Paestum, Italy (Paestum, Italia)
Hearing of extremely well-preserved Greek ruins on the way south to Sicily, we had to drop in to Paestum.
Nowadays the area is popular among summer beach-goers, and we found to our surprise that our campsite was right next to the beach! We took a leisurely evening stroll and snapped some photos for my Instagram account. Those 'Grammerz' love sunsets!
As we had been consuming our fair share of pizza and felt no signs of abating our pizzalust, we headed to the nearby Agropoli for a pizzeria recommended by Lonely Planet. We really should have trusted our instincts, as when we arrived we felt it was a restaurant purely for unsuspecting tourists who don't know proper pizza from a flat bread with bad salad tipped over the top (which is what we received). Feeling very disheartened, we visited a supermarket to purchase fruit for breakfast and had a lovely discussion with the bored checkout clerk who recommended a restaurant near the Paestum ruins that served good wine. He elaborated that it was a romantic spot and he always brings first dates there - "It works almost every time".
That night, a thunderstorm ravaged the area. Having forgotten to erect our guy ropes, the tent billowed alarmingly and at one point I physically held the tent poles in place for fear they would snap! We and our tent made it through the night unscathed, though we slept in to compensate for lost slumber. It took a while to clean our tent from splattered mud in the morning, but eventually we made it to the ruins of Paestum.
feet slipped, causing him to cut open his foot - we had to hide in the car and try to dry off while sweating profusely in the summer heat, all while attempting to bandage the wound).
constantly as though the storm was raging all around us.
Needing nourishment and a place to rest our weary head for the night, we checked into an almost completely deserted campground at Praia A Mare. It felt like an abandoned carnival ground in that you could tell it would be thriving for much of the year, but in the off-season there was a dark and creepy vibe. To purge our palette of the last terrible pizza, we dined at Amici's Pizzeria in the centre of town. The owner was bubbly and a bit dishevelled as though he hadn't expected patrons outside of the regulars. After asking where we were from, he said that he had been to New Zealand. When we pressed him for details, he admitted that he hadn't actually been there, but worked with a few kiwis in Australia. Close enough I guess! We greatly enjoyed the pizza and wine, and I got a good giggle when the owner reappeared after a time with freshly combed hair to give us digestive liquors. When it began to drizzle, he exclaimed outraged to the heavens "This isn't New Zealand, this is Italy!"
That's what gave us the brilliant idea to check the weather forecast for Sicily. Thunderstorms for the next two weeks! How had we not thought to check earlier? And so the very next day we reversed our tracks and headed straight back to Rome.
Today's post was almost called: The Floating Fruit Fresco Fiasco