Wednesday, 23 September 2009

And I Thought Stromboli was a Circus Clown

We crept through the Messina Straits under cover of darkness and cut a silent wash past a sleeping Stromboli, the island and volcano.

Welcome to a particularly volcanic part of the Meditearranean, or to be more precise, the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Stromboli last erupted last year, but tonight it appears to be dormant.

So, on to the next volcano, Vesuvius. This is a bit more sleepy, but blew its top in the last 100 years and spectacularly in 79 A.D when it killed over 10,000 people in the much televised destruction of Pompeii. I know all about this because I used to watch Frankie Howard - Titter ye not.

Anyhow, the entrance to these delights is Naples.

Italy is a stylish place.

They don't do much and there was always the famous joke about the World War 2 Italian tank - it had one forward gear and three reverse gears. However, what they do, they do with incomparable style.

They shrug, they pout, they play with their sunglasses and the men can't pass a mirror, without pausing to reflect.

It always makes me smile when I fly into Italy and the police and customs at the airport always seem to be fiddling with their little white bags on their belts or brushing a stray hair off their face whilst looking in the one-way glass.

I've often wondered what the mens toilets must be like in an Italian nightclub.

I can imagine a line of men at the washbasins, applying their make-up and working hard at that manicured look.

Even their cruise terminal is chic - I kept expecting to see Sophia Loren at any moment.

You can tell I'm not envious - after all, who wants to look like a male model without even trying - I don't - bah.

Anyway, as is my habit, I digress.

Naples or Napoli now that I'm here, is a busy little port.

How's this for a mooring ?

So, when in Rome - sorry, when in Napoli, it's off to Amalfi for ice cream and more sunglasses.

The roads are very windy and narrow on the Amalfi coast and driving is a tad hairy.

Its interesting watching trucks and coaches weave along roads probably made for donkeys.

Full marks to the Italian drivers though, they get past other vehicles with a centimetre to spare.

and if they don't, so what, more shrugs and sunglasses on heads for eyeballing contests.

It's got so bad, that the government employ these little men to contraflow the traffic.

Its very clever, they come in little rectangular grow-bags (see his on the lamp post).

You pour agua minerale on the bag and hey presto, miniature traffic marshalls.

What ? you don't believe me ?

Okay, doubting thomases, here is conclusive proof, snapped by a concealed camera.

Here is the home of the Italian leprechaun, now gainfully employed on the Amalfi coast road:

Amalfi is beautiful - what can I say.

Andiamo (lets go).

Job done, we cast off the myriad of lines that secures us to Italy.

A quick surge on the bow and stern thrusters and the ship is once more, a living, moving thing of beauty. 

Next stop, home.

She glided out of Naples, past these very stylish commercial warehouses.

Just because they hold warehouse type things, why can't they look good, ciara.

Ciao baby. 

Thats what I like about Italians - appearance is everything.




  1. We went on a cruise many years ago, and passed Stromboli in the dead of night. It was sending sparks and fire up into the air. In my opinion, that was the best bit of the holiday!

  2. I've always wanted to do the Amalfi coast... stunning like you say.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.