Mount Vesuvious

Capri, Italy

The Isle of Capri is a true place of beauty. This is why it became the playground of the rich and famous. Many people are confused by the isle’s name of Capri and the city of Capri on the Isle. The Isle has two main cities: Capri and Anacapri. This island is rugged with cliffs and a huge mountain near Anacapri. It has two beaches, the large and small beaches. The ferries drop you off at the large beach. There is a large marina there and porters will take your bags to your hotel. This is a great idea since you will be walking.

Once at the marina at the large beach you can take a bus up a windy road or a funicular up the hill to the center of Capri city.Take the funicular. it is fast and fun. At the top is the main piazza with its clock tower. In this area are many restaurants, bars, gelaterias and stores. Many of the small streets are alley like but take them and you will discover many interesting stores and shops.

So many tourists opt to come on a ferry in the morning and leave in the evening. This is the biggest mistake you can make! Stay at least one night. After the tourists have left, the locals come out. Be a local and enjoy life. This is what being an Italian in Italy is all about. Remember Italy is not a quest to visit as many places as you can in a week. It is about the food, the people, the life, the museums and the cities. You can not fully enjoy or understand Italy without sitting back in each city and being part of the life. Running through a city causes you to miss the life all together reducing Italy to just another tourist destination. Believe me, Italy is not just another tourist attraction!

Come walk with us through the cities of Capri and Anacapri and join us on a boat ride around the Isle. Be romantic in one of the most romantic places on Earth…

– George

Categories: Anacapri, Bars, Beach Resorts, Beaches, Blue Flag Beaches, Blue Grotto, Cafè, Campania, Capri, Cave, Cooking, Cruises, Eating, Eating Italian, Europe, Ferries, Food, Funicular, Gelato, General Travel, Italian, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Mount Vesuvious, Museums, Naples, Passegiata, Planning a vacation, resorts, Ristorante, Romance, Sorrento, Southern Italy, Stairs, Towns, Traveling without a tour, Tyrrhenian Sea, Villa Brunella, VLOG, Walking, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Naples, Italy

Naples is one of Italy’s main cities. Many Italian-Americans came from Naples or the surrounding areas. Naples is famous for pizza and tomato sauce on pasta. It has an old section, castles, a Pantheon and a sea port. It also has a dangerous view of Mount Vesuvius. It is an old city with a vibrant life and style. Come to walk the old part of the city or to stop and have a pizza. This VLOG is based on a one day stop in Naples on our way to Pompeii. This is NOT enough time to spend in this great city. We will do a future VLOG on exploring the old section and sites.

From Naples you can easily travel by ferry to Capri or Sorrento. If you have a car, drive the fantastic Amalfi Coast from Sorrento to Salerno with stops at Positano and Amalfi. You can get to Naples by car on the A1 Autostrada from Rome or on a high-speed train from Rome or Salerno. This is a very beautiful part of Italy.

-George

Categories: Amalfi Coast, Beaches, Campania, Capri, Driving in Italy, Eating, Europe, Ferries, Food, General Travel, Italian, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Mount Vesuvious, Naples, Pantheon, Pasta, Pizza, Planning a vacation, Pompeii, Positano, Romance, Salerno, Sorrento, Southern Italy, Towns, Traveling without a tour, Tyrrhenian Sea, VLOG, Walking, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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.

George

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

The Isle of Capri’s Anacapri

Anacapri is the other city on Capri Isle. It is smaller, quieter and less hustle bustle. You can drive, hire a car or taxi or take the bus from Capri. We chose the bus. Near the top of the funicular is a bus station with busses to various attractions on the isle. The bus to Anacapri leaves from here and winds up a mountain to reach this city. Along the way are many wonderful vistas. You can sea the sea, the large marina far below and in the distant Mount Vesuvious. You get off in the center where you can catch a bus back to Capri.

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Anacapri

Walk the small streets and look at the restaurants and bars. Try to decide what to have for lunch in an hour or two. Look into the ceramic shops. We bought a very large spaghetti dish and they packed it for travel. We placed it in our suitcase and hoped for the best. It survived perfectly. The ceramics are made in this town and hand painted. They are all unique and beautiful.

One of the streets from the center leads down through these stores and restaurants to a small piazza with a church. Walking here is like mediating. It is quiet and peaceful. Enjoy this time before returning to the hustle bustle of massive tourists in Capri. This street has many tourists but beyond the piazza with the church are mostly locals.

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Someone house and the center of town at bus stop

On the way back to the center, we decided to eat lunch. We had seen a small restaurant/bar on the way that served food out a window to you on the street. We got two panini, a drink and a fabulous desert. The owners talk with you at the window. Everything is made in front of you and is very delicious.

Finally we were on the bus back to Capri with our dish in hand. The ride down is less dramatic as you are mostly on the mountain side of the road and not the cliff side. We arrived back at the bus station and began our stroll through the beautiful city of Capri once again. You could hear many different languages being spoken, Music, laughter and the clang of dishes at the restaurants and bars. This is what I love about Italy. It is always alive and full of life and fun. All you have to do is place yourself in it and enjoy it.

This is an Isle that is easy to be romantic. You feel it everywhere. You see couples in love all around you. Hold hands with your partner and enjoy your life.

Next BLOG will talk about why you want to spend the night in Capri.

George

 

Categories: Anacapri, Bars, Cafè, Campania, Capri, Ceramics, Eating, Eating Italian, Food, Funicular, General Travel, Italian, Italy, Mount Vesuvious, Mountain Towns, Panini, Romance, Shopping, Small Towns, Traveling without a tour, Walking | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Pompeii Italy

Pompeii in central Campania, was founded in the 6th to 7th century BC by a group known as the Oscans. The Etruscans lived there and it was a main Roman city until that fateful day in  79 AD when Mount Vesuvius blew its top. The mountain provided a fertile soil that allowed people to this day grow wonderful crops.

The early mountain was much larger than what we see today. The entire center vaporized and was blown out leaving what looks like two smaller mountains. Vesuvius is impressive from wherever you see it. It dominates the Naples landscape. You can clearly see it from parts of Sorrento and Capri.

We pass right by it on the A3 Autostrada as we pass by on the way south to our condo. We always feel humbled by its presence. Nature is  awesome. Today you can climb Mount Vesuvius and walk up to the rim.

Beaches as far away as Positano have lava rock on them. The soil in the entire central Campania is fertile because of this mountain. It was a fantastic destructive power but it also gave back tasty crops and a soil that made farming easy.

As we walk Pompeii we feel the ancient civilizations pulling on us. Imagine you are on streets that they walked in their daily lives. You can enter businesses where they ate or bought bread. You can enter hotels and bars and even homes that showed the beauty of life before 79 AD.

These people had a great civilization. They were sophisticated and life was fun. It was a rich city in culture and money. They didn’t even have a word for volcano. It must have been horrible on that day when the huge mountain nearby suddenly exploded. People were caught and killed in their daily routines. The nearby harbor was filled in. Suddenly so many were dead and the landscape changed forever. This is very revered grounds.

If you find yourself in Rome, Naples or the Amalfi Coast take a side trip to Pompeii. You will be glad you saw this wonderful city fully preserved by the ash that covered it. When modern man found it there was only a field of hardened ash. As they dug they began to find the remains of Pompeii. Soon whole buildings were uncovered. Except for missing roofs, which were probably wooden, everything was preserved as it was on that day in 79 AD. A large part of the city was soon uncovered.  Today they are still uncovering Pompeii. This is history and this is Italy!

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Amalfi Coast, Campania, Capri, Etruscan, Europe, General Travel, Italian Facts, Italy, Mount Vesuvious, Naples, Rome, Vesuvius | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

POMPEII pictorial

Pompeii is an ancient Roman city that was destroyed by the volcano Vesuvius in 79 AD. It is estimated to be from the 600 BC. There were about 11,000 people in the city when it was destroyed. This was a big city with bars, houses, bread stores, restaurants and houses of prostitution. The homes were spacious, even by our standards. They had gardens and were beautiful. The streets had speed controls to slow down horse and buggy. The streets could be cleaned by opening a water pipe at the top of the hill and letting the water run down taking the trash with it.

Pompeii is just south of Naples and west of Mt. Vesuvius. It is easy to get to by car on the Autostrada (A1 then A3). There are tour buses from Naples and Rome. You can also take a train to Naples then a bus.

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Ancient coliseum steps

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Courtyard of a private home

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Inside a private home

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Entrance to a coliseum

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Coliseum

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Street

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Private home

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Speed bumps in street

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Huge courtyard in the city center

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Bread oven

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Etruscan pottery

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The sleeping Vesuvius behind a cloud

Pompeii is rich in history and well-preserved because of how it was destroyed.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Campania, Coliseum, Driving in Italy, Etruscan, Europe, Italy, Mount Vesuvious, Naples, Pompeii, Rome, Trains, Traveling without a tour | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why do Americans Love Italy?

Why do so many Americans vacation in Italy and buy homes there? There is a love affair going on between America and Italy. Maybe it’s that we have so many Italians in America and even more Italian restaurants that it feels familiar. I think it goes deeper than that. Italy has obvious charm:

  1. Old cities with buildings we can’t see in America
  2. Famous places we read about
  3. Clean beaches
  4. Majestic mountains
  5. Walled mountain top cities that are so unique to us
  6. Cities like Venice that are unbelievable
  7. Food that is so much better than anything we get back home
  8. Cheap table wine that rivals the best of wines
  9. Italians love for life
  10. Italians love for Americans

Is it any wonder we love Italy? Where else can you get people who love us, food that is the best, wine that is superb and views that rival any other place? Italy is unique. It was created by violent earthquakes and volcanoes millions of years ago. Today it is a pl;ace artist go to see the wonders of nature. Even places like Vesuvius, a still very active volcano, attracts us like a moth to the flame.

Is it any wonder we look to visits this country over and over again? The views take our breath away. We want a piece of it. If you haven’t yet been to Italy, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Go and see the major cities: Rome, Florence, Naples, Venice and Milan. See smaller cities like Capri, Positano, Amalfi, Verona (Romeo & Juliet). Get off the beaten path and see small walled cities with fantastic views. Experience chocolate in Perugia (home of Perugina chocolates – Baci). Go to Assisi and Siena and our favorite San Gimignano.  Don’t miss Tuscany, Orvieto and Pompeii.

Many towns, such as San Gimignano, were enclos...

Many towns, such as San Gimignano, were enclosed with walls, causing crowding and the building of tower houses. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Italy has so much to offer it would take a life time to see it all. So don’t wait, get started on your adventure. Be adventuresome, be romantic and enjoy your life.

George & Jo Anne

Categories: Amalfi, Amalfi Coast, Beaches, Chocolate, Eating Italian, Europe, Florence, Food, General Travel, Italy, Milan, Mount Vesuvious, Mountain Towns, Naples, Owning a home in Italy, Perugia, Perugina Chocolate, Pompeii, Positano, Romance, Rome, San Gimignano, Small Towns, Tuscany, Venice, Verona, Vesuvius, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Home in Velina Italy

The drive south from Florence to Velina takes about 6.5 hours. We drove past Rome, Naples, Salerno and Agropoli. South of Naples you pass to the east of Mount Vesuvius. It is always humbling being close to such a large active volcano. As we exited the Autostrada at Battipaglia (south of Salerno on the A3) you know you are in Buffalo Mozzarella country, You can see buffaloes grazing and every other stores sells the rich mozzarella. In this area is also the ancient Greek ruins at Paestum.

This area of Italy is very mountainous. You know there were violent times here in the past. Today it makes for beautiful Italian countryside. We exit at Vallo Scalo and head to nearby Velina. Velina sits in a valley between high mountains and the sea.

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The mountain peak above is Mount Stella. The view differs each day as rainbows appear and clouds come and go. The food here is mainly fresh seafood.

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Even eating at home on our deck overlooking the mountains and sea is fun and delicious.

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Life here is slow and beaches are clean. One only has to shop the local stores for vegetables, seafood, pastries, wine and bread. Each shop specializes in what they make. You don’t need big refrigerators because you buy fresh each day. There is hardly any frozen items so a freezer is to make ice.

Tomorrow and next week we will visit many small towns and beaches in this area we call home.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Bread, Buffalo Mozzarella, Campania, Driving in Italy, Europe, Italy, Mount Vesuvious, Paestum, Romance, Southern Italy, Sweets, Velina, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pompeii and the Monster Vesuvious

Most people have heard the story of how Pompeii was destroyed by the volcano Vesuvius in 79 AD. So much of the mountain was blown away, that it looks like two mountain peaks today. It was an ancient Etruscan city and then conquered by the Romans. The volcano spewed out very hot ash that killed everyone instantly. Roofs of wood caught fire and were destroyed. The walls of buildings, frescos on the walls and roads are preserved as they were then. You can enter homes that were large even by our standards today with indoor pools and gardens.

Pompeii

The streets ran down hills. They opened pipes at the top to allow water to run down the street and take dirt and garbage with it. Crossroads had speed bumps that acted to both slow down a horse and carriage and allow pedestrians to walk across the street without getting their feet wet or dirty.

This city had bars, brothels, restaurants and arenas. It was a more modern city than we think of for that time. As you walk these ancient streets you feel as if you are there in that time. You keep an eye on Mount Vesuvius which looms over the city.

From Rome you can catch a tour bus to Naples and Pompeii. It is a day trip with an hour or two stop in Naples and two hours in Pompeii. This is followed by lunch and a return drive to Rome. From Naples it is very close. In fact you can see the monster Vesuvius easily from Naples.

Driving south from Rome or Naples you pass Pompeii on the way to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. You can catch a bus from Naples to Pompeii and then Sorrento. From Sorrento take a ferry to Capri. The drive is an easy one as the highways are great.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Amalfi Coast, Capri, Europe, General Travel, Italy, Mount Vesuvious, Pompeii, Rome | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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