Adventures in the Campania region, Italy.
I’ll add the photos when D comes back with my power adaptor!
From Messina, we caught an overnight ferry to Salerno- in the Campania region of Italy. Here is a tip for anyone wanting to travel by Ferry in Italy- don’t book your tickets in advance. Front up to the desk in advance and book then. We have booked two ferry trips via the internet and neither have worked out for us. This time it turned out we had booked the return trip from Salerno to Messina. Oops. By the time we boarded and put our luggage in the cabin, even D was ready for an alcoholic beverage. Those that know D know how frustrated we must have been. Otherwise, the trip went smoothly- cabins were comfortable and we had our own shower and toilet.
We were met in Salerno port by Ermanno who took D to the University. I was shown around the city by Eleanora who treated me to a Brioche. Here is a hint for the light eaters- don’t order a brioche e gelate unless sharing. Its basically a sweet bread roll with a tiny dab of custard, served with two scoops of ice cream inside and then mine also had cream. Super filling, messy and sweet. It is something you must try once. D and I are eating a lot of ice cream whilst in Italy, but we are sad to leave Sicilian Granita behind. We met up with D again for lunch, and Ermanno insisted we have a Campania pizza each. Of course after my Brioche, I was not overly hungry. With Daiana joining us, we went to Castle Arechi that afternoon where we had a view over all of Salerno.
On Saturday, D and I were alone and adventured by ferry out to the Amalfi coast. We spent the morning in Amalfi, visiting the Crypt of St Andrew and the Duome of Amalfi. We tried to follow a suggested walking path on the tourist map, but started out on the wrong street and ended up way off track. But we visited the paper Museum, as Amalfi was home of modern paper. Off the main street, there are narrow corridors full of steps which make up the back streets.
We jumped back on the ferry to Positano, a bustling town full of American tourists. The streets are lined with merchants and shops selling resort style clothes and jewellery, souvenirs and artists impressions of the town. It would be easy to be inspired as a local artist however, as once leaving the main streets we had panoramic views of the Mediterranean and vibrant pink and purple flowers crept over handrails and walls. We visited two Galleries, The white room, which had modern sculptures and photos- using very unique techniques. The curator was more than happy to tell us about each artist and the method used to get the final effect. Further up we found another gallery specializing in more traditional techniques including a number of oil paintings of Positano. The curator of this Gallery suggested lunch at Bar Bruno, so we climbed some stairs and a hill, and were rewarded by a spectacular view as we ate our fresh seafood lunch. Delicious.
On Sunday, Daiane, her sister and Eleanora showed us around Pompeii. The ruins are huge- more than once can see in detail through one day. We collected an audio guide to help when the girls could not explain. A running joke between us was the quality of their English vs. our Italian. We visited most of the highlights, and a few different houses trying to avoid the tour groups. While the ruins are well worth the time and energy, I recommend taking a large supply of water, closed comfortable shoes, sunscreen and a packed lunch, it is a long tiring day and Pompeii has little shade to offer.
Monday morning we left Salerno and catch a train to Napoli. Before arriving in Naples, we were warned by Daiana, Eleanora and Ermanno about the level of thievery against tourists, which put me a bit on edge. But, aside from dodgy looking people on the train, nothing happened. Our hotel, the Plaza Bellini was modern and very swish. Monday was spent at the University, where D met with the academics and presented his work. Ermanno was unavailable to play tour guide so one of his office mates showed us around very quickly, then left us at the hotel.
Naples, unfortunately closes on Tuesdays, so we were unable to visit anything of interest. We had Pizza every night, and I can definitely say Naples has the best pizza in the world. I think a lot of waiters were getting annoyed with us as we continued to order one pizza to share one pasta to share, one dessert, to share. Most of the dishes are far too big for D and I, who are not huge eaters, and on a limited budget we don’t want to order two pizzas and leave them half eaten.
Wednesday, we left for Rome.