La Dolcevita, time in Italy
The Amalfi Coast
We landed in Rome, took the express train from the airport to Termini Statiion and then boarded the Frecciarossa, one of Italy's speed trains that runs from Rome to Naples. The train travels at speeds of 360 km/hour, is comfortable and a great way to travel the country. Ninty minues later we were in Naples. In Naples we had hired a driver to take us to our hotel in Naples.
We saw a many with a sign for Marcia but kept looking for someone with the sign for MARCUS. In the end when Karen asked if he was for the Hotel Villa San Michele, he said Ci, and we were off to Amalfi. The driver route is the route to go. The drive from Rome to the Amalfi Coast is long, and the drive through the mountains difficult.
When we arrive at Villa San Michele is is like arriving at our second home.
The 12-room hotel hangs from the cliffs. All rooms have a view or patio overlooking the sea. Every morning Glenn would get up, walk down the stairs to the private dock and start the day with a swim. The water was incredibly warm.
Mike and Margo Arbogast and Chris and Carmen Grant also came to Amalfi at the same week. So it was a great party weekend.
Every morning Mike and Glenn would meet at 6:30 am to head out for a photoshoot. Mario would make a quick cafe or provide an glass of orange juice and the photo walk and shoot would begin.
The morning light was great. The tourists were not up. Ah, this is the time for a photoshoot. Two times the photo destination was the small town of Atrani, located just next to Amalfi. This is the real Amalfi coast. Totally unspoilt from tourist.
Atrani is one of my favorite places, just outside of Amalfi, it has escaped the raveges of tourist.
From Amalfi we traveled to Naples and then flew to Malta, returning to Sicily after 7 days in Malta.
Cantania has numerous Roman ruins a great Sicilian architecturte
In Catania we had a hoitel right downtown, so morning walks were very interesting.
In Catania, many of the buildings have lava rock used in their construction.
Duomo in Catania is very impressive.
Fountain of the Rier Armenano in the Piazza del Duomo, Catania
The lava rock bay infront of our apartment near Pozzillo, Sicily.
Lava rock coast line is rugger, here a chapel at Santa Tecla sits on a small outcropt of lava rock.
Noto is one of the Barogue Sicilian Architecfture cities.
Yes in Siracse we had some rain, for 30 minutes, and the umbrella sellers came out of nowhere!
We have been to Sicily twice, and we enjoyed our return visit.
When we arrived, the first agriturismo we rented turned out to be not what we expected, so we changed the first four days in terms of accomodations.
We, as many travellers now, went to McDonalds, used their handy free wi-fi service, pulled out our iPads and found a great hotel right in Catania for two nights. If you want to see a city. Stay in the city.
The UNA Palace Hotel in Catania was right on the retail and pedestrian at night street in Catania. It was high end and we enjoyed every minute.
Then for the following two days we booked into the B&B Carlotta, a bed and breakfast hotel now far from Agrigento. The owner, Adriana, was exceptional, the pool and pool furnture most relazing and we had a great stay there.
Then it was off to Casa Bucà near the small village of Pozzillo for the next five days. Out apartment, the main floor of a house, was right on the sea. Dramatic laval rocks ringed the coast line. There was a path, a small flat area and a ladder into the sea. Glenn started every day with a swim. We found it very relaxing. This was our base for travels to other areas of Sicily that included Siracuse, Noto, Taormina and Acireale.
Catania is the second largest city in Sicily, after Palermo.
The we stay another six days at the Casa Busà, ground floor apartment with views of the sea, located between Catania and Toarmina. These will be our bases to tour the island.
Sicily has much to see. From major towns, such as Palermo with its very interesting history and architecture, to the awesome ruins the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento.
The valley, and it is not really a valley, is an area on a rocky crest just south of Agrigento. It includes eight temples, and remains of various other structures that date from 510 to 430 BC. The temple Hera, Concordia, Heracles, Olympian Zeus, Castor and Pollux, the Hephaestos, the Temple of Demeter. The Temple of Asclepius (the God of Medicine) is located a bit away on the banks of the Akragas river.
Return to Rome, arrivederci alla prossima
We returned to Rome and stayed a week at "our" apartment at the Palazzo Ginnasi. The current building, 1935, replaced the previous 16th century palace which was destroyed when the Government decided to enlarge the Via delle Botteche Oscure. Hard to belief. The Baroque funerary monuments of the family which were in S. Lucia have been relocated in a modern chapel inside the new building. I did ask the doorman about it, he comfirmed the chapel, but there was not offer to unlock the door!
Our view of the Altare della Patria, the Vittoria Emanuele II Momument from our apartment is a view you just never want to end.
It was a relaxing week in Rome.
We settled in our our first day, shopped, stocked the kitchen and the bar.
On the next day we went to Novelli Pen to visit Marco. Glenn acquired three new pens. While there we met the CFO of BitHead software who had come to the store based on Glenn's website. Marco says that is a very reqular occurence.
Glenn was out for morning and evening photography session. During the day we visited our regular spots that include the Trevi Fountain, the Galeria Colona. This year we also visited the Jewish Museum in Rome. Interesting presentation on the history of jews in Rome (a large community) and the creation and destruction of the Jewish Ghetto - which was located just blocks away from our apartment.