When we were in Rome I really wanted to travel down south to Naples but instead, we went north to Florence on an all-day tour. We had a great time and learned a lot, but I’d still like to make a return visit to southern Italy.
Rome’s famous and arresting Trevi Fountain
That’s why my interest was peaked when I spotted a piece in Condé Nast Traveler (March 2018) by Katie Parla, a writer who knows the best way to travel from Rome to Naples. There are two options: If one goes by high-speed train it takes just over an hour. But she elects to stretch her trip into a four-day journey and, as she says, “Sit for three courses at 400-year-old restaurants and visit Bourbon palaces.”
She warns that one should rent a car that can handle narrow streets. Then begin your journey by heading for the hilltop town of TIVOLI. From here, drive south to OLEVANO ROMANO, a town of stone houses overlooking the area’s dormant volcanic peaks. Parla says, “I’ve driven nearly every back road of southern Italy – this view never fails to blow me away.”
A fruit stand in Naples, Italy – photo courtesy of Condé Nast Traveler, Vol. II 2018
In the morning, she follows Via Casilina to CIOCIARIA, a region known for its cucina povera (or humble cuisine) and otherworldly mountainous terrain. She advises one to, “Ignore the industrial parks you’ll pass through because you’ll soon be back on a green stretch and heading for the medieval town of ANAGNI.”
WHERE TO PARK
Most villages have pedestrian-only streets so it’s best to park in lots outside the town walls. Driving deeper into the Ciociaria region she says, “A great dinner stop is Agriturismo Cerere, with its homemade pasta. Then spend the night at Sotto Le Stelle – a rustic-luxe albergo diffuso that was once a bishop’s home.
Parla notes, “The last time I did this trip, I began with a visit to Agricola San Maurizio, an organic farm and then drove south to a switchback road that led to the Abbey of Montecassino, a restored Benedictine monastery that was destroyed in World War Two.”
In striking contrast and 30 minutes southeast is SAN PIETRO INFINE, a stone village intentionally left in ruins to bear witness to the ravages of war. Its crumbling walls eerily preserve the aftermath of destruction.
A PALACE AND A PIZZERIA
Just 45 minutes south is Reggia di Caserta that was built by the Bourbons in the 18th century and has a mind-boggling 1,200 rooms. From here one can grab a table at Pepe in Grani – hands down the most celebrated pizzeria in Italy. Heading an hour southwest one finds SANT’ANASTASIA, a village on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius. Then, Parla says, “Heading west, I can tell I’ve hit NAPLES by the darting scooters.”
Pizza pies from Pepe in Grani, Italy – photo courtesy of Condé Nast Traveler, Vol. II 2018
THE LATEST ON CUBA
CLICK HERE to read our most recent mention of Cuba. Now it’s time to give you an update on this island country because the federal government has put new restrictions in place. Here’s an easy-to-read overview:
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Americans love people with lots of spirit – individuals who are willing to push boundaries – in the best sense of the word. And, Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, has done this with her flair for fashions that really work. This is why we love her.
After reading about Dolce & Gabbana’s new shop at 155 Mercer Street in Manhattan’s SoHo, I decided to pay a visit to see these digs for myself. On Friday, August 17th when it was close to 90 degrees F. I took the Downtown #6 subway and got off at Spring Street (a 10-minute trip). This left me at Spring/Lafayette and from there I walked west to Mercer where I crossed the street and took a short walk to 155 – all told a fairly easy jaunt.
There is something fun about watching the designer's vision on the runway. Yes, not all of the looks are practical, but it helps to bring what once were drawings and ideas to life. That part of the creative process is interesting to me. When it comes to street style, I have grown to appreciate this fashion scene.
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