Europe

The temples of Paestum and the Amalfi coast by car

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Taking advantage of the fact that Friday, September 24, was a holiday in Barcelona, ​​we decided to get away from 4 days to the Campania region in southern Italy For this we booked a flight with Ryanair months ago, since now it flies from El Prat airport to Rome Ciampino. Although Naples is the capital of Campania, we decided to fly to Rome because the price was much lower and the schedules much better.

The original plan was to leave Barcelona at 8.50pm to arrive in Rome at 10.20pm, but thanks to the French air traffic controllers who were on strike, our flight left more than 45 minutes late and in the end we ended up arriving in Rome at 23.15. The Ciampino airport is very small and the indications are very bad. When leaving the terminal we look for some indication that will take us to the area of ​​rental cars without success. In the end, after looking for a few minutes we asked someone from security and he told us that they were in parking 8, at the bottom to the right. What background? What right? Anyway we were circling the various car parks until, a little tired, we returned to the terminal and saw that there was a service shuttle to go to the aforementioned parking, but that at 23 stopped working. Perfect! We asked again, and a little nervous because it was 11.40 pm and the car rental company closed at 24h, and this time they gave us the correct directions and we could get to the place. For all this, here I leave a map of the location of the car rental companies so that the same does not happen to you.

At 12 p.m. we set off in the direction of Pompeii, where we had decided to put our "base camp." Driving through the south of Italy is an experience, one can get to understand the nature of Italian just by watching them drive. Usually, the Italian driver is an undecided being. This conclusion is reached after seeing how they always occupy two lanes of the highway, not complying with one or not knowing how to decide whether to stay on the right or on the left. He is also impatient, so if there is a traffic jam, no matter the continuous line, he just turns around, and if he uses the turn signals, it is to communicate that he is going there and that everyone is going away.

Generalizations aside, what is certain is that on this trip I have finally reconciled with Italian food since on the previous two occasions I had reported some disappointments and that I realized just stop in an area of highway service and ask for a latte machiatto That was great.

Finally we arrived at Pompeii at 3.30 a.m., thanks to the fact that we also found a section of the highway closed for construction and we had to take a good turn until we found the national road that led to Pompeii. Fabio, the head of B&B Studio 83 where we stayed, opened the door a bit sleepy and we went straight to try to sleep at least a few hours.

At nine o'clock we got up to have breakfast at the B&B and at ten o'clock we headed south to visit the Paestum ruins. This town is an hour and a half drive from Pompeii, but can also be reached by train. Thanks to the wrong GPS indications, we reach the ruins at the southern end and leave the car in a parking lot where 2.5 euros were paid for the whole day. However, then we saw that there was free parking around the area.

Paestum stands out for its Greek ruins and its three Doric temples that are preserved quite well: the temple of Hera I, the temple of Neptune and the temple of Ceres. Apart from the temples, some house plants and cobblestones of the streets are preserved. Although perhaps the most surprising thing is that if you want, you do not need to buy the ticket because they look pretty good from the fence that surrounds the enclosure.

We paid the 4 euros that the ticket was worth and we walked calmly through the ruins. Thus we could admire the splendor of the temples and their height, which was impressive. The good thing about these ruins is that they are outside the tourist circuit and there were hardly any people visiting them.

Upon leaving the ruins, we returned to the car to go to the amalfi coastbut on the way we stop at a case (cheese factory) where they made the mozzarella of buffalo and buffalo milk ice cream. And they really had the buffalo there grazing in a meadow and batting in the mud. The place was new and very cuckoo and I can say that they sold the best ice cream in the world. It was creamy, delicious and nothing expensive (€ 1.80) for how artisanal it was. The whole area around Paestum is full of casings where to buy mozzarella authentic Too bad they didn't have a restaurant in this place to taste it.

Around 13.30 we returned to the car to continue towards the Amalfi Coast. The coast that goes from Sorrento to Salerno It is known as the amalfi cost. A narrow road runs through the small towns that clump together in the rock right next to the sea. Usually, that whole area is where Italian posh spend summer vacations and, therefore, is very expensive. Starting with the blue parking area, where one hour leaves for about 4 euros if you can park in the center.

The best time to visit the coast is in autumn or spring, since in summer it is impossible to move around the area by car. The landscape is very beautiful, but in my opinion it is hardly surprising if one has already been Costa Brava: turquoise blue waters, pines and steep cliffs. Perhaps what most surprises are the villages built vertically on the rock with their small colored houses.

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