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Italy

Curious what backpackers do in Italy? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
  • After leaving Quattro Scogli (four rocks) campsite we travelled to the town of Tropea. Beautiful sandy beaches and the church of Santa Maria, perched on top of a tall, rocky island, defined the lower part of the settlement. We worked up an appetite climbing the steps to the upper town and found a small restaurant specialising in seafood for lunch.

    After a quick dip in the sea for Will, we attempted to leave the town via the one way system. It was quick to take us up the hill, but we were forced to change route due to a low bridge... only to find the secondary route had a bridge signed as only 2.8m. We drove towards the it, looking for a turning point and beginning to wonder how we were supposed to get out, when we realised it looked a lot higher than 2.8m. Vicky leapt out and stood in the middle of the road on the other side of the bridge to give advance warning if Will was going to hit the arch with our 3.6m van. Taking the centre path, no warning was necessary and we were free of the town!

    We tried to make some headway up north after this, having lingered longer than planned down south. It had been a hot day and by 5pm there was a strong haze of evaporation above the sea. The first stopover we tried had shut down and been fenced off, but luckily our book had details of a car park suitable for vans in a town called Pizzo, just 20km up the coast. We found a spot next to some grass between the car park for the supermarket and that of the bank. It wasn't the most picturesque or tranquil of locations but we were tired from the difficult drive and very glad to pull up, close the curtains and settle in for the evening.
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  • Reaching the SS18 coast road we left behind most of the steep, narrow, winding country roads and the awkward town streets that didn't have enough room for a van and car to pass. Although the SS18 was still difficult at times, there were a succession of viaducts and tunnels making driving easier and we were able to keep up a decent speed and make good progress.

    We were glad of this because we didn't feel like hanging around, especially in the province of Catanzaro. A blue smog hung over the mountains and caused us to keep the air vents closed. Once again we saw prostitutes standing waiting for their next punter at the roadside, whoever they may be. We hadn't seen them in the previous province and we stopped seeing them when we passed into Consenza, although they still hung heavy on our minds. We kept thinking how much of it was down to politics and how the authorities allowed these women to be blatantly farmed for profit. Not only was it distressing for the prostitutes but it affected the way every woman walking on the road was viewed.

    Our stopover, a grass and gravel campsite with direct access to a shingle beach offered some reprieve when we arrived just after 1pm. It was one of many, clustered on the flat plain between the mountains and the Tyrrhenian sea, where the ground didn't look stable enough to support the low rise apartment blocks lining the other side of the road. With the element of competition, it only charged a very reasonable €8 per night. The day was overcast so we were able to sit out comfortably and admire the ruined stone settlement and castle on top of an inland hill. A sprinkler kept the plants, including palm and eucalyptus trees, healthy and these in turn supported a variety of small birds, whose chirping added to the relaxing ambience. In late afternoon a fruit and veg van pulled in and we bought a few small punnets of strawberries for desert. We watched a glorious sun set over the sea through the palm trees and felt very lucky to be there.

    After buying some bread buns from the delivery van that dropped by the next morning, we continued on our course. The tourist season is picking up now and this, combined with the fact we are heading north, may mean more on-site sellers.
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  • Staying with Daniel near Monteriggione turned out to be special as we actually got to spend time socializing with Daniel himself. The discussion wandered from travels to work to deep philosophical speculation. We also enjoyed sitting on Daniel's balcony and watching the town pass by in the square (circle?) below.

  • Italy is 10% smaller than California with about a fifth more population. For a few days now we've been humming, "Give me land lotsa land lotsa land don't fence me in!"

    We had heard that the Aosta region on Italy was the most sparsely populated, so headed out from Daniel's in a northerly direction, weather be damned.

    The central Appenine mountains were a welcome sight, and Gordon was well satisfied to get a take two on photographing the Carrera marble yards.Read more

  • The landscape became progressively wilder as we approached and passed through Genoa. However it was still intensely populated. Driving was tough, but as we spied our first glimpse of the Alps we were inspired to take up the camera again.

    The skies clouded up but couldn't dim our enthusiasm as we drove into Aosta. Mixed rain and snow predicted for Sunday. Great! We're ready for a day of rest.

  • Lava rock buried Pompeii under 18-20 ft. When the volcano erupted and spewed lava into the air, it cooled on the way down and turned to rock. Just imagine what it was like feeling the earth shake violently snd seeing fire raining from the sky and pelting everying in site.

    1, 2, 3, 4 pictures of a typical home. homes had same plan with three sections. summer and winter areas and the dining area. They had an opening in the ceiling that allowed rain water in which collected and poured into the cistern.
    5. white stone in floors would illuminate in oil lantern light
    6. main street of Pompeii stone road stepping stones more than 2000 yeas old
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  • Brothels! 1. Since people came from so many different places and spoke different languages they used symbology for signage and directions. Follow the symbols (like arrows) to get to the brothel. The same symbol was on the building. They had frescos along the wall depicting different positions so they could point to the service they want.
    2. stone slab for the woman's comfort.

  • 1.5 million people
    Naples populated for 2000 years
    pizza started here
    pizza Margareta was created to represent Italy colors
    red white green they named it after the queen

    3rd largest city in Italy
    their biggest problem is the Camnora.
    "the system" 100 companies operating discretely who used this fertile land as a dumping ground since 1990 illegally 10 million tons

    Italy unemployment 10%
    Naples 20%Read more

  • Francesco and his two lively children, Matthew and Beatricia, showed us to our spacious apartment. It's a daylight basement with peekaboo views of the mountains. The main room is heated with a pellet stove so it was like sitting in front if a fire while we drank our delicious Chianti Classico for happy hour. A good place to rest.

  • Orvieto sits at the top of precipitous cliffs. It was exhausting even to DRIVE up. First thing we mosied over for a view of of the surrounding area. The cats were a bonus. I think.

You might also know this place by the following names:

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