for. Of course we had water and local wine. After all this is Italy! On the way back we stopped at another beach town called Palinuro. Then back to the highway and home. We ate the left over pizza from Monday evening. We had some more wine (the bulk wine we bought). The day was good and we slept well that night. You can’t help but be romantic in Italy.

Tomorrow we talk about Wednesday in paradise.

George & Jo Anne


Categories: Campania, Chocolate, Cilento, Cooking, Eating Italian, Europe, General Travel, Italy, Maratea, Mountain Towns, Velina, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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