On the Ferry from Casamicciola to Pozzuoli


I love to take a ferry from Naples or Pozzuoli (north of Naples) to go to Ischia. The approach to the island gives me that warm feeling of coming home. Especially now that I don’t go back too often. In the past I lived half my life on these ferries as a tourist guide crossing over to the mainland at least a couple of times a week. And in summer the sea is like a mirror, just super calm.

So on the way back I took a few pictures from the deck to the islands Ischia and Procida and to the mainland with the Capo Miseno, the little town of Baia and Pozzuoli. I always enjoy the breeze, the sun and the call of the seagulls that follow us. Some of them are so good and take a piece of bread out of your hand while they are flying.


We first had a very short stopover in Procida, the neighboring island of Ischia.

A little bit about Procida: The little island is situated right in the middle between Ischia and the Capo Miseno and Monte Procida on the mainland. Attached to the island there is a smaller one, Vivara, which is a protected area. The island is part of the Flegrean islands and born with a volcanic eruption a long time ago. There are settlements since the first Greeks came here around the 8th century BC. During the Roman period it was a place for the patrician class and during the middle ages people started to live in the ‘Terra Murata’, a fortified village because of the continuous devastation by Vandals, Goths and Saracens.
Today the island is a touristic place which still has its charms of the fishing villages. In 1957 the very fist underwater aqueduct in Europe was built from Naples to Procida. The island has been a film set for many movies such as ‘The Postman’ with Massimo Troisi and ‘The Talented Mr Ripley’ with Matt Damon.

We stopped just for a few minutes in this beautiful place before leaving towards the mainland. I have been a few times to Procida and I love of course the little port of Corricella, one of the most colorful and romantic places.


On the way to Pozzuoli we could see Monte Procida and the Capo Miseno. Here you can see some grottoes right at sea level, where villas often have there private entrance from the sea with stairs up through the mountain.

Here is also a very important blue mussels farm. The area of Naples is famous for their dishes with mussels like ‘spaghetti con cozze’ or ‘impepata di cozze’.

And a little bit about Pozzuoli: Pozzuoli is situated in the middle of the Campi Flegrei, a stinky (sulfuric) volcanic caldera. An originally Greek colony, it was the main hub for exported goods from the Campania, for example grain, glass, mosaics and marble. At Capo Miseno there was the largest naval fleet of the ancient world. Many great Romans lived here, had at least a summer villa in the surroundings. Here also they ‘discovered’ how to make concrete that actually is holding the cupola of the Pantheon in Rome, the largest unreinforced concrete dome. Have you ever seen it? Spectacular!
From the Roman era there is still to see the Macellum near to the port and the Flavian amphitheater a little town inward. It is today the home of a famous Academia Aeronautica. In 1980 there was a very bad earthquake with nearly 3.000 dead and 250.000 homeless. The town is famous for a lot of bradyseism that can uplift or lower the ground. It’s a very interesting geological area and also for diving deep into the Napolitan culture.


There are ferries from Medmar, Carremar, Snav and Alilauro. They go between the island of Ischia with 3 ports – Ischia Porto, Casamicciola and Forio – and Naples or Pozzuoli. Of course there are also ferries and boats going to other places like Capri, Amalfi coast, Ponza and many other routes.

We took the Carremar ferry to Pozzuoli as it is a little shorter in time than the one to Naples, and we wanted to drive up along the coast north to Rome on the Via Appia. I enjoyed the ferry ride very much, my sweetie, I guess, a little less, as he doesn’t like to be on boats or ferries.

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Casamicciola d’Ischia to Pozzuoli/NA, Campagna/Italy:


For further information:
For a perfect hotel to visit Ischia I recommend Villa Melodie


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The Wilderness between Lübeck and Travemünde


It’s a while I would have liked to take the boat from Travemünde to Lübeck or vice versa. But only this summer I finally did it because my sweetie asked me to do so and a friend of mine immediately purchased the tickets for the three of us.

So one sunny morning we took the bus to Lübeck’s port and hopped on the MS Hanse. It’s a kind of panoramic boat or ferry that goes 4 times a day between Lübeck and Travemünde along the river Trave. The tour is about 2 hours and offers a cozy place where to enjoy the view on the Hanseatic city of Lübeck, the beautiful ‘wild’ landscape along the river and finally Travemünde.

The big port of Lübeck is already interesting with its big ships, ferries and also fishing boats. The ‘Lisa’ is an old cog (12th century clinker-built ship) which reminds you about the history of the place.


Leaving the lively harbor you are immersed in greenery that you maybe would not expect. I didn’t, but I have never seen the landscape from the river. Wilderness all around, a lot of sea birds and swans everywhere, black cormorants sitting in the trees… nature everywhere you look. And we are sitting on the deck of the ship, enjoying the sun and a nice, big cocktail.

The captain explains a lot of things (in German only) and makes the boat ride also a lesson in history.


We approach Gothmund, a little fishing village at the Trave right out of Lübeck. It looks gorgeous from the boat, nearly romantic. It is easy to start imagining old stories about fishermen living here, having their daily, hard life to survive but also having the opportunity to sell fish in the busy Hanseatic city of Lübeck.

Gothmund is known since 1502 and gained its own rights for fishing in 1585. It was used as a kind of stopover between the sea and the port of Lübeck. It has a little natural port, very much protected by reeds. Today there are living a lot of sea birds and swans. The houses were damaged very much during the Baltic sea flood in 1872 and less than 20 years later it was nearly destroyed by a fire. In the end of the 19th century it became a village for artists.

Today the little village is completely closed for cars, there are some historically protected houses and one walkway through the village. There are around 80 inhabitants living in typical houses with thatched roofs.


Very interesting to me was to see where the tunnel under the river is built and the bridge, that I remember so well, is gone. We had to try to figure out where exactly it was, it is not seen clearly.

Finally, we got to Travemünde. I always have a heartbeat more when I arrive to the town and see it from this perspective. I was amazed at the big international ferry port of Travemünde, the Scandinavian Quay, I usually see out of the bus window only. The famous Vorderreihe of Travemünde with its old houses in the style of 19th century baths architecture is always spectacular.

We enjoyed the tour along the Trave river very much and it should really be a ‘must-do’ when you are visiting Lübeck.

Enjoy the photos!

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Travemünde, Schleswig-Holstein/Germany:


For further information:
Travemünde
A little bit about Gothmund (in German)
A little bit about Lübeck
If you want to see the timetable of the MS Hanse (English translation available)


Posted in Europe, Germany, ON TRAVEL, Schleswig-Holstein | Tagged , | 2 Comments

“Un espresso per favore!”


And most of the Italians ‘need’ their coffee in the morning. Compared to the American coffee the espresso is nearly ‘invisible’. It’s just a sip, one sip, not more. Out of a tiny little cup, the espresso cup. The American coffee is half a liter of brewed coffee, very light, enriched with artificial flavors and oftentimes sold in a foam cup with a lid.

The ‘real’ Italian coffee is served in a coffee shop, coffee bar or coffee house, in Italy called simply Bar. It’s part of the traditional breakfast to go before work into a bar and have a ‘caffè’. Served normally in a little white, very thick cup, so hot you can’t even hold it with the two fingers. Espresso cups are stored on top of the hot coffee machines to keep them warm, so the served coffee will stay hot a little longer. Because the espresso must be consumed at a certain temperature, hot and not one degree less than you can drink it. The coffee is creamy, sometimes so thick that the little spoon you turn the sugar with (or in some bars you get also honey) sinks only slowly to the edge of the cup.

Well, it’s very difficult to find a good espresso outside Italy, I know that from experience. I do my espresso at home. With a Moka pot. A little machine invented by Luigi de Ponti and patented in Italy by A. Bialetti in 1933. And yes, mine is a Bialetti, the simple Grey one.

The difference to American brewed coffee is that the water in the Moka pot is in the bottom part, the coffee in the middle in a funnel and comes out in the upper part, pressed out by the steam of the hot water.

The espresso is the most common and known coffee we have. But there are a lot more, some also known outside the country. You can have the coffee, when you drink it at the bar, with a little milk to be a Caffè Macchiato. Men often like a Caffè Corretto, with a little Grappa, women often have Bailey’s instead (me, me, me!!). The Marocchino has some cocoa and milk foam. The American style coffee is called Americano, espresso with a lot of water in a bigger coffee cup. Some call it also Caffé Tedesco, German coffee. Italians go crazy when people order pizza and Cappuccino together… a completely no-go! Caffè Latte or Latte Macchiato is served in a high glass, espresso and lots of milk. The Mokaccino instead is a great combination of espresso, hot chocolate and milk, topped with milk foam and cocoa powder.

And don’t forget: in Italy we drink the coffee, whatever kind, most of the time standing at the counter. If you want to sit instead, the price is a little higher. And a bar refers to a coffee shop, the one for the evening leisure is called a night bar.

Enjoy your espresso!

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For further information:
A video about how to make a real homemade espresso with a Moka machine


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An Afternoon in San Gimignano


San Gimignano – the city of towers as it is also called – was on our list at this year’s vacation in Tuscany with a friend from Germany. I have been there already years ago with another friend and loved it very much. It was one of my first medieval cities I visited in Central Italy. You can read about my previous visit in San Gimignano here.


This time I took again a lot of photos and comparing them with the ones five or so years ago: the main square changed a little bit. Of course most of the town didn’t change even in 500 years.

I climbed up the tower which I really enjoyed. Less the 413 stairs than the view from the top. Breathtaking! Every step was worth it!

I leave you with the photos to look at and if you like: go to my article about San Gimignano and read about history and experience.

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San Gimignano, Tuscany/Italy:

For further information:
San Gimignano
Tuscany


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A Walk in the Medieval Town of Volterra


A couple of years ago I was already in Volterra and I liked it a lot. One of the absolute ‘must-see’ in Tuscany. This time I enjoyed it even more as I was more familiar with it.

For you some impressions of my beautiful walk through the small medieval town.

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Volterra, Tuscany/Italy:

For further information:>/strong>
Volterra
Tuscany


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