ISCHIA, a small Island Off the Coast of Napoli, a must visit location

CASTELO ARAGONESE

CASTELLO ARAGONESE

My wife Angela suggested a visit to the island of Ischia, which is a short ferry ride from Napoli. At first I did not know what to think about this. Having never heard of it I began to do some research. The online photos looked good and we have always liked islands.  Getting there was an adventure for us as we have to drive from Napoli to the suburb of Pozzuli. We were bring our rental car as this is a good size Island.  There were no problems and a pleasant voyage with a quick stop at the island of Procida. This is also a place Iw Ould like to visit when we return to Napoli.  Spend time at the beaches and enjoy the warm waters. Find a spa with hot springs feeding it. Walk or take the bus. This island is doable. Scenes from the movie, “the Talented Mr. Ripley” were filmed in Ischia. Also “While We Were Here” with Kate Bosworth.  See all the films that used ischia as a location https://www.ischiareview.com/ischia-in-the-movies.html

PROCIDA

 

THE ISLAND OF PROCIDA

ISCHIA ISLAND

ISCHIA MAP IN CERAMIC TILE 

Once on the Island we started to explore.  At  on time we were on a small dirt road when it got narrower and narrower. Eventually had to back up and work our way into town, 

MINERAL POOL

HOT SPRING MINERAL POOL

Ischia is know for its hot spring fed mineral  pools.  The springs feed the pools and they are drained out each night and left to fill overnight. At least in the case of our hotel.

HOT SPRINGS FEED POOL

HOT SPRINGS FEEDING THE POOL

 

SAPORI MOZZARELLA BUFALA

The Old Butcher Shop Selling Everyting

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Ristorante Lo Scoglio, Sant’ Angelo d’Ischia 

We headed out to dinner and found Lo Scoglio. It is located in Sant’Angelo and proved to be an excellent choice.  The name translated to THE ROCK.

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Photo from the restaurant  web site.

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View from the dining room 

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My wife’s choice,  fruit dal mare.   

 

 

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Lo Scolgio in the daylight.

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Il centro

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Peperoni

 

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The teenagers had no problem diving off the rocks. 

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View from our hotel. 

 Here is the link to the Wikipedia description of Ischia. It is definitely a destination not to miss  in Italy   https://wikitravel.org/en/Ischia

CELL PHONE BARGAINS IN ITALY

In September I will be returning to Italy and taking a bike tour from Bolzano through Lake Garda and on to Venice.  I began thinking about my cell phone. I had used all the credits and in the past had to renew through recharge my sim. de but alas they are no longer in business.  So lets look at your options.   TIM has a very simple plan called TIM FOR VISITORS. Google the link and click on the English Flag to change language. TIM FOR VISITORSit  is not a bad deal. For 30 Euro you get 4 GIG data, and 100 min of talk.  You can purchase the voucher in the US an bring it to any TIM store. I used the one at Fiumicino, Leonardo da Vinci,  Rome;s main airport.  It took less than 15 minutes to get me up and running and have the attendant set up my phone. You can purchase the voucher using your US credit card. TIM FOR VISITORS WHAT YOU GET

BUY TIM FOR VISITORS

 

OK, now it  is time to take about recharging your card.  You can go through your minutes quickly and until recently you could not recharge your sim with an foreign credit card.    First go to https://www.tim.it

You will get the Italian language screen, best thing is to use Google Chrome or install the translate extension in Safari.  Right click and you will get the English  language translation. Keep in mind TEXT MESSAGES ARE NOT FREE. You can use iMessage or other apps that will allow you to text for free on the data. Also consider installing Skype for calls back to the US. I have had excellent results with Skype. 

 

TIM IT ITALIAN

ITALIAN, Ricaica means recharge.

TIM IT ENGLISH

English translation. Click recharge after you use pull down to select amount.

TIM RECHARGE SELECT AMMOUNT

MAKE SURE YOU CHECK THE BOX MARKED FOREIGN CREDIT CARD

SEND TEST MESSAGE TO CONFIRM

 

At the bottom, you can select the receive email notification. It will come to your email account of choice. There os also a box to insert a TEXT which will be sent to your cell to confirm all is working. 

 

Here is my email confirmation.

 

 

Gentile Cliente,
Ti confermiamo la presa in carico dell’ordine nº xxxxxxxxx del 08/04/2018 23:07:16

 

DETTAGLI ORDINE

User:
Numero: xxxxxxxxx Data e ora: 08/04/2018 23:07:16
Metodo di pagamento utilizzato: CDC
Costo a pagare: 10.00 Euro

 

Ricarica:

Importo ricarica: 10.00 Euro
Numero ricaricato: 339xxxxxxx

N.B. La ricarica sara’ immediatamente resa disponibile come credito telefonico e comunque non oltre le 48 ore dal momento della richiesta.

Ti ricordiamo che sul sito tim.it puoi attivare altre offerte o servizi, acquistare prodotti e Ricaricare. Inoltre, accedendo alla sezione MyTIM Mobile del sito potrai:

verificare il tuo credito residuo
verificare lo stato delle offerte attive sulla tua linea
modificare il tuo profilo tariffario
consultare lo stato dei tuoi acquisti online

There are other options, Vodafone  has a similar plan.  Google Vodafone Holiday for information.VODAFONE HOLIDAUY

 

Keep in mind none of the plans have everything you may need. You need an unlocked cell phone with GSM capabilities.    You will always need your passport when purchasing from a Tim or Vodafone store. 

 

You can fly to Italy for $400

I have paid a lot to travel to Italy and I have also gotten some reasonable fares.  Recently I subscribed to a site called Scott’s Cheap Flights.  There is a free version and a paid version.  I got an email last week and found a Euro sale. I looked at Milan for $400 and thought this was a bargain.   NewImage

 

I then went to Google Flights, and MATRIX AIRFARE SEARCH

 

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The Air Italy popped up with a $423 Fare from Miami Non Stop to Milan.    Amazing.  The fare actually was $407 with out bags. I ended up booking a flight for $488 with bags and online check in. I was planning a bike tour and needed to bring slightly more than my cary on would permit.   My total price was Total amount passenger $488.06.    To put things in perspective, in 2004 I flew to Naples for $875.  .In 2006 I paid $710 for the same flight  On 2011 the flight cost $762. 
Air Italy is a division of Meridiana. This is the same company that operated Eurofly USA several years ago.  

 

I highly recommend  Scott’s Cheap Flights and feel the $32 per year to get al their updates is well worth it.   My blog is not commercial and I get no remuneration from them.

Here is their web site https://scottscheapflights.com

 

Here is a sample fare to Rome from Miami, non stop also.  

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Help Support Hungry Children

I have never tried to monetize this blog and I do not intend to. Life is good in retirement and now I try to pay back and pay it forward.

That said, please consider a donation to the PAN FLORIDA CHALLENGE.  This is a 200 mile ride I will be doing next week from Naples, Fl back to my home town of Vero Beach, FL.

Consider the following:This is our mission. Our creed. And our battle cry. Call it our manifesto –It moves us.  Hunger in Florida’s children is solvable. It’s doable and we are the ones doing it.  Here and now. Today. And we are not too few. We are thousands already. And we are starting a movement. The Pan-Florida Challenge to end childhood hunger. This is a call for you and thousands of others just like you to join us. End hunger in our local kids with us.  All together, once and for all, we will End Hunger in Florida’s children.  We know how. We have cracked the code. And We have been doing it already. Join us.

WHAT WE BELIEVE.

If every child in Florida was fed, no local children would go hungry.  Not one.  

This is no longer a wish or a far-off dream. It’s here, today. For just such a time as this.We can solve this problem. It’s doable and we are doing it.  We are the Pan-Florida Challenge. We are a movement – not another cause. We are on mission to get to No local kid hungry.  Not one. This is our creed. And It moves us.  How about you? Step up and become the hero to Florida’s next generation of kids who need you. Find your spot. We have been waiting for you. Great things will be done here. This is your chance of a lifetime. Step into your spot. Do something extraordinary. Become a hero to kids. Legends will be told about us all years from now.

Take the Pan-Florida Challenge. No Local Kids Hungry, Not One!  

On Friday, March 10th, I will embark with several hundred other fund raisers on a ride acorss Florida, from Naples to Vero Beach. A two hundred mile challenge for  mdy 75th birthday.  My wife and I have donated to the cause. So have some wonderful friends who have helped me come close to my goal.

Please consider donating to the cause. One Hundred Per Cent goes to feeding children.  All riders pay the cost of their ride and meals.  If you would click on the link at the bottom of the page.  Please enter my name Greg Speck which will help be get some credit for your kind donation. This goes in the search participants section.

The Pan Florida Challenge is 501 3 c non profit.

Thank you and keep on enjoying gregsitaly.blog

http://support.panfloridachallenge.org/site/TR?fr_id=1040&pg=entry

 

Monterosso Al Mare and Up the Coast

So many beautiful sights to see.   I have been having some software problems, so sorry for the delay in posting.

 

 

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A Quick boat  ride to Monterosso Al Mare made for a nice day trip from Vernazza.

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We were  here in April and it was warm enough to enjoy the beach. Totally uncrowded at this time of year.

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Perfect spot to unwind and relax from travel stress.   Cinque Terre is best reached by rail. It is possible to drive, but parking and access is difficult. We parked up at the top of a hill in Vernazza, got a shuttle and then had two walk about half a mile to reach our hotel.

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Fishing boats by the shore.

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Places to shop and stroll.

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Cinque Terre is definitely worth a visit.  Plan ahead and avoid the peak travel periods of June through August.

We stayed an additional night in Santa Margherita and were able to take a boat trip to Portofino. A beautiful seaside village.  Helps to be a bit on the rich side.

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No margins here and these are 2007 Prices. But it is worth doing some window shopping in Portofino.

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Seaside dining.

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Beautiful view of the port area.  There is much to do in the in the area from Portovenere to Santa Margherita Ligure  is good for several days of exploration.  This is a great place to visit, Hope you have the chance  to visit and enjoy all the attractions. Next time I will bring my hiking gear and explore all the trails.  Ciao

Another Wedding

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We have never been it Italy without seeing a wedding or wedding photo shoot. Any day of the week. It always bring a smile to our faces.

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Never a day with out a a bride.

 

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Location, location, location.IMG 2088

 

Not much more to say, these were all in Rome. 

Rome in 18 days

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Spending 18 days in Rome and traveling mostly on foot bright this city into a new light. Every time we left the apartment we got closer to the city and discovered new and exciting things. Our first visit was in the mid 80s. We did not return to Italy until 1998. Since then we have made several more trips to Rome if only for a few days. This was the chance for discovery and getting a feel for living somewhat like a local.

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Our Airbnb was close to Campo de Fiore. We walked just about everywhere. The market is picturesque but highly oriented to tourists.  Still many locals go each day, as did we. Fresh produce and fruit came back to our apartment. A small supermarket was also close by to supplement what the market did not have.  There were several salumerie  in the area, and well as several Macellerie for cold cuts and meat.  This became a daily ritual.

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During the next several blogs post, I will be describing the interesting happenings during our stay in Rome.

 

Caio for now.

Per dire la verità recensioni di Airbnb non dire tutto. To tell the truth Airbnb reviews do not tell it all

When you stay in an Airbnb you get to know the owners and managers well. Some times they gloss over something saying no problem. As you stay, you may be reluctant to say anything bad. One time we had no hot water in a rather nice apartment in Orvieto.  The problem was quickly resolve by resetting a breaker. Some time that location of the apartment can be a problem. In Rome we are next to a restaurant which has some early morning noises. We knew about this from the review. NO  BIG DEAL.  

Next to us, the apartment was undergoing renovation. Part of the wall was knocked out in two locations and repaired withy concrete. Plaster was not repaired, looked like a basement wall with a hole int it.  Workmen began each morning at 7:30 am and each day stone and wall fragments from this job were on our terrazzo floor. Not nice. 

Shower was difficult to use with out having water go on floor.  Floors were a little dusty, and could never be really cleaned without a professional floor machine.  Walls have marks that should have been cleaned off. The kitchen is decent, but the stainless steel sink area where you put plates does not drain into the sink.

As I looked at many, many reviews for this property, I think people are afraid to bring these items into their reviews. 

On the very positive side, the location was perfect. A two block walk to Campo de Fiore with markets and restaurants. Ten minutes to Vatican, bus stops about a two block walk away. One nice restaurant was behind our building, Polese. 

Arnbnb does not visit these places, so  you need to review ALL the reviews.  Reviews are not in chronological order. Go through all of them and see if there are negatives that are repeated. Bad reviews seem to be hidden. 

If you have a problem, use the email in the Airbnb app to connect to the host. If you can not get a resolution, than use the help button on the app and go directly to Airbnb.  We have received an offer of a 300E REFUND from our host. The construction goes on but the equivalent of $$360 US makes it a little less painful. 

Go through ALL of the reviews, it may be time consuming but it will be worth it in the end.  

I have enjoyed our visit to Rome. The location a short walk from Campo dei Fiore is wonderful. Our host has tried to make our stay enjoyable. The construction will take some time and hopefully will be complete by next years high tourist season. 

Campo de’Fiore, Alice Pizza, Rome
Market Campo de’Fiore, Rome A MUST SEE
Since construction was going on could not use closet had to use small cabinet and hang excess on windows
Concrete patched the plaster, very beautiful. Pounding continued each morning as we stayed.
A large butterfly was put up to hide the damage.
It did not do a good job.

Would I stay here again? I am not sure. The host did what could be done to improve the situation, which really was not all that much.  In researching I found another Airbnb about 2 city blocks away which had a modern kitchen and new furnishings  which  I would rather go to. Did I enjoy my stay, immensely.   No coins in fountain this year, too crowded to get in throwing range,  but I will return.

Caio.

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