I am Simon, I am English and I live between Roma and Amalfi in Italy. I have lived in Italy since 1990 and I speak reasonable Italian and French, plus some English!!
I love travelling and exploring, I have worked in Export Sales for more than 30 years which has taken me all over the world, and I like nothing better than travelling around Italy and Europe by car, van or motorbike alone or with friends.
I know Italy fairly well and I love to help others to discover the beauty of Italy and to avoid the many pitfalls. Many visitors love Italy but do not really know how to avoid the difficult bits, as the language and the mentality is very different from the American and North European “norms”.
I also have a small fleet of vehicles that I can rent out to the right people or can use to transport you around. You fly into Roma and wanna get to the Amalfi Coast?? I can take you. You need to transport you and/or your luggage around between hotels? Call me. You wanna try a motorcycle experience?? I can supply a touring bike with a satnav in English all ready to go. You wanna visit the Ducati or Ferrari factory?? No problem. You need a route for a 3 day visit to Sicily or Sardinia? I can supply it.
Here follow some blogs to give you a taste of the Italian experience. Thanks!!
Ok so here is the master plan so far:
- I have asked her indoors if I can book the whole hotel PLUS the 3 apartments for the whole week, and (so far so good) she said yes. Poor woman. This event is by personal invitation only and is NOT open to the general public BUT we do plan to run similar events in the future.
- I therefore have 28 rooms in the hotel to host my “guests”, plus the 3 apartments if required.
- My idea is to offer the lucky chosen few an “all-in package price” for the week to include almost everything, B&B plus some happy hours and even some meals too.
- I am looking to organise a wide range of activities, events and visits for the week and everyone will be able to select say 3 activities. Additional events (if we can arrange them) will be charged but more or less at cost.
- I will rent a minibus for the week so that we can provide all local transport free. I suggest that you try to come either by motorbike (free safe parking under the hotel) or by public transport, cos a car will cost you about 30 Euro per dayfor parking!!! From Roma the best way is train to Salerno (2 hours door to door) and then either bus, ferry or minibus to Amalfi centre. The hotel is then only a 10 minute stroll.
- I need to plan carefully so I need your yes or no asap please and I will then ask you for a non-refundable deposit for every room, to ensure that you will really come.
- We will organise trips to Pompei, Caserta, Thermal Baths and Underground Naples for sure. Other activities will be organised depending on the weather we have that week, for instance a boat trip and motorcycle testing. My Raptor 700 Quad and TMax 530 will be available.
More to follow very soon, watch this space………
We have recently been studying the property market in the Amalfi coast area. To be more precise, inland near the coast where the prices are more reasonable, given that we are not looking for a holiday home with sea view.
The ideal property may be a small detached or semi detached house/villa with some land, or it could be a small business unit or even a piece of farm land with a stable or even a garage. Our plan is flexible as there are very few properties on the market and of course anything with a view over the coastline is worth a small fortune!
We may indeed need to rent some parking space to have a fast solution, and then search for a property to purchase later as the ideas are growing as we search. Some ideas are:
a. Car and van parking. There is always a need for safe parking spaces in the Amalfi/Ravello area. In Amalfi town there are only 2 public car parks and by 10am they are both full and so no more cars can stay. Also, the hotels always need more parking spaces.
b. Van and minibus parking. For daily visitors, as again there is nowhere to stop.
c. Rental car services. To be explored, we have alot of ideas on this front.
Etc. Watch this space, we start our property visits this week!!!!
So how about you wanna fly into Roma, and then spend a week in beautiful Amalfi and a few days exploring Roma?
Or perhaps you fly into Roma and you fancy exploring the areas of Abruzzo and Umbria. Or you really want to visit Tavullia and see the famous Valentini Rossi ranch???
Or you really fancy visiting the Ducati factory in Bologna, and or the Bimota factory in Rimini, or you would like to see one or more of the Italian race circuits Mugello, Vallelunga, Misano, Monza or others. You fancy some cooking classes, or you would love to see some Italian wine makers or olive oil producers. Maybe you and your partner want to follow two different programs??
Well it could work like this:
You tell me what you need, you give me an idea of the proposed itinerary plus some idea of the hotels you fancy (look on booking.com so I have an idea of the level of hotels you fancy). Tell me how many are in your party and I can work out the rest. Collection from the airport (Roma has two, Ciampino and Fiumicino), then I can take you to your hotel. Then collect you and take you around Italy, and of course I speak Italian so I can help.
Call or text or whatsapp me on +39 333 8153190 or email me on email@example.com.
san vito lo capo
Vietri sul Mare is perhaps the most famous town for ceramic tiles in the Naples area of Campania, perhaps one of the most famous in Italy. But the surrounding area, not just the town, still manufacture tiles and other ceramics using the traditional methods.
I went recently with Daniela to a local ceramic factory in Cava to choose the new tiles for their next hotel room restoration. The factory is a truly amazing place where the tile decorations are made totally by hand. The Aurora Hotel in Amalfi was built in 1959 using these tiles in every room, with different patterns and colours in each bedroom, and this is one way that the hotel continue to support the local economy, to keep their traditions alive and to offer their guests a real taste of traditional Amalfi Coast life.
Feast your eyes on this amazing factory, the workers and the products. Amazing.
Call or text or whatsapp me on +39 333 8153190 or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Look at these pictures, they kind of talk for themselves. I was recently visiting the Hotel Aurora and I was told that they had recently renewed their gardens. So what, I asked?
Well, they serve the breakfast in the garden (when the weather allows), so it is worth a look, I was told. And they were correct……they have created a beautiful sanctuary where you can sit and rest and have a coffee and just watch the world go by, mainly by boat as the terrace overlooks the sea. A truly magic place. well worth a visit.
Everyone knows about Amalfi and the amazing Amalfi coast, even those who have never visited have surely read about it and dreamed of visiting. Words come to mind like the Cathedral, the island of Capri, great food and hospitality, limoncello, wonderful wine, olive oil, Ibsen (the Swedish writer) and Wagner, and stunning tiles and porcelain from nearby Vietri.
But Amalfi also brings to mind expensive, very hot, crowded and heavy traffic (all true in June thro’ September, the main tourist season).
Well I have recently discovered a stunning compromise: Amalfi out of season.
I have visited Amalfi perhaps 30 times over the past 2 years, in general for a weekend but also for New Year and Easter and I am getting to know her better and better. She reveals her beauty slowly and gradually but she also suprises you frequently. In the summer the sea and the sun are in charge, out of season when Amalfi has only its 3,000 ish residents it is much easier to explore her as during the season the population grows to more than 60,000 from all over the world.
The food is wonderful and the people very friendly, although the town gets a bit quiet as many businesses close down for some well earned rest and holiday. Many old and traditional businesses still survive in and around the town and many are passed down through the family. For instance you can find wine makers, lemon growers, olive growers and wine makers, bread makers and many many more activities and in general you can visit them easily out of season and even have a guided tour, the pictures below show a local bread “factory” run by a family and the 90 year old Gran is still in charge (not the one pictured here of course)!!.
Last summer with friends, our motor bike tour of Abruzzo took in a town called Pescasseroli, for an overnight stop. We were booked in at the “hotel” but we had been told by other friends that the real experience was the food rather than the room.
And indeed that was the case, and how. The place we found was Ristorante PLISTIA (see http://www.albergoristoranteplistia.it/) and what an experience it turned out to be. We met the owner Ciccito and his lovely wife and we soon discovered that he is the “host” and wine expert and she is the chef. There is no menu as such, as the food they serve is the fresh food that she finds at the market that day, and thus changes with the season
The food was simply amazing and we MUST return, the hospitality too is amazing and even the breakfast was all freshly cooked. Mmmmm. Wonderful.
I use a motorbike (this is my lovely Yamaha XJR1300) all year round and even the softies can use 2 wheels for some 10 months of the year, only December and January are cool and wet usually.
I love to explore Italy and the bike is a great way to get around. I can supply you with a list of great places which you would not find easily even with Lonely Planet. I can take you and help with the language, or I can supply you with a programmed Tom Tom, as you like. Try me.