Showing posts from 2016

The Amalfi Coast and its hidden gems

See this image? If you look closely you'll find the place I stay when I go to Positano - Pensione Maria Luisa. It's history is truly interesting. It was one of the first hotels opened in Positano in the 1940s and is still owed by the same family. Carlo will greet you and do anything to make your stay special. Sure it is rustic and definitely no frills but you come to Positano to relax and stand in awe at the scenery, right? Well there is no better place to do that. Here are the details:

Definitely a hidden gem despite featuring prominently in the Lonely Planet guide book on Italy and the Amalfi Coast. I've stayed there four times with the fifth coming up in September 2017. The view and the location keep me coming back - and the cheap prices at just 90 euro per night for a room with a terrace. See my other blog posts:…

The Villas at Stabiae - the unknown Vesuvian sites

The Roman Villas at Stabiae - Villas Marco and Arianna - the unknown Vesuvian sites

The statistics say it all. Pompeii attracted over 2.5 million visitors in 2015. Herculaneum, marginally less. These UNESCO World Heritage sites are overrun with visitors and are two of the most popular places to visit in the Campania region. Vesuvius' destruction in AD79 has enabled the preservation of an extraordinary glimpse into Roman life - and boy, doesn't everyone want to see it!

Photo - crowds at Pompeii's ticket office, September 2015

Photo - crowds waiting to enter the Lupanare (brothel) in Pompeii. 

But Pompeii and Herculaneum are not the only sights that Vesuvius locked away. Very close by to both of them are the Villas of Oplontis and Stabiae - three palatial, enormous residences that belonged to wealthy owners and that had stunning views of the coastline. It is possible to visit these three villas - and in doing so you will be well rewarded with an insight in to the lives of these …