The portico in Vincenza as we left our hotel.
I found this article in Italy Magazine. It is a free magazine you can subscribe to which I find very helpful. With the high heat in Europe this summer this article may be of interest to you. Some great ideas of how to beat the heat, and where to visit.
Last summer we arrived in Sicily in mid August. It was hot but the beaches were cooling. So were some of the high altitude areas as well as Lake Garda.
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
THE ISLAND OF PROCIDA
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,
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 FEEDING THE POOL
The Old Butcher Shop Selling Everyting
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.
Photo from the restaurant web site.
View from the dining room
My wife’s choice, fruit dal mare.
Lo Scolgio in the daylight.
The teenagers had no problem diving off the rocks.
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
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. it 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.
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.
ITALIAN, Ricaica means recharge.
English translation. Click recharge after you use pull down to select amount.
MAKE SURE YOU CHECK THE BOX MARKED FOREIGN CREDIT CARD
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.
Ti confermiamo la presa in carico dell’ordine nº xxxxxxxxx del 08/04/2018 23:07:16
Numero: xxxxxxxxx Data e ora: 08/04/2018 23:07:16
Metodo di pagamento utilizzato: CDC
Costo a pagare: 10.00 Euro
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.
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.
In 2007 we had a weeks vacation to visit Italy. What can you do in 7 days? We visited Orvieto, Lucca. Vermazza. Santa Margarheita, Portofino, and an afternoon in Rome. And a couple of towns in the Cinque Terre.
Vernazza from the hillside above
Vernazza was our introduction to the Cinque Terre. A hillside town with terraced gardens and vineyards. Our visit was before the flooding, but the town has been restored and the tourists have been back from quite some time.
A fishing boar was pulled up on to the shore.
This is the piazza for the nail gatherings. We visited in April and were treated to some very mild temperatures.
View from our BnB, Gianni Franzi. Not a bad place, but like many BnBs you will climb up some steep steps. The location was a quick walk to the center of town.
The colors of the piazza.
Views of town from the seaside. Lots of places to sit and enjoy the views. Vernazza and Cinque are know for their hiking trails. Some can be strenuous, but all are beautiful.
Here is a link for information on the trails. Make sure to check to see if you need a pass to use the trails.
Local fishing boats by the pier.
Line art, or clothesline art.
The train station as we headed down towards Riomaggiore, where we learned an expensive lesson on train travel. When you purchase ticket for the trains, or busses for that matter, you must validate (convalidare) your ticket. We were taking the 5 minute trip to Riomaggiore and had no clue. As the conductor approached I handed our tickets to him an he new he was going to make a killing with some naive tourists. It cost us 30 Euros for the mistake. Original tickets were 2 Euros each! Many train tickets on the high speed system are marked for a time and date and do not need to be validated. It does not hurt to ask.
A view from the pier as we prepared to take the boat for a short tour of the nearby towns.
Vernazza is a must see, but try to avoid peak tourist times. April, and May are good and late September through mid November are less crowded.
I will continue our trip in the next post.
Image below is from http://www.cinqueterre.eu.com/en
The crazy and different Italian T Shirt fad, During our seven week travel through Sicily and Italy it was impossible not to see how many shops had T Shirts, but with English language text and a bit of profanity.
I amazed that anyone would really want to wear this, but they sell them.
Some of the others were even more outlandish.
OK we get the point.
Softer tones this is a nice one.
Simple, but why?
Profanity is accepted in both Italian and English.
Thats all for today.
No matter how you decide to go, you will get a lot of exercise. Option one is to climb the entire 551 steps to the top. Option two ( my choice) you cut the trip down to 320 steps. Most people took the elevator to the 320 step route. Hours are from 08:00 – 17:00 from October to March 31st. From April to September 30th, it is open till 18:00. Keep in mind, it is a climb and make sure you are in reasonable physical condition.
It gets a little tight on the staircase.
On the way up there are several viewing locations.
This was an early morning visit in September..
As I zoom into the mosaics the details will become visible.
How detailed they are.
Now on to the top.
360 degree views of Vatican City and Rome
Many details of the basilica become visible when you are on top.
At the end of the trip catch the stairs to the elevator an complete your tour of the basilica at your leisure. The rope serves as a handrail.
Cost for your excursion is 5 Euros if you climb, and 7 if you wish to take the partial ride in the elevator. I arrived at about 08:15 with no lines. It was worth the climb. Look for the signs directing you to the cupola as you enter and there will be a ticket booth.