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28 April 2017

Messina the Gate of the Sicily

Messina is the first town you enter when you go with a train in Sicily.

Yes, you understood it correctly: you can visit all the towns of Sicily coming from Salerno with a train. You simply arrive with your train in Villa San Giovanni, a port in front of Messina. Your train enters in a special ship and continues it's way after half an hour in Sicily.

You arrive there from Salerno in 5 hours. There are 3 trains a day with the last stop Palermo. So, you can take Intercity Night and arrive in Palermo in the morning.

Messina, Sicily, a train enters in the ferry

21 April 2017

How to Reach Positano in Amalfi Coast from Salerno, Italy

Visited Salerno yesterday and had to help a young couple to go to Positano.

If you do not know it, Positano is a little beautiful village, a nice dream of many persons. The problem is that is is situated in a very inaccessible place. Both from Naples/ Sorrento and from Salerno the way to reach it is complicated.
Here, in this post, I'll explain you how can you reach Positano from Salerno.

When you arrive in Salerno with a train and go out on the square of the railway station, you will see this:

the square of the railway station in Salerno

19 April 2017

Vietri Sul Mare - if You Arrived With a Train There

Amalfi Coast is caracterized by infinite stairways and it has to be hard to find the shortcuts, if you come for the first time there. You look for the roads and have to walk much more this way.

From the other side, not all persons feel comfortable to use stairs. Specially, if you have luggages with you...

I'll show you how to find stairways when you have to move on the Amalfi coast.

So, here we are arrived in Vietri Sul Mare with a train.
Personally, I've never seen this station (building) open, so I come there with a ticket that I purchase in an other place, always.

From the second track (Salerno direction) we have to go out where you see the cars on my first photo. You can go down long the car road, but there is a shortcut - stairscase just behind the cars.

17 April 2017

How To Reach Raito in Amalfi Coast or How to Travel in Train in Italy

Well, you are right and thanks to my visitors who are so interested in reading my blog of short travel advices that ask me for additional information.

Yes, the most easy way to reach Amalfi coast by earth is to take train or bus.
Trains come from Naples and Salerno, too. If you arrived with a train in Salerno, it's possible to continue with the train to Vietri Sul Mare/Amalfi Coast (it's the exact name of the station).
If you come from Naples, I suggest you to take a ferry. You will arrive at your destination faster. But it will cost much more than the "normal" way by train/bus.

How to Reach Raito, Amalfi or any Town of Amalfi Coast

1/ train from Naples to Vietri Sul Mare
2/ train to Salerno, than bus to Amalfi (the best)
3/ train to Salerno, than train to Vietri Sul Mare, than bus to Amalfi
4/ ferry both from Naples or Salerno

Very useful: You can download an app

16 April 2017

Raito - An Easy Path From Vietri Sul Mare To Cesar Spring

What can we do if we come for the vacation in Raito or in an other place of the Amalfitan Coast? The first and best solution is enjoy the nature, the pure air and the bathes in the warm sea. Well, it's not too warm in this period - about +16C°, but it's possible to swim, too.

Vietri Sul Mare, Amalfi Coast, Italy, central square

14 April 2017

Love Egypt, But Are Afraid To Go There? Here The Solution!

Egypt is one of the favolous places with the history and modern everyday life that calls us to visit it. Unfortunatelly, there are many problems and even government sites warn us to be very very careful when we desire to visit this country. The situation in all the world is not very reassuring and nobody wants to risk own life and health and that of our loved once, specially for some days of vacation.

Well, this post was inspired just by some warnings I read this morning.

Visit Egypt? YES!

In this case, in case you would like to visit Egypt, I can offer you a really great solution: you can go to visit this country where you will be accompained and protected by a friend. What can be better? Nothing!

13 April 2017

Traditional Neapolitan Street Food and Pastiera

Street Food is one of the Neapolitan traditions that we not always understand. When you come here and think about your meals, you think about all kinds of restaurants. And there are many of them on every step.

I noticed this difference from other regions of Italy: we have a bar, a trattoria, a restaurant, an osteria, a pizzeria, o'per o'muss, stuzziccheria, paninoteca, bruschetteria etc etc etc at least one every 10 meters. You never have to look where to eat here. You have only understand what do you like more.

One of the most popular is PANINO. It's a kind of sandwich where you can ask to ad anything you like. The table is more or less like this:

11 April 2017

Eat Fresh White Truffle on Weekend, in Italy

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White Truffle in the streets of Alba (CN), Italy
Do you like Truffle? There is a very nice place in Piedmont (Italy) where you can taste and purchase white truffle every weekend walking in the streets. This town's name is Alba and it is situated in the province of Cuneo, not too far from Turin. 
This town has interesting and antique origins, but we did not have time for something except a short walk. We ate in one of the little restaurants (I think, they are more or less good in all the regions of Italy). The difference of this town is that you can ask to add white truffle to some of the plates in the menu. BUT you have to understand that the price will be different. You have to see it in the menu somewhere.

10 April 2017

Visit Historical Places: Where the Queen Drowned Her Lovers

Vesuvius influences the minds of the persons of all the times, I think. If you come to visit Naples or Amalfitan Coast, you will hear many many curious stories about the strange behaviour of their residents. Including ghost stories.

Vesuvius seen from Sorrento
This is one of them.

It happend when the old princess, sister of the king Ladislaus of Naples, became queen Johanna II of Naples. She is still very famous to change her favourites very frequently, some of them, young, she took in a roman villa not far from Sorrento where drowned them after a night of love. This is why they call it "Bagni della Regina" (Bath of the Queen)
It's what you will hear about her.

The truth is, probably, very different and the explanation of these legends is in the rich immagination of the subjects of the queen. But the ruins of the roman villa actually exist, they are spectacular, with a little "pond" with a tunnel to the sea
and they are easy and free to access.

How to reach this place, Bagni della Regina?

It's enough to take a bus to CAPO di Sorrento near the railway station of Sorrento, Circumvesuviana.
There are different busses that you can take to return than. They have tickets in the bus. This is why you do not need to buy 2 tickets (go and return) when you go to visit the ruins. The pricce of the ticket is about euro 1,20

What do you need for this visit?

It's enough to have your swimmwear.
The street that goes to the villa ("Roman Ruins") is narrow, but very good. There are rocks near the sea, but they are not difficult for a walk.
And there are some places where you can stay and swim.

And here are some photos to show you what you will see there:

Many boats take their passengers to the Baths of the Queen, Capo di Sorrento, Italy

Rocks under the ruins of roman villa, Capo di Sorrento, Italy

Rests of the floor mosaic of the Roman Ruins, Capo di Sorrento, Italy

On this "bridge" you will find a hole (visible from the water, too) that served to throw down unlucky favourite 

Be careful when you go down and up, too

09 April 2017

From Sorrento To Positano By Foot

The best thing you can do if you come in Amalfi or Sorrento Coast is to cross the mountains by foot (better if with a guide). The place you booked to overnight is very beautiful, sure, THESE for example are really fantastic), but if you are not a fan of staying all the days of the vacation on the beach, it will become sad after one-two days. Just because there is nothing to do and it's difficult enough to leave and to turn back, there.

So, what can you do to have unforgettable vacation? Specially, if it's not your favorite hobby (It's FIRST Time! Imagine!!!)?
Go cross the mountains.

06 April 2017

How It Happened That I Visited Frankfurt am Main

This beautiful city I visited on my way to Italy after a ritrit. I normally buy the tickets online in advance and I had a flight from the airport of Frankfurt am Main. It was my first time there and I went directly in the airport just to take my flight. The surprize was that I came in a wrong airport. Because there are 2 of them there.

Nothing to do, I had to purchase a very very expensive ticket and had some long hours to wait for this flight.

Yes, it was terrible, but it was the only solution.

Immagine all the happiness I felt in that moment. But since it happend this way, I decided to visit the city.

I have to say you, it was a cultural chock for me. I did not expect to see such a strange and harmonious city with new and old buildings twisted perfectly together.

But the very best were the persons, the citizens there.
Everybody I asked about help tried to explain me what to do, where to go, how much time I have etc. They even went with me to show me the shortest way or the right platform in the metro... Honestly, I was afraid that I will have problems to turn back in the airport, but the residents were so friendly, so pacient with me.

The first I've seen when I came in the city were these different stalls. There were incalculable :-) varieties of fast food most of them I've never seen before. Everything was just ready for busy and hastening passengers of the trains. Probably, they come some later, because there were only some persons in the streets that morning.

Here are some shorts from Frankfurt am Main. Hope, I could show how beautiful is it.

02 April 2017

How to Visit Pompei - Some Advices

Some years ago, when tourists asked me what to visit: Ercolano (Herculaneum) o Pompei, I had not doubts advising Ercolano. Why? 
Herculaneum was good conserved and good restored excavation site when Excavations of Pompei could provoke only tears in that period. With 44 ha of territory there were only some houses and places to visit. 

Today, excavations of Pompei became a place you want to return every time you can. In the competition between all open for tourists excavation sites: Pompei, Ercolano, Oplontis, Boscoreale, Castellammare doubtless
wins Pompei.

Pompei, one of the houses (still visible from the street)

If you have not too much time, you have to visit Pompei, today. 
Other sites I mentioned are fantastic, but this one presents the essence of all of them. 
If you have more days, go to visit other places.

How to Plan a Visit of Pompei

Before you go, visit this official site of the archeological autorities in Campania. You will find all the actual information about the timetable, prices and many other useful things.

You will find the list of the Exhibitions that are open in the period you have to come. Now, when I write this post, for example, it's possilble to see an interesting collection with pieces from museums from all the world about Greeks culture in the Roman towns. BUT there are other 3 or 4 exhibitions, too.

I'll write a special post about the planning a visit, but if you go without a guide, you have to understand how much time you have, what do you want to see, first of all. 
Than take a map and trace the itinerary. Want to Repeat: there are 44 hectares to cross. It's practically impossible to see ALL the houses, places that are open now. So, understand what you want to see.

Pompei, new houses open for visitors

Some advices to take in mind:

Pompei has 44 ha of the excavated territory. And dozens of open beautiful houses. 
You need all the day to visit them, with calm.

How Much Time I Need To Visit Every of Excavation Museums?

For your visits you need: 
Ercolano/Herculaneum - 2-2,5 hours for a visit, 
Oplontis about 1 hour, 
Antiquarium di Boscoreale about 1 hour + time to reach it.
Pompei - all the day
Castellammare (2 villas in 2 different places) - at least half a day with the time to reach them
Quisisana - museum in a royal villa with roman objects (a carriage etc) - 1 hour + time to reach it

What Can I Visit in One Day?

You can plan to visit in one day

Attention! Plan to visit FIRST Vesuvius, than other places. It's hard to go to the crater when you are just tired

1 - Vesuvius from Ercolano (bus from Circumvesuviana Ercolano Scavi 10-13:00, more or less, about euro 20) and 
2 - Excavations of Ercolano (14:00-16:00) euro 11 
This prices can change.

or you can visit Ercolano, Oplontis, Boscoreale in one day (the sites are not too far from Circumvesuviana line except Antiquarium di Boscoreale

Castellammare (2 villas + Quisisana + termal sources) + Oplontis/Boscoreale/Ercolano in the afternoon

FREE Entrance in the Museums of the State in Italy

If you can choose the date of the visit, 
remember that the FIRST SUNDAY OF THE MONTH the entrance in most state museums in Italy is FREE
It's better to pay a good guide that will show you the best, most interesting open places in less time, will tell you many particular things no one other information source can tell you.
He/she will show you the shortest way to go out to the place where you have your car, or to the train, too.
If you contact him/her some time before you come and tell about your problems, he/she will be ready to assist you.

Why I advice it?
I worked with tourists, and many persons I know tell me they visited Pompei in 1-2 hours and did not see anything special except forum, maine street and some houses.
It's a pitty, believe me. Pompei deserves more time dedicated to it's beauties.

When Visit Pompei?

The last advise is about the period of your visit.
Try to avoid summer months. Specially July and August.

+40°C and more
there is nothing that can cover you good enough. Even if you have the veil.
it's a period of the cruises. Hundreds and tousands persons rise this dust and you become like those poor victims of eruption, inhaling this dust all the period of your visit.

The visit becomes really hard if there is wind, too.

My photos show you some houses I could visit today. Some of them were opened after the restoration some days agou for the first time.

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