Ira's Italy Trip Report

Oct 8th, 2003, 06:47 PM
  #21  
 
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Good trip report, Ira! I especially like the way you have addressed fodorites concerns (what was the hotel like, how much was lunch/dinner, what were they wearing). I'm going to save your restaurants recommendations for next trip.
Marilyn is offline  
Oct 8th, 2003, 07:33 PM
  #22  
 
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Ira! I absolutely LURVE your report! I can't wait to hear the rest of it - Love the fashion commentary too
WendyWhy is offline  
Oct 9th, 2003, 02:18 AM
  #23  
ira
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Hi all,

Thanks for the suggestions on posting photos to the Web.

Elaine,
I found the B&B Peterson in the course of a long and tedious search for inexpensive places to stay. It's not in any of the usual places.

Lulu,
Glad Renato Cuomo turned out well for you too.
ira is offline  
Oct 9th, 2003, 02:32 AM
  #24  
ira
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Venice
We did an overnight to Venice. I told Mr Ancillotti that we would be gone for the night and wished to keep the room, for which we would pay. Upon checkout, he charged us only 1/2 price for the night, because he didn't have to clean the room. We thought that this was rather nice.

Took the 10:38 ES* to Venice and arrived on time at Venice SL station. Well, actually we arrived on time at the entrance to the station. It took another 15 minutes before we could get off the train. Venice is like Cleopatra: "Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety". Every time I come out of the train station onto the Grand Canal, I get the same thrill.

We had made reservations for the night through an internet discounter at the Hotel Capri, across the Canal from the train station on Calle Bergamaschi. Because I had planned so well, I knew immediately upon reaching a bridge that we had passed Calle Bergamaschi. Slowly we retraced our steps back to the Ponte Scalzi. No soap. Back we went. Still no street. My LW began to doubt my skills as a guide. I pointed out that the street did exist on the map. She pointed out that I hadn?t found it. Back we went. This time we got lucky. I noticed the words "Calle Bergamaschi" painted on a wall behind a gate. The street name was carefully placed so that you could see it only if you were coming toward the Ponte Scalzi while looking upward. Pushing open the gate, and turning sideways we entered. About 50 feet down the passageway, the street opened out and led to a small campo. Amazingly, there was the hotel.

The Capri is a pleasant, 3-star with a helpful, courteous staff. We were given a moderate sized room on the fourth floor with a view of the dome of the S. Simon de Piccolo. That the hotel elevator only went to the 3rd floor was but a minor inconvenience. After settling in the room, we sought out the Antico Bassetta that Gard had recommended. Unfortunately, it was not open for lunch. Smelled very good. We shall try again next time.

Had lunch at a local spot and went off to Specchi Veneziana di Barbini Sergio, 1720 Calle del Cristi, to add to our collection of Venetian masks. Found a beautiful Jester. Wandered about, bought some saffron at Frutta Verdura Primizie di Paglione Antonio, a spice shop on Via Orefici, at about 1/5 the cost as at home.

Dinner at Cantinone Storico, which was recommended by more than one person on this forum. It is on a canal near the Accademia Bridge, within sound of the bells of one of the churches. Lovely atmosphere. Excellent cooking. Very good presentation. Superior service. Highly recommended.

I had tuna carpaccio, seafood risotto and Sea bass. My LW had the mixed seafood antipasto, and shard the cheese platter (gorgonzola, belle paese and reggiano parmesano).

With the antipasti, we had the house white - a nice Pinot Grigio. With dinner a bottle of Mercato Vendemenia - an assertive and slightly resinous white with a bit of fizz.

Ran out of wine when it was time for the cheese. Asked if the Mercato came by the glass. Waiter said "no". As we didn't want another full bottle, I asked for a 1/4 L of the house. Waiter made a face. Brought a bottle of the Mercato. Poured two glasses. No charge. I like people who know that dining is an art form.

Weather was rather humid and warm. Very few men were wearing jackets.

The next day we did the Secret Itineraries Tour. Had reservations for the 10:45 tour. Arrived at 10:20, as ordered. Got my ticket, clearly printed "10:45 tour". Sat at the meeting point and waited. 10:45 came and went. Nothing. At 11:00 went and asked when the tour would start. After a few minutes, I was sent to the information desk, where I was greeted by name and told that "actually, there is no 10:45 English tour. The next English tour is at 11:30". Ah, belle Italia.

Went on the 11:30 tour. Interesting trip with a pleasant and entertaining guide. Afterward we wandered through the Doge's Palace. Had a quick lunch. Took a traghetto across the canal, standing upWent to the Grande Scuolo Rocco. Overwhelming number of Tintorettos. Needs a few visits to absorb. One of the dangers of visiting Venice is that there is so much first class art that one starts making comparisons as if one knew what one was talking about: ?Oh, that was an OK ?Assumption of the Virgin?, but I think Titian did it better?.

Left the museum, picked up our luggage and took the 6:30 train back. Arrived Florence in a gentle rain that lasted all night. Everyone was very happy since it was the first rain since May.

To be continued
ira is offline  
Oct 9th, 2003, 03:55 AM
  #25  
 
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Ira you're making me salivate!
Really enjoying report so far.
Thank you!
Kavey
Kavey is offline  
Oct 9th, 2003, 06:04 AM
  #26  
 
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Ira, this is a first-rate report. So very happy you detailed information on the restaurants you enjoyed.

Adding to my trip file...
MelJ is offline  
Oct 9th, 2003, 08:35 AM
  #27  
 
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lovely report,
too bad we had gone to Florence before I read this.
All your eating suggestions will be earmarked for further travels.

Fashion in Italy,
this was my children's 2nd trip,
but at 16yrs.of age this year , my son had a very different perspective on the fashions worn by the women.!
nanb is offline  
Oct 9th, 2003, 08:42 AM
  #28  
ira
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Naples
Said goodbye to the Ancillottis, put our luggage into the tiny elevator and out to the street. Bade farewell to the folks at the corner café and walked down to the Train station, where we took the 10:54 ES* to Naples. Train trip was uneventful except for 2 truly ugly Americans who, with their wives, spent the time between Florence and Rome making unpleasant remarks about Italy and Italians in voices loud enough to be heard at either end of the car. These weren?t the only uglies we encountered. There were ugly Aussies, ugly Brits, ugly Germans, ugly Italians, even ugly Japanese, but somehow ugly Americans seem worse than the others.

Arrived Napoli Centrale more or less on time (20 min late) and found a booth that sold the Naples Artecard. Unfortunately, they had suspended sales of the 13E card. Found a tabacchi and bought metro tickets. Found the entrance to the Metro, and lugged our suitcase down the stairs. A friendly policeman helped with the last stage.

A note about police: In Italy we found railroad police (Feropol), municipal police (Polizi) and national police (Carabini) in abundance. The latter are the elite force ? fancy uniforms, better cars, coiffed hair. There is more than a little competition between police forces. One day we saw a police car slowly driving up the street through pedestrian traffic. A few minutes later it came slowly backing down the street, nose to nose with a larger, newer police car marked Carabini. On another occasion two polizie parked their car alongside a Carabini car, trapping it against a wall, and walked away, leaving the Carabinieri sputtering and gesticulating.

Arrived at Piazza Cavour and followed the signs to Museo. Level walks, elevators and people movers made the walk with the luggage easy, until the very end where we had to overcome two flights of stairs. Once out of the Metro, it was a short walk up the hill to Via S. M. Costantinopoli and a few blocks down hill to the Albergo Sansevero. The hotel entrance is in a courtyard. You take the elevator to the second floor reception, where very nice people help you check in and show you to your room, which, except for the two suites, are on the first floor ? not accessible by lift. Oh well.

The room at the Sansevero was large and clean. The AC was more than adequate. The towels were nice and fluffy. Unfortunately, there was an odor in the bathroom, which I was able to trace to an improperly closed off sewage pipe left over from the renovation of the bathroom. The odor was not overwhelming, but it was unpleasant.

We paid 90E/night, which I think was high for what was provided.

The best part of the Sansevero is Mr Fiorillo, who runs the café next door where you go for breakfast. He is a character. Breakfast was 2 very fresh pastries and a cuppa. No decaf coffee, however, so my LW had decaf tea.

One point about decaf in Italy. It is just about as good as the regular, and they usually bring you the packet from which your tea or coffee was brewed so that you can see what you got.

Thursday afternoon (09/25) we had an aperitivo at one of the cafes on Pzza Bellini and walked through Via Port?Alba to Pzza Dante, down Via Toledo to Pzza Carita and then up to Pzza Gesu Nuovo where we had dinner at Trattoria Napoli. I had the pepardelli and the swordfish. My LW had gnocchi and some of my spada. Dinner with wine about 40E.

Friday we went to the Archaeological Museum to see the Pompeii mosaics and other treasures. Some very nice small bronzes that I would love to have. You don?t have to sign up for the erotica; just walk in the exit. It came as no surprise that sex hasn?t changed much in the last 2000 years. We learned from the didactic material in the erotic section that this was the collection of a Cardinal of the Catholic Church, and that most of it is Egyptian, except for the stuff that is fake.

We then walked down Via Toledo to the waterfront and the Castel dell Ovo, taking in the sights and absorbing the sounds. Had lunch and aperitivo at local places and dinner at Pizza Bellini. Get there early. By 9:00 PM people were lining up. My LW had grilled fish and a spinach contorno. I had the eggplant/prosciutto rolls and linguini fruiti de mare. We shared the cheese plate (3 kinds) and the lemon cake topped with whipped cream. Our first taste of Amalfi Coast lemons in the South. Ummmmmmmmm. With wine 64E.

Saturday we visited the Capella Sansevero, with its ?Veiled Christ? ? an amazingly beautiful work. It doesn?t have the drama of ?David?, but it is exquisitely worked. Two other works also show the artist?s skill at depicting the folds and drape of cloth. We then walked over to the Montesanto metro stop and took the funiculare up to the Castel St Elmo. The way up to the funiculare is NOT where it says ?ai treni? (to all trains). That, logically enough, is the way to the trains. Fortunately, we were redirected by a friendly gentleman who explained that the funiculare is not a train. Entrance is to the right of the train entrance.

The best part of the Castel is the view. We also enjoyed the view from the terrace of the Bar Cin Cin, where we had some wine and a beer. Nostro Azzura is surprisingly good beer ? well balanced between hops and malt. As we were leaving, we noted that the place had filled with people having lunch. We should have stayed.

Returned to Pzza Dante for a late lunch at Leon d?Oro consisting of Pizza Capricciosa ? various meats and vegetables ? and Antipasto Misto ? six ways of doing eggplant, mushrooms and zucchini. 19E with wine.

Strolled about. Bought some Limoncello. It said, ?guaranteed all natural ingredients? on the label, but the yellow color cautioned me from buying a large bottle. It wasn?t bad, but it wasn?t all natural. Real limoncello should be pale and slightly green.

Dinner at Pizza Bellini again. This time we did not order from the menu, but chose what we wanted from the display case. Steamed fish in parchment, mixed clams and mussels in wine and olive oil, marinated eggplant, spinach, another limonello cake. Complimentary limoncello. It pays to go back. 69E with wine.

Sunday, my lady wife was awakened at 3:30 AM by the emergency lighting going on. ?What?s that??, she exclaimed. ?The emergency lighting?, I replied and went back to sleep. Later that morning, Mr Fiorillo informed me that all of Europe was having a power outage. We later discovered that it was only Italy that was blacked out.

Well, this was certainly a problem. Fortunately, it was Sunday. I shudder to think what might have happened in Naples if it had been a Monday and they couldn?t turn the traffic lights to blinking yellow for rush hour.

Even though the power was out, the regulars kept stopping by the café in the hope that Mr Fiorillo might have some hot coffee. It was not to be. All he had was café freddo (cold coffee), which would not do for the locals but I found delicious. Later Mrs Fiorillo sent down some hot coffee that she had made on the gas range, and I got a cup with brandy in it. When my LW arrived for her morning tea, there was hot water for her. Lovely folks.

Along with the power outage, it began to rain. Thinking that getting wet and cold in a dark city was not the best way to spend a vacation, I called our driver, Mr Cuomo, and asked if he could pick us up early. He graciously said he would and soon arrived to take us to Praiano. We were lucky to have decided on a limo to take us to the Amalfi Coast, because with no power, the trains weren?t running.

Notes on Naples:
Napoli is a lively, vibrant and chaotic town. In short, it swings. Morning rush hour ? all of the traffic lights are on blinking yellow, yet somehow everyone gets where they are going. Pedestrian streets - motor scooters and motorcycles are considered to be pedestrians. The old part of the city has magnificent pallazzi and enclosed shopping malls embedded among architecturally insignificant buildings in great need of repair. The waterfront is a great area to stroll ? beautiful views, public parks, upscale hotels and the Castel dell Ovo.

Found a ?hole in the floor? toilet. Very clean, tiled toilet, but it did look anachronistic.


Dining Notes: Naples

Pizza Bellini, end of Piazza Bellini just opposite Via Port?Alba.
Very good local restaurant. In addition to 39 kinds of pizza, fish, shellfish, pasta, good local wines. Moderate to expensive.

Leon d?Oro, Piazza Dante Very good local restaurant Moderate to Expensive

Trattoria Napoli, Pzza Gesu Nuovo Good local restaurant Moderate prices

Bar Cin-Cin, Via T. Angelini near the Castel S. Elmo. Beautiful view from the terrace. Prize-winning restaurant Expensive.


To be continued
ira is offline  
Oct 9th, 2003, 08:44 AM
  #29  
ira
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Hi Nan,

I should think that your son was in a perpetual state of...ummm...excitement at being in Italy again.
ira is offline  
Oct 9th, 2003, 08:53 AM
  #30  
 
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Somehow it's always more offensive to see your own countrymen being ugly.

Great reports - must be quite a journal to keep all the details!

matthew is offline  
Oct 9th, 2003, 09:22 AM
  #31  
dln
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I'm glad you liked Naples, Ira. We too found the Bar Cin-Cin and have a great sunset photo of ourselves with beautiful Naples and its bay shining below. We had only a day there, a situation that will be rectified on the next trip. The food and cafes in this city are recommendation enough, aren't they? The rhum babas, the pizza, the salamis...
 
Oct 9th, 2003, 11:52 AM
  #32  
 
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Very enjoyable. Thank you. I especially liked the part about your being locked in a garden with your LW solving the dilemna.
luvtotravel is offline  
Oct 9th, 2003, 12:17 PM
  #33  
ira
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The Amalfi Coast

We left Naples at 12:45, and Mr Cuomo had us at the Hotel Le Sirene by 2:45. Unfortunately, my LW discovered that the sheer cliffs of the Coast Road gave her a severe case of vertigo. This, as you might expect, had a major effect on our planned itinerary. However, as a former Boy Scout, I put all of my planning skills to work and developed a plan that would stay as close to sea level as possible. Following is the expensive way to do the Costa Amalfatina.

The Le Sirene is located just below the Pzza San Giovanni, in the heart of Praiano. Six steps down from the main street, a ramp to the piazza, another ramp to Via San Nicola and a mere 43 steps down to the hotel. It is a bit difficult carrying a large suitcase in the rain, but it was good exercise. As a matter of fact, I had no back pain for the whole week in Praiano. The hotel is very pretty. Actually the website doesn?t do it justice. (http://www.lesirene.com/index_ing.htm) We were warmly greeted by Giancarmine and his wife, Maria and taken to our room, no.12, which was large enough for a king-size bed, a table and two chairs plus the ensuite bath with tub. French doors led to our private patio which had two chaise lounges, a table and two chairs and directly faced the island group Le Sirene. There is also a great view of Positano. On a clear day you can see Capri. Below the patio is a small truck farm with olive and fruit trees. Note that the AC is turned off around the end of September. We found that, because of the breezes, our room was always cool enough for sleeping, but it could be warm in the afternoon.

We watched the waves, the mist, the rain, the trees, the clouds settling on the mountains and drank limoncello. The joys of il dolce far niento.

The power finally came back on, and after the hot water was restored, we repaired to the bar. I taught Sgr Giancarmine how to make an American Martini Cocktail, which made my LW happy. I worked my way through the various Italian aperitivi (not all at once).

Dinner was at La Strada, one of two good restaurants in Praiano. I had the pizza with panchetta and cipollini, a dish which is worth traveling to Praiano for, mixed clams and mussels and the grilled fish. LW had fresh mozzarella baked in lemon leaves, another dish worth the trip, the mixed seafood platter (calamari, prawn, shrimps) and a cherry tomato and arugula salad. Main courses were accompanied by potatoes and grilled eggplant. Dinner with wine 69E.

La Strada is a very good restaurant. The ambience is slightly formal. Service is very proper, yet not snooty. The food is first rate and beautifully presented. Price is very low for what you get.

A small town on the other side of the mountains celebrated it?s Saint?s Day that night and their fireworks lit up the clouds above Positano. The weather cleared later and revealed the Milky Way, a million stars and 3 comets.

Breakfast buffet was 2 kinds of bread, pastry, 3 kinds of cheese, 2 kinds of salumi, fruits, yogurt (4 kinds), fresh orange juice (blood oranges), coffee or tea. The cheeses, pastry and salumi changed each day.

To orient ourselves, we took the local orange bus, Positano-Praiano, around its route. The bus goes through Praiano, up to Positano, down through Positano, up to the Coast Road, back through Praiano, on to La Praia and back to Praiano. Unfortunately, my LW, even when sitting on the side away from the road, couldn?t take the ride again.

Note: you can pay for the orange bus on the bus, but you must buy tickets for the SITA buses (blue or green) before boarding. Since we always bought 4 tickets at a time, we were able to help out folks who didn?t know this, by selling them our tickets.

Following our bus tour, we walked about town until my LW calmed down, had lunch and a siesta. After an aperitivo and conversation with other guests at the bar we had dinner at La Brace, the other good restaurant in Praiano. La Brace is a very friendly restaurant with a homey feel. The food is very good.

I had the Veal Scallopini and eggplant, Roberta had the linguini vongole. We shared a lovely dessert of a cherry tart, made with local cherries. Dinner with wine 52E.

Sunrise: The mountains blush because the dawn finds them sleeping. Absolutely beautiful.

After breakfast, we took the SITA bus to Amalfi. LW found this part of the road easier to take. We wandered through the town seeing the sights and buying souvenirs. Found 21-year old balsamic vinegar at Alimentari Nicola Anasta (a great store for foodies) on Via Lorenzo d?Amalfi. They also have 12 and 18 year old. You pay 1E per year. Had gelato at the gelateria of the Hotel Savoia. Very good and not expensive ? 2.5E for 2 scoops.

Back to Praiano for dinner at La Brace (Le Strada is closed on Tuesday), where we again enjoyed a very nice dinner.

Wednesday we took the bus to Amalfi and the boat to Sorrento. Beautiful ride along the coast. The water is an unbelievably deep blue and the wake from the boat is starkly white. Arrived in Sorrento and walked to the plaza looking for how to get up to the town. Saw a bus and asked the driver for directions to the train station. He said to come aboard; he would take us. So we did, and he did. It turned out that this was a private bus that was going to pick up a tour group near the train station, so I still don?t know how to get from the boat dock to town.

Wandered about Sorrento, window shopped, lunched, shopped, saw sights, had a bottle of wine, returned to Praiano via SITA bus because the last boat left in the early afternoon. Roberta found it easier to ride the SITA bus at night but was still queasy.

Another great dinner at La Strada (LW wouldn?t let me have another panchetta/cipollini pizza), and so to bed.

Next day we took the bus to Amalfi and the boat to Positano. Saw the sights, bought souvenirs, stopped in at the Sireneuse. Beautiful view from the lobby ? the same islands as seen from our patio at Le Sirene. The difference was that from our hotel we could easily see Positano, while from the Sireneuse you had to crane your neck to see Praiano.

We splurged for lunch at the terrace restaurant of the Hotel Buca di Bacco. I had the house special antipasto plate (pate de fois, fried zucchini sticks, potato puff with Parmesano cheese, seafood fritter, shrimps), and the baked eggplant parmigiana. LW had a cheese omelette and a salad. Lunch with wine 65E, but a great view of the beach.

Wandered about: Lots of expensive clothes shops, many shoe stores but no socks. Took note of an interesting phenomenon. People eating pizza and French Fries, sometimes eating pizza with French Fries. Still can?t get over it.

Returned to Amalfi on the 5:00 PM boat (left at 5:30) and so back to Praiano for a light dinner of pizza and a salad. 25E with wine.

Weather turned hot and humid on Friday. The Scirocco from Africa causes this. After another excellent breakfast we took the bus to Amalfi, sold our extra tickets to two tourists, bought some more upon arrival, and caught the 12:10 boat to Salerno. It?s a short walk to the train station, which we reached at 13:10. I bought two return tickets to Paestum. The gentleman at the information booth told me to take the 13:42. Upon checking the departures board, I discovered that there were two trains leaving at 13:42. Returning to the information booth, I waited on line until I could ask which of the two trains passed through Paestum. The train to Cosenza, I was told. Fortunately, we still had 5 min to make the train.

Note about Italian trains: The departure board tells you what time and from which track each train leaves, but it gives you the final destination, not the intermediate stops.

To reach the Greek ruins at Paestum, exit the train station and walk straight to the arch. Follow the road to the end (about ? km) and go right to the ticket booth (1/2 km). I suggest that you then go back to the other end (1 km), stopping off at the Ristorante Della Rose for a snack and a glass of wine (salad capresi with homegrown tomatoes and basil, fresh mozzarella, local wine, beer, bread 14E) and go in the exit. There is someone who will take your ticket. You can then walk through the site, exit and go to the Museum, which is air conditioned.

Paestum is the largest site of Greek ruins outside Greece. There are three temples in very good condition, as well as numerous foundations and residential artifacts. The museum has a number of very good pieces taken from the site.

Gelato at the Museum bar was excellent. The bar has photos from 1939, when Mussolini visited Paestum.

Caught the 5:43 back to Salerno, where we connected with the SITA Bus to Amalfi and then the SITA bus to Sorrento, arriving back at Praiano at 8:30. Showered, changed and went to dinner at La Brace. Scirocco continues. Hot and humid.

Saturday we just vegetated. I think that the weather finally got to us.

Sunday dawned gray and rainy. We had arranged for a porter to help with our luggage. For 10E he carried our large suitcase and one carryon from the hotel to the road, where our driver was waiting. I paid him, and he walked back to the hotel in the rain. (I?m sorry, I couldn?t resist.) Off to Naples and on to Rome.


To be continued
ira is offline  
Oct 9th, 2003, 12:20 PM
  #34  
ira
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Hi dln,

I guess we belong to the half that loved Naples. My lady wife wouldn't mind never going back.
ira is offline  
Oct 9th, 2003, 12:23 PM
  #35  
 
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Thanks ira for such a good report. Look forward to your report of la costiera Amalifitana.
mmr41 is offline  
Oct 9th, 2003, 12:41 PM
  #36  
 
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My notebook is now up to page 15 with "Ira's Italy." I'll be retracing many of your steps, Ira. And sampling your wine suggestions!

More, please...
MelJ is offline  
Oct 9th, 2003, 12:45 PM
  #37  
ira
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A note on driving the Amalfi Coast:

This road is about 22 feet wide (I measured it) and handles 2 way traffic, some of which is buses going both ways.

The local bus drivers know the road very well and can pass each other without difficulty, because they know where to stop.

The tour bus drivers are not very familiar with the road and often get stuck in the wrong spots, causing traffic jams, that sometimes motor scooters can't get through.

I don't recommend driving a car on this route, as the driver will end up angry and upset, and not get to see the scenery.

If you want a real ride, take a motor scooter or motorcycle from Sorrento to Amalfi and back.

If you want to see the scenery, take the SITA bus.
ira is offline  
Oct 9th, 2003, 02:38 PM
  #38  
 
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Ira: I have also just returned from Italy and I am preparing a brief report. But I am starting a new folder to save every line of yours so that my next trip will be even better.
travler2 is offline  
Oct 9th, 2003, 02:48 PM
  #39  
dln
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Ira, you'll get a kick out of this since you observed the way traffic works on the Amalfi coast.

We took the SITA bus from Amalfi to Ravello. Around the hairpin turn where the ceramics shop is, the traffic jammed up. There was a bus in front of ours, four cars coming from the other direction, and no one could move. Talk about a logjam in a hairpin! The busses backed up; the cars backed up. An attempt to manouever failed. The busses backed up; the cars backed up. The cars became irate and started honking. The process was repeated. Finally, when it appeared that traffic could resume, a little Smart car appeared out of nowhere, and zoomed through. Everyone gasped at the gall!!! Then two motorcycles followed suit and did a little dance through the cars and busses. Our entire bus collapsed with laughter, the driver shifted into gear, and we all marched forward, still chuckling about the David and Goliath moment.
 
Oct 9th, 2003, 05:31 PM
  #40  
 
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Ira, I am enjoying your report. Re Paestum: the day we were there it absolutely poured. I remembered reading about how when the Allies landed in the Salerno area during WWII, they had the same weather. (Hence the sarcasm in the song, "We are the D Day Dodgers/ In sunny Italy....") Glad to hear that the sun shone for you for the most part.
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