Vesuvius

Pompeii, Italy

This is the famous city that was destroyed by the Mount Vesuvius volcano in 79 AD. It was originally an Etruscan city and then a Roman one. It is located in Campania south of Naples and north of Sorrento, Italy. It was buried in 13 to 16 feet of hot ash from the volcano. Years went by and people forgot about the city and the people who lived below the surface. It became a Roman colony in 80 BC. 1500 years passed until the city below was discovered.

Today it is an outdoor museum where you can see homes, stadiums, restaurants, houses of prostitution and bars. This is a stop well worth your time. As you walk around the streets of Pompeii, imagine the original occupants who lived here. Then imagine that fateful day when Vesuvius blew its top.

Come walk with us through this impressive ancient city that has been perfectly preserved in time. Click on the YouTube VLOG video below …

Ciao,
– George

Categories: BLOG, Eating Italian, Etruscan, Europe, Food, General Travel, Italian, Italian Facts, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Mount Vesuvious, Mountains, Naples, Pompeii, Small Towns, Sorrento, Southern Italy, Towns, Traveling without a tour, Vesuvius, VLOG, Volcano | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 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

Capri Pictorial

Capri is one of the most beautiful islands in the world. It is the playground of the rich and famous. It is located off the Sorrento coast south of Naples. You can go by ferry from Naples, Sorrento or Positano. There are two types of ferries: the regular and the high-speed. The high-speed makes the trip much faster but costs more. The island has two main cities:

  1. Capri
  2. Anacapri

The ferries come into the large seaport below Capri. You can take a bus up to the main square or the funicular.

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Funicular Entrance

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Funicular Track

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View of harbor from top of funicular

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Clock tower in Capri main square

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Narrow pedestrian streets of Capri

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View from hotel Villa Brunella

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Pool at Villa Brunella

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Fragolini Rock

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Mount Vesuvius near Naples

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Anacapri

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House at Anacapri

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Square at Anacapri

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Bus from Capri to Anacapri

Capri is romantic and beautiful. Spend at least one night there as the locals come out after the day tourists leave.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Capri, Europe, Ferries, General Travel, Italy, Naples, Positano, Romance, Small Towns, Sorrento, Southern Italy, Vesuvius, Villa Brunella | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a 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

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

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