Paestum

Agropoli, Italy

Agropoli is a large town in Campania, south of Naples, south of the Amalfi Coast and south of Salerno. From Salerno you drive south past the ancient Greek ruins at Paestum to Agropoli.

Paestum

Agropoli, like many Italian cities has a modern part and an old city. The old city is high on a hill overlooking the sea. It has a wonderful castle with a moat (without water) and a drawbridge (no longer functional). We enjoy walking around the old city. As you approach you find yourself on a street of interesting shops leading up the hill. The street soon turns into a set of stairs leading into the old section. There is a wonderful church at the top. Turn right and follow the signs to the castle and views of the beach and sea.

This is the beautiful and romantic land of Benvenuto al Sud! What a wonderful place for a passegiata. The beautiful mountain city of Castellabate is just a little farther south.

Come walk with us in the old city of Agropoli. Click on the video below …

– George

Categories: Agropoli, Amalfi Coast, Beach Resorts, Beaches, Benvenuto al Sud, Campania, Castellabate, Church, Driving in Italy, Europe, General Travel, Greek Ruins, Italian, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Naples, Paestum, Passegiata, Romance, Salerno, Shopping, Southern Italy, Traveling without a tour, Tyrrhenian Sea, VLOG, Walking, YouTube | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Castellabate, Italy

Castellabate is a wondrous place to visit. It is a mountain town south of Salerno and just south of Agropoli. It is not far from the Greek ruins at Paestum. It is in the Campania region south of the world-famous Amalfi Coast. Here you really step back in time. As you drive up narrow hairpin curves to this mountain town, the sea drops farther and farther below you. Once you arrive you have airplane type views of the sea and the sea town of Santa Maria Castellabate far below you. You have stepped back in time. As you park and walk into this city, your adventure begins.

Your first view is the vista far below you and the old castle. Then you enter a maze of streets that turn into steps and old buildings. Finally you emerge at the Piazzella, the center of this city. Here life is a celebration. You have restaurants, tourists and a bar. There are also views off the back side away from the sea. Sit at a restaurant and enjoy a meal al-fresco. Here you watch and enjoy life Italian style.

The Italian movie Benvenutu al Sud was filmed here. This is a very funny comedy about a postal worker that wants to work in Milan but is punished and sent to the south in Castellabate. The movie exaggerates the biases about how the north feels about the south and how the south feels about the north. This is good fun but also an education in the different Italian life styles.

Tavel well, be romantic and have fun!

-George

Categories: Agropoli, Bars, Benvenuto al Sud, Campania, Castellabate, Driving in Italy, Eating, Eating Italian, Europe, General Travel, Greek Ruins, Italian, Italy, Milan, Mountain Towns, Mountains, Paestum, Romance, Salerno, Southern Italy, Traveling without a tour, Walking | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 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

Some of Our Best Memories

We have assembled pictures of some of our best memories in Italy. Italy is always romantic and it is always memorable. There are so many special little moments. The architecture, the sites, the history, the people, the food, the wine, … and so much more.

Enjoy your trip to see relatives, sites, museums or to just be Italian for a short while.

Dolce far niente!

George & Jo

Categories: Amalfi Coast, Assisi, Beaches, Blue Flag Beaches, Casal Velino Marina, Cilento, Coliseum, cornetto, Dolce, Dolce far niente, Duomo, Eating Italian, Europe, Florence, Food, Gelato, General Travel, Greek Ruins, Italy, Marina Casal Velino, Montepulciano, Mountain Towns, Museums, Naples, Owning a home in Italy, Paestum, Panini, Pantheon, Pastry, Pizza, Planning a vacation, Positano, Ravello, Ristorante, Romance, Rome, Siena, Small Towns, Sorrento, Southern Italy, Spanish Steps, Stairs, Traveling without a tour, Trevi Fountain, Trottoria, Tuscany, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Paestum Pictorial

From the Amalfi Coast Drive’s end point at Salerno you take the A3 Autostrada south to Battipaglia and exit into the SS18 south. Follow the signs to Paestum. It is in the Province of Salerno, Campania. It is also in the Client National forrest.This was founded about 600 BC but had a bad malaria out break that preserved the site. It is the best Greece ruins in Italy’s mainland. Sicily has great ruins as well.

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Great restaurant on southern edge of ruins

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Ruins

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Ruins

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Ruins

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Many of the ruins are leveled

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Temple of Hera I

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Theater

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Entrance to Theater

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Temple of Neptune

You will need to purchase a pass to enter this historic site. They are sold at the museum outside the sacred grounds. These ruins are  not to be missed.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Amalfi Coast, Campania, Cilento, Europe, General Travel, Greek Ruins, Italy, Paestum, Salerno | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Agropoli Pictorial

Agropoli is in the province of Salerno, region of Campania. It is about a half hour drive south of Salerno. It has a population of about 20,000. Agropoli is a busy modern city with a beautiful old town. The old town has limited cars. There are stairs but not that many. There is a beautiful old church and a castle with a moat. The moat is grassed now and used for parking.

You can get to Agropoli by driving or a train from Salerno (Naples or Rome).

Agropoli

View from the sea

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Seaport

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View up to old town from seaport

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Stairs to old town

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View from old town down to seaport

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Ancient Church

Views of the castle:

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Agropoli has everything you would need in a large city. Shopping areas, stores, banks but it also has a seaport for boating and beautiful beaches. From Agropoli it is a short drive north to Paestum with its beautiful Greek ruins.

The old town is where you stop at  bar for a drink or lunch. You stroll the narrow streets and enjoy the life. You explore the ancient castle and take in the magnificent views. Parking is limited but we have found around the seaport to have meters that are usually available. There are restaurants here with a sea view. From the seaport it is a short walk to old town. Enjoy!

George & Jo Anne

Categories: Agropoli, Bars, Beaches, Campania, Europe, Italy, Paestum, Salerno, Southern Italy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Campania, Italy

(English version) Category:Maps of Campania Ca...

(English version) Category:Maps of Campania Campania Campania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Campania, Italy is a beautiful area including Naples, Pompeii, Capri, Sorrento, Positano and Amalfi. It also includes so much more. You know how much we love this area of Italy. We bought a house there.

The Province of Campania includes the regions of:

  1. Caserta
  2. Benevento
  3. Naples
  4. Avellino
  5. Salerno

Cilento is in the Salerno region.

It has some of the most beautiful mountains and some of the best beaches in all of Europe. Cilento is one of the largest national parks in Italy. It has a building code to prevent new building of condos, hotels, etc that will ruin the sea views and beaches. If this type of living interests you, visit Campania.

You can visit ancient Greek ruins in Paestum, large cities like Salerno and Agropoli and visit the famous Amalfi Coast. All of southern Italy is within a several hour drive. Sicily is just a ferry ride across the boot from mainland Italy.

 

There is a rainy season in November and December that can have rain almost every day or mild sunny days. The rain can be heavy and have strong thunder storms. This too is a beautiful side of nature but can ruin a trip if you are unaware. Choose your season and enjoy Italy. I would also avoid August as all of Europe is in vacation and beaches and towns are very crowded.

George & Jo Anne

Categories: Agropoli, Amalfi Coast, Campania, Cilento, Europe, Ferries, Greek Ruins, Italy, Paestum, Salerno, Sicily, Southern Italy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Drive to Rome and Home

At the end of each of our trips to Italy, we drive to Rome Fiumicino Airport the day before our flight. This allows us to get rid of the car and have a good night sleep in a hotel at the airport. The drive from Velina to Rome is about 4 hours.

As we leave Velina, we drive north past the train station to the entrance of the SP 430 highway. This takes us north-west to Agropoli and then onto the A 3 Autostrada at Battipaglia. There is a spot on the SP 430 that is damaged and we have to detour onto a mountain road. It is just past one of the tunnels.

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This rout passes Paestum and follows the Mediterranean coast. Once on the A 3 we head north-west to Salerno. At this point we leave the sea behind and head inland to the mountains. Soon we are passing Vesuvius. This is a very daunting volcano. You feel small and helpless near this huge volcano. Soon we are at the A 1 Autostrada (Italy’s main Highway). We are just north of Naples heading North-West to Rome. Along this stretch we usually stop at one of the many Auto Grills. They have bathrooms, gas, food and tourist items. As in most bars in Italy, you pay first and then with your ticket in hand get your food.

At Rome we head West around the loop on the A 90 that circles Rome and onto the A 91 to the airport. Fiumicino is near the sea again. We typically stay at the Hilton Garden Inn near the airport. You can drop your luggage at the hotel, check-in and gas up the car. Then drop it off at the airport and catch a shuttle bus to long-term parking and the Hilton Garden Inn. Now we relax with a drink and wait for dinner at 7:30 pm.

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Soon it’s dinner time and the food is pretty good here. The free WiFi allows you to catch up with your Facebook and emails. The next morning we have breakfast and take the shuttle back to the airport.  Soon we are onboard and leaving our beloved Italy behind.

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Nine and a half hours later we are landing in Philadelphia. The trip was awesome, the people friendly and warm and the food & wine the best. Until our next trip!

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Agropoli, Auto Grills, Autostrada, Bars, Driving in Italy, Europe, Flights, General Travel, Italy, Naples, Paestum, Rome, Velina, Vesuvius, 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

Castelcivita Italy – A scary ride!

Castelcivita is a small mountain town in southern Campania, Italy. It is East of Paestum in the mountains. This is a story of why not to listen to your GPS. On the trip up the mountain the GPS told us to turn right onto a small dirt road twice. We ignored it and finally were approaching Castelcivita. We saw a sign to Castelcivita to the left but our GPS said go straight. We followed the GPS. Soon the road became a very small road. At a hair pin curve it turned to a dirt road on a 1,000 foot cliff. We knew this had to be wrong but how could we turn around? The cliff was on the left and a hill going up on the right. There was a small flat area and we turned around very cautiously. As we got back to the main road, we vowed to always follow signs over the GPS.

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Soon we were in Castelcivita, a very small city mainly of stairs. The road went up a hill and we had a choice, a hair pin curve onto a very small street or straight into a small piazza. After the GPS experience we went straight. This was an area big enough to easily turn around. There was no parking in the piazza but on the road in we saw parking along the road. We parked and walked back into the piazza. The view of the road up to this city was spectacular.

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This is a very unique mountain city. No shopping and not many restaurants but a lot of stairs going up … up to the castle at the top.

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We stopped at a bar to chat with the locals and get our bearings. They told us to climb some more. George made friends with a local dog.

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and soon we were in a small piazza at the very top of the city. Here was an old castle tower.

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Now the easy part, it was all downhill to the car. It was a scary drive at first but it was wonderful to see this city untouched by tourism.

Tomorrow we drive down the mountain and visit Paestum, the ancient Greek city.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Bars, Campania, Castelcivita, Driving in Italy, Europe, Italy, Mountain Towns, Paestum, Small Towns | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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