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Travelling around Basilicata & Calabria - report

Cornwall
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Travelling around Basilicata & Calabria - report

We found Naples airport quite easy to get out of although signage to the main road for the A3 Motorway was not very clear. Travelled towards Potenza(seems a nice town) to our first stop, Vaglio, to overnight at La Dimora dei Cavaliere Agritourism B&B. It was not easy to find as there seemed to be three Vaglios. Lovely B&B but not up to its full potential, we were the only guests, rooms large, clean with heavy furniture. We were taken out to a restaurant for our first meal which was basic but plentiful. The Museum had an exhibition of a recently discovered Michaelangelo and our host, Angelo, translated. Breakfast disappointing but when we mentioned the fact the next day was better. Dinner that evening was good, never-ending dishes. The caretaker Phillipe was a marvel even with our language barriers. Cost €220 for 2 nights.

On towards the coast with a detour to the hilltop town of Pisticci, nice little place, we were wandering around admiring the war memorial when we were asked to come into the Mayor's office, proudly shown about by a few people, then taken to the Cathedral and the Tourist Office, wonderful experience. One of the few towns that was clean!

Overnighted at Azienda Agricola San Teodoro Nuovo at Marconia, a Citrus Farm. Lovely suite of rooms, massive diningroom. As the weather was good we ate out on the veranda, the food was adequate and plentiful. Lovely gardens. There seem to be other guest cottages available too. Cost €340 for 2 nights.

Next stop was Agritourism Al Vecchio Biroccio da Giorgio at Corigliano Calabro, directions given was very good and no problem to find the place. Friendly reception, and although we struggled to understand each other we managed to get a meal. A celebration was on as well which made it a festive place. Nice gardens. Basic breakfast. Cost about £165 for 2 nights.

We travelled extensively along the west coast and was extremely disappointed and taken aback at the amount of junk dumped everywhere. It seems when you have old tyres, sofas, fridges, cars, etc, just dump it in the nearest laybye or waste ground. Together with the multitude of unfinished houses, abandoned factories, half-built flats, it is a dismal sight. What a criminal waste of potentially lovely little seaside resorts. A curious phenomenon are the roadsigns, directions will be given to a place a 100km away but on getting close, all directions vanish!

We spent 4 nights at La Bussola Hotel, Capo Vaticano near Tropea. Narrow little road all along the coast, with spectacular views - but again, rubbish dumped everywhere. Our room had a small fridge and very helpfully a drying rack on the balcony to hang smalls. One of the nicest places we stayed, friendly, helpful staff, good English, Wi-Fi in reception. Good value for €299 with B&B.

On to Soverato where we stayed at Hotel Gli Ulivi, near the Promenade. This could have been our favourite town but were totally put off by the rubbish everywhere. A beautiful Promenade and sea front, spoilt by neglect, junk-filled flower beds, planters and lawns. A busy town-centre but by this time we were saturated with pasta and pizza - what happened to the healthy Mediteranean livestyle we always hear about! The Hotel was okay but extremely noisy due to late night revellers, the aircondition didnt work and with the open doors the mosquitoes ate us alive. Cost €143 for two nights B&B.

In Cosenza we got horribly lost looking for our Hotel, Home Club Residence, but everyone we asked tried to help, notwithstanding the lack of Italian/English. Just off the main shopping area, the hotel is modern, our Junior Suite was lovely, a family of 4 can quite happily have a S/C holiday as the kitchen was well stocked. Massive balcony but lacking any outside chairs. Good Aircon. Continental breakfast was set out. Good value at €89 for the night.

We travelled along the Coast road passing dismal stretches of rubbish strewn beaches, and more half-built buildings on towards Maratea Marina, a small lovely little beach. A feature seems to be that areas of the beach is coned off, kept reasonably clean but charged for! Got caught up in a 30km traffic jam as the motorway was under repair! The Grand Hotel Osman at Atena Lucana was our next stop. Nice room, again heavily furnished, opulently draped, thankfully a modern bathroom, but with poor lighting. A so-so evening meal, slightly chaotic early breakfast, the waiter was overly attentive but forgot to bring in some of the breakfast dishes. Nice coffee. €80 for B&B.

Early morning start to Naples for our last night, the signs for the airport peters out when most needed so got horribly lost - there are signs for civil airport but found out we were to take the road for Capodichino, the car rental return arrowed sign is virtually on the exit and easy to miss.

Our last night in Naples was spent at B&B Medinaples, the Alibus from the Airport is handy at €3 to the Castle where we got off. There are lots of building works there so cross the road to Barclays Bank and walk down for about 5 minutes towards the Fountains. A very large door next to The la Bufala Pizzeria is the entrance. Two flights up or take the lift. Friendly Reception, nice large room, plenty soft towels and a comfortable bed. A small Balcony and it was fascinating to see the Italian driving from above. We were close to town, and wandered everywhere without ever feeling unsafe and thankfully, we didnt see too much rubbish on the streets. We noticed a lot of scurrying from the fake handbag vendors when the Finance Police patrol the streets who, together with other Police presence were obvious everywhere. The evening meal at La Bufala was good. After an early morning breakfast which was plentiful we took the Alibus to the airport - he knew how to get us there (!)so it went quickly.

Overall impressions? Beautiful valleys with bridges marvellously constructed, generally good main roads, very helpful, friendly people. An expensive country, with beautiful scenery marred by no regard for the environment. A monotonous selection of pasta and pizza, erratic road signs, sometimes non-existent in the smaller towns, suicidal drivers. We covered about 2400 kms.

Manchester, UK
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1. Re: Travelling around Basilicata & Calabria - report

Thanks blackieCornwall!

Great report, the last time I drove through Calabria was 2000 and after reading your report I can see that nothing has changed!

What's wrong with pasta and pizza?! ;-)

2. Re: Travelling around Basilicata & Calabria - report

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