To Napoli and home

We left Maratea at 9:10 and travelled through some seriously long tunnels. At Campagna Est we put in €30 fuel (17.66l) and had espressi before entering the autostrade at 11.40 (€2.10). The area is so built up now that we are closer to Napoli. At 12.00 we took the exit for Napoli and drove around before parking at Garage Angliono at 12:40. (If you are going to the historical centre, try and find Ecumano parking).


Our first stop was for espressi at Antica Caffeteria Bar Maria and then we made a bee line for L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele.

Not for us

This time with Google Maps it was easy to find. But the queue was worse so we walked straight past and into the historical centre.

We bought two pizzas to share, one from Bell e Kaur pizza and the other fun Antica Pizzeria. I can recommend the latter, as well sfogliatelle from Sfogliate.

Tucked into a residential courtyard

Dave had a traditional one and I had nociole e mondorle. Even though we ate our pizzas while walking around we decided to eat out sfogliatelle while standing in the courtyard and while we were doing so, the owner came to chat to us. Once we were done we continued our exploration ending up at Mura Greche.

Mura Greche

From there we went to Gay Odin which has been in existence since 1894! Dave had pistacchio as usual and I went for a double scoop – one of cioccolato zenzero and the other, foresta. The ginger was so good!

Centro storico

We had our final espressi at Lunema and then went to collect the car. It took them 10 minutes of car ballet to get our car out. We left Napoli at 14:50 and got back onto the autostrade at Napoli Bird at 15:15. From there to about 30km outside of Roma there are very few houses. We fuelled up at Frescati Nord (€40 and 23.5l) and then exited the autostrade at a cost of €14.70. We had planned on doing some last minute shopping but that didn’t work out. So all we did was drive to the closest garage we could find to the airport, which was not the closest! There is one close to the long term parking which I should have saved in the Garmin as we always battle near Fiumicino. We topped up using €20 in coins and arrived at the airport at 18:30. Check in opened at 19:45 so we stood in the queue waiting for quite some time. But from there it was easy sailing through security and passport control. We went booze shopping and arrived in the lounge at 20:35. We had a fantastic dinner which was a good thing as the rest of our meals were dismal.

Arrividerci Italia

Dave had one bite of his fish on the flight to Addis Abbaba and I had pasta. We both ate our cheese and biscuits but left the rest. The B777 200LR flight left Roma at 23:30 and I can’t understand why they feed you a meal at this time, and then a pastry just before landing. We got into Addis Abbaba at 04:48 there time and once again I was ill. This time so violently my throat was sore. We boarded on time for our flight but spent close to 2 hours on the plane waiting for the technicians to sort out the in flight entertainment. We left at 9:16 (8:16 SA time) and the next meal we got was a snack. No coffee but you could get wine! We were served lunch, still no coffee and then when the coffee service came around we were ignored. Not happy campers in row 27! We landed at 15:22 and 30 minutes later we had gone through passport control, collected our luggage and cleared customs. Thank you to everyone who has followed along and liked these posts. We had a super holiday xx


Finally some sun

Work needed a lot of attention this morning and we were not done until 11:00. As the wind had stopped and the sun was shining I suggested we go to the beach. We caught the bus down at 11:15 and did absolutely nothing other than lie

Seriously salty water

down, eat watermelon and swim. We caught the 12:45 bus back up to the resort and bought bread from the mini market. After lunch and book reading we headed down to the pool. It was cool and cloudy but still perfect weather for gelato. Limone for Dave and caffé for me. We had our prosecci early, and said goodbye to the staff, who’ve been amazing. Then back to the apartment to start packing, eat bruschetta and play backgammon. Dave made dinner of all the left over ingredients and then we played another round of backgammon before heading off to bed. Given how high up we are – 430m above sea level and everything we did today was up and down walking I’m not surprised we covered 7795 steps – 4.1q.1km.

Our last sunset in Maratea

A lazy day

Our plan was to do as little as possible today. We went down to the restaurant for espressi and to work after a late breakfast. At 11.00 we drove to the fish shop to see what they had. There was nothing there that took Dave’s fancy. At the bakery we bought bread, eggs and cream which is all we needed. We then went back into Maratea and luckily found parking in the free section.

Yummy pastries

At Bar Avigliano we had a bocconotto crema e amarena treat to share with our espressi. We were waiting for the restaurants to open at lunch time to read the menus. To occupy our time we bought something from the pastry shop. Once we had read the menus we came back to the resort and had lunch. A little bit of reading for me and computer stuff for Dave and then we went to the beach.

Lido Maccaro

The wind finally started dieing down and the beach was really pleasant. We came back to the resort, stopping for espressi before coming back to the apartment. At 19:00 we drove back into the historical centre, found parking and walked to La Perla. We made a reservation and walked around Maratea. It is so different at night.

Maratea by night

Dinner was amazing and we had a fantastic meal and really good service. We went back to Bar Avigliano for dessert. Upon recommendation I had bocconotto gelato and Dave chose cioccolato. Lazy days result in more steps – 9005 and km walked – 4.51 than days spent in the car!

More driving

The wind was fierce again and not conducive to anything but driving around. We started our day with espressi in the restaurant and caught up on work. At 10:30 we headed for Scalea and drove through Praia a Mare. The mountains around there still had lingering smoke from overnight fires.

The old and the new

The concrete of the main road bridge has exposed rebar and one can only hope that they carry out maintenance before another disaster. In Scalea we had espressi at La Quercia and then did our shopping at a really nice Conad. We took the back road into Riserva Statale Valle del Fiume Lao.

Santa Domenica Talao

From our starting point Mormanno was 9km as the crow flies but 39km of driving. We put in €20 of fuel (11.77l) as we entered the town and the elevation was 792.7m. It’s really easy to refuel this way when instructions are given in English 😂. First put in your cash or card. Then select the pump and then put in the fuel. If you’ve used cash the machine stops automatically once the amount has been reached. Once we had petrol in the car we climbed the through the town and found the highest bar, 866.9m above sea level, Bar Gelateria.

Expect Italians to stop in the road to chat

A quick espressi break and down the mountain we went. We had our picnic lunch in Castelluccio Inferiore and another espresso stop at Billy Bar in Lauria.

View at lunch time

We then drove back to Maratea and had gelato from Bar Avigliano. Dave had pistacchio and I went for Cioccolato.

Hidden in the streets of Maratea

After shopping for supper stuff we came back to the apartment and headed down to the restaurant for espressi and to connect to the wifi. I could not get on and I hope that issue resolves itself by morning. After Dave finished his work we had prosecci and came back to the apartment to eat supper. We played two rounds of backgammon and had an early night. Driving days are not good exercise days. 5847 steps and 3.02km.

Spectacular view

Coast and mountains

With an orange warning for wind we decided to spend the day in the car. We went down to the restaurant for coffee at 9:10 and took care of work and then headed out at 10:05 towards Sapri.

Clinging to the edge of the mountain

We put in another €20 fuel (12.2l) and then stopped at Universal Caffé for espressi in San Giovanni a Puri. From there we drove to Caselle in Pritari and had lunch in the Marina.

View at lunch

After that we drove into Parco Nazionale del Cilento a Vallo di Diano. I needed a nature break but after seeing a long black snake cross the road I waited for an open bar rather than the open ground. In Casaletto Spartano the Osteria was open and we had our espressi sitting down.

Stunning villages everywhere

We then drove through Lagonegro and at Tortino we were 791m above sea level.

How are these villages?

In Maratea we went for gelato at La Caffeteria. Dave had pistacchio and I had marrons glacés as there are chestnuts all over the show here. I think this is my new flavour. We went back to the apartment and after a bit of catching up with work we went to the restaurant for our evening prosecci. Our worst step count so far, 5864, which resulted in us walking only 3.04km.

The view from the resort

Driving around Maratea

At 9:35 we left the apartment just as it started raining. Our first stop was for petrol and not being certain if the self service gave change we went to the serviced pump. Petrol costs more if someone puts it in for you! Dave put in €20 (about 11 litres) and we headed for the supermarket. After doing our grocery shopping we missioned to find parking in the old city of Maratea. Once we accomplished that we had espressi at Bar La Calonna and walked around.

Centro storico

It was drizzling on and off and rained a bit during our drive to Trecchina and the rione Castello.

A ruin at the top of a road

In Trecchina we had espressi at Tostini Caffé and then drove to Lido Maritino for our picnic lunch.

Our view at lunch time

Our drive for the afternoon took us through Porto di Maratea, Massa and Brefaro before we decided to go and see the Statua del Cristo Redentore.

The arm spread is 19m!

Due to the condition of the road you cannot take your car up to the statue.

View from the taxi

We parked in the secure parking (€5) and then used the taxi service to get up there (€2). It was totally worth it.

The view from the top

The statue was built from 1963 to 1965 and is amazing. With the most stunning views on offer from the top. Before heading back down we had espressi at Luciana Botteghe. We got back to the apartment at 16:00 and relaxed for an our before going to the pool, having gelato (chocolate with Irish cream), swimming and reading. We ended our afternoon with prosecci before heading back to the apartment for supper. We walked 7820 steps and 4.07km.

The laziest Sunday

Dave and I are always on the go, so to have a lazy day is something unusual. We woke up, had breakfast and showered and walked to the pool.

The large swimming pool

We had espressi and read books and then came back to the apartment. We had lunch, followed the bike racing on live timing and then went to the beach. We chose spiaga Nero which has black basalt stones for the sand. I didn’t take my phone with me so Google to see what it looks like. I read, we swam and then came back to the resort for gelato. We both had nocciola sitting under the umbrellas. Don’t try that at a beach in Italy unless you are willing to fork out €10. After a swim and a bit more sun we went to the restaurant for prosecco. Then back to the apartment to watch the bike racing and eat supper.

The view from our apartment

Despite it being a lazy day we walked 8131 steps and covered 4.38km. This is due to the steepness of the resort and walking down a serious flight of stairs to the beach.

Ortigia to Marate

The quickest part of our journey yesterday was walking to Europcar. We left the apartment at 08:50 and by 09:10 we were on the road. I think there was a young lady earning money at the entrance to the autostrade. She charged us €5 and gave us a ticket. If that’s the case she must earn a fortune. Etna was smoking away and we exited the autostrade at Taormina (€1.70), parked and had a quick walk in and out of the old town.

A reason to come back

We had espresso at Franco and granite at Gelatissimo Taormina. Dave had arancio and I had limone.

There was a wedding!

We then got back onto the autostrade at no cost and exited at 12.05 in Messina (€2). Not only did we get caught in traffic, we went to the wrong ferry! There is more than one leaving Messina and I suggest if you ever need to use one, buy the ticket at the ferry. Mrs Garmin actually took us to the correct one by chance but it looked like a train station so I ignored her. Actually, the trains go onto a ferry!

Train tracks on the ferry

Eventually we left Sicily at 14:35, getting to Villa San Giovanni at 15:05. I had wanted to buy Marsala in Sicily and thankfully the shop we chose had 1 bottle!

Arrividerci Sicilia

Our long drive began and our first mission was to find a shop to buy food and then to get to the resort before reception closed.

Ciao Italia

We did our fresh fruit and vegetable shopping at a farm stall – IGP Cipolla Rossa di Tropea Calabria. We bought more Calabrian chillies to take home and to send to Mark. We managed to get to the resort with 5 minutes to spare. There are two roads up to the resort but the one is closed. You need to go into Maratea itself and then climb the steep, winding road. Finding the reception was not easy but the security guard helped us. We rewarded ourselves with prosecco (€6) before heading to our apartment to unpack, unwind and eat. Today there was a lot of driving. 9418 steps, only 4.97km walked.

Ancient Siracusa

At 9:25 we trekked uphill from Ortigia to Siracusa. Our first stop was at Antica Gelateria del Corso for espressi. We walked through Piazza Pantheon to the Parco Archeological Neapolis. The Greeks built an amphitheatre here in the 3rd Century BC.

Archeological site

To get some perspective here is Dave sitting in front of me. The ‘cheap’ seats are behind us.

Modern day capturing of a moment

This vast area is amazing.

Teatro Greco

And includes a Street of Tombs and a waterfall.

Street of Tombs
Nature’s gift

The stone quarry was dug out until they reached the Theatre.

Latomia del Patadiso

This area also includes the Antifeatro Romano Siracusa, Ara di Ierone and the Grotta dei Cardari.

Antifeatro Romano

This Roman built area was for gladiator training and games. From there we walked through the residential area of Siracusa stopping at Gelateria Little Coffee for espressi and past the Basilica Santuario Madonna Della Lacime.

The dome of the Basilica

We went shopping and had a beer at Caffé Story before going back to the apartment at lunch. We relaxed and then went back to the swimming platform for some sun and sea and came back to change and read. At 16:35 we headed out for gelato. For the first time ever we sat down for this treat. Dave had fragola granite and I had cioccolato gelato. This was enjoyed at Il Caffé Minerva.


We decided to have an early dinner and see Ortigia at night. It was buzzing.

The Cathedral at night

We went back to Piazza Minerva for Prosecco before coming back to the apartment to finish off the wine and cheese. Tomorrow we head off again. 21 984 steps and 12.29km today!

Isola di Ortigia

There is a street market close to where we are staying so we headed there. First having espressi at Bar Antico Mercato and then walking past all the stalls before deciding what to get. We bought fish from the nicest looking of the places.

Filleted for us, one for supper

And then some fresh herbs to suit.

A small choice on offer

We dropped everything back at the apartment and went for a walk around the edge of the island.

Such a stunning vista

At 12:00 we came back to the apartment for lunch and to get out of the sun. We relaxed until 14:30 and then decided to go for a swim. We walked through what was the Jewish Quarter to the swimming platform.

No sand!

But rain was threatening so we did not spend much time here. We continued from where we left off in the morning, heading back to the apartment when we got to Castle Miacere. At 18:00 we went to meet Massi and Maria, friends of mine from primary school. We had gelato, walked around and then went for drinks. A typical Italian evening.

A lifetime of memories

Eventually it was time to say goodbye. Another memory to add to so many special ones. We had a late supper and headed to bed, hearts full. 15 483 steps, 8.34 km walked.