Italy: Deep into Cilento and back, with a stop in Velia

A new neighbourhood - Cilento, Italy

A new neighbourhood –
Cilento, Italy

The next stage of our journey is from Castellabate to Roccagloriosa in the south of Cilento.

We follow an autostrada that dives through the wilderness in long strides, with off-piste loops for roadworks. The further we travel the more unspoilt the valleys to either side.  Signs, baked by the summer heat, warn us about ice.

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A trip to the hilltop town of Castellabate in Cilento, Italy

The coastline below Castellabate in Cilento in the south of Italy

The coastline below Castellabate in Cilento in the south of Italy

A weekend in July, too hot to sit still … but … where to go? The north is too far and the south too scorched, so we settle on next door – Cilento.

Can’t claim brilliant local knowledge for the choice, rather over-indulgence … too many viewings of Benvenuti al Sud.

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Naples, Italy: ‘Defend the City’ (‘Difendi la Città’)

Naples, Italy

Naples, Italy

Naples, scarred and sublime, is now in a fight against defamation.  One of its latest battles is online.

This city of secrets has eyes everywhere … now they are wanted in the digital world.

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A day under an umbrella in Cetara, on the Amalfi Coast in Italy

I sat down to retouch this piece, change its style slightly, and … there I was, back under the umbrella. It was like remote sunshine therapy with a big YouTube smile at the end. I hope it does the same for you.

The Phraser

View through to the sea in Cetara, at the eastern end of the Amalfi Coast View through to the sea in Cetara, at the eastern end of the Amalfi Coast

It’s mid-week and warm.  We’re in a fishing village, between a sea-blue sky and its beach below, with hardly a tourist in sight.

The name of the small town is Cetara, on the Amalfi Coast.

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Happy Easter! This year we’re in England.

Wisley Gardens in England

Wisley Gardens in England – ready for the Easter weekend

There is warmth and new green in the south this weekend.  The trees are fresh-leafed, there are bluebells in the woods, and there’s blossom on the verges … it’s beautiful.

And, of course, there are chocolate eggs … but not like in Naples, Italy.

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Naples, Italy: a towering view, and a night of art in a royal palace

Last June we had an eccentric, wonderful evening trip up the ‘red tower’ in Naples, Italy, followed by a night visit to the art gallery at Capodimonte. I wrote about it then but here’s a repaint … better, I hope.

The Phraser

The eye-catching 'La Torre di Rò' (Torre del Palasciano) in Naples, Italy The eye-catching ‘La Torre di Rò’ (Torre del Palasciano) in Naples, Italy

Some evenings unwrap like the best parcels – one surprise at a time.  This is one of those evenings.

We’re part of another Curiosity Tour of Naples.  I’d signed us up for two reasons – the first was to visit the old red tower I’d seen above Naples so often; and the second was to show our visiting artists the Museo di Capodimonte.

The tower is part of our lives here in Naples.  We see it on every trip along the tangenziale from the airport at Capodichino.  It stands tall and mysterious above the dark green of the bosco di Capodimonte.  It is an exotic exclamation mark above a city outlined in rectangles.

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Naples, Italy: a visit to Rione Sanità – skulls, scars, Totò and a grand palazzo

I visited Sanità in Naples, Italy last summer. Our guide was young and local, and the morning she gave us felt personal … as though, thanks to her, the city had allowed us a little closer to its secrets. It was an excellent tour.

The Phraser

Mural in rione Sanità in Naples, Italy Mural in rione Sanità in Naples, Italy – the district (rione) was known as Sanità originally because of the health benefits of living there.

The possibility of progress brings pride and hope, but it takes courage to guard the flame.

No-one needs to tell this to Sanità.  The district, ridden over by a road and tucked out of sight at the back of the city centre in Naples, is building a future for its children one day at a time. One bright gleam of opportunity shines around Sanità’s collection of treasures.

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