Hear about travel to Naples and the Amalfi Coast in Italy as the Amateur Traveler talks to Beth Rubin from SelectItaly.com about how to plan a trip to this beautiful region.
“The very first time I touched down outside of the U.S. was going to Naples Italy and it was a revelation. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. I was on a study abroad trip so kind of done on the cheap. We landed at the Naples airport, They put us on a bus and took us down the Amalfi coast. As someone in their early 20s, this was like nothing I had seen before. It was spectacular. I think the first place in a country that you go to keeps a warm spot in your heart.”
We start in the city of Naples which can be challenging with its pickpockets, unscrupulous taxi drivers and more than occasional garbage strikes, but Beth highly recommends spending some time in the city. As if being the birthplace of pizza were not enough, make sure you see the Naples National Archaeological Museum with its treasures from nearby Pompeii and Herculaneum. She also recommends a stop at the Museo di Capodimonte for a look at some paintings of the old masters. For a more unusual tour, visit the Naples Underground.
Beth compares the archeological sites of Pompeii vs Herculaneum. “These two sites are widely different because Pompeii, obviously, everyone’s heard of it. It’s huge and it’s packed with tourists, unless you go in April or March or November, but very interesting. There is a reason people go there. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is on the brink of being dropped off the list because they are not taking care of it well enough and they have so many tourists going in there. Herculaneum is like the polar opposite. It’s still very well preserved and it’s also very interesting.”
As we move down the coast Beth runs through some of the different towns. Sorento is a great home base. Positano is the place to see and be seen. Vietri Sul Mare is known for its ceramics. Amalfi has the most beautiful duomo (church). The island of Capri has lemon groves and the Blue Grotto. But her vote for the most beautiful spot on in the area goes to the Villa Rulofo in Ravello.
Discover why Beth and many other tourists keep coming back to this beautiful coastline which still lies at the base of Mount Vesuvius.
Naples National Archaeological Museum
Museo di Capodimonte
Naples Underground Tour
Restaurant Da Paolino, Capri
Don Alfonso Restaurant, Sorento
Villa Rulofo in Ravello
Vietri sul Mare
I only recently came across your podcast after I began travelling for Ausdroid – somehow companies started inviting me to events in different countries, so I’m not complaining and your podcasts on the destinations I’ve travelled to have been outstanding in helping me to plan my days off.
Mickey on Memphis and Nashville:
Just read/saw the pics of your road trip to Memphis & Nashville last year. I also re-listened to the Memphis podcast as a refresher for things to do when a friend comes to visit in a few weeks. Much of it I haven’t done even though I’ve lived here 20+ years!
New to Memphis just last year is the Bass Pro Shop that took over the Pyramid, what had been our major arena. I think it’s the world’s largest BPS, has 2 restaurants and a hotel and an observation deck up top that’s supposed to offer beautiful views. It’s certainly had over 1M visitors and I think even over 2M so far, just since 4/29/15.
If/when you do get back to Nashville, let me know. I have a friend who works as a bartender at the Opry and another one who plays in one of the bands on the General Jackson showboat and I can put you in contact with them.
Even if you don’t stay there, stop by and visit the Opryland Hotel. Ever seen a hotel with a river running through it? It’s a sight to behold.
Opryland itself is no longer a thing. The theme park has been replaced by a shopping mall. The Opry House, Hotel, mall (Opry Mills) and the General Jackson are all right there together.
The Parthenon is interesting. They tried to replicate some of the stuff from the one in Athens, including a massive statue of Athena. Plus some copies of the Elgin Marbles, which I found interesting since I’d seen them in the British Museum and have visited the original temple remains.
Down on the riverfront is Fort Nashborough, site of the first settlement. Free admission, self-guided tour.
There’s a new minor-league baseball stadium for the AAA team, the Nashville Sounds. Last I heard they were an affiliate of the Brewers.
Downtown, Bridgestone Arena is the big venue (besides the football stadium) and is one of the busiest arenas in the country. Home of my Predators who are playing your Sharks starting tomorrow night!
Of course the Country Music Hall of Fame is down there too and is really good. It’s not terribly far from the Ryman Auditorium, former home of the Opry, but has since been renovated and expanded. Great acoustics there. Both of those attractions are near Lower Broadway where there are tons of little places to just pop in and listen to music and then move on to the next place.