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You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

“La Dolce Vita” in the Gulf of Naples: Exploring Pompeii, Vesuvius & the Amalfi Coast.

“Ragazzi .. L’ozio è molto importante .. Questo dolce far niente che practicamo tanto chi nello sud dall’Italia ..!” Smiling, I can still hear the words of my dear Italian language teacher Pina, thinking back about my Italian language course in Salerno. With her typical South-Italian charm, she emphasises the “importance of doing nothing” – without remorse, that is. Like, just sitting in the sun. Perhaps looking at the Vesuvius. Feeling the ruins of Pompeii at your feet. And already, my mind is busy travelling elsewhere because …

 

… “Il Dolce Far Niente” is virtually impossible to practice for a traveller in such an exciting destination as the Gulf of Naples.

Especially for a first-time visitor like myself: Excited like a child, I enter the “Scavi di Pompeii”, the perhaps most well-known archaeological site in the world. And immediately, I am blown away by the history of the place …

... was vermutlich auch damit zusammenhängt, dass das Erste, was Besucher bei Betreten der Ruinen von Pompeii erblicken, diese versteinerten Menschenopfer sind ...

… which might have to do with the fact that what you get when you enter Pompei is a view of … the people who died here …

 

... Zeugen einer der größten Naturkatastrophen in der jüngeren Menschheitsgeschichte ...

… as part of one of the most devastating natural catastrophes in recent human history …

 

... als sich der vormals obere Teil des Vesuv, genannt "Monte Somma", binnen drei Tage als pulverisierter Ascheregen, gut sieben Meter dick, über die antike Stadt hier legt ...

… when the upper part of the Vesuvius, called “Monte Somma” at the time, pulverised during a three-day explosion and came raining down as ash, well over seven metres thick, covering the town of Pompeii at its feet …

 

... heute wandeln wir in den Spuren uralter Fahrrinnen ...

… fascinating how the traces of humanity endure, like stepping into these old carriage trails …

 

... gedenken der vielen Opfer ...

… taking a moment to commemorate the course of events …

 

... spüren Ehrfurcht beim Betreten alter Kult- und Badestätten ...

… standing in awe for looking at this old Roman bath in Pompeii …

 

... perfekt erhaltene Mosaike, gut 2.000 Jahre alt ...

… the perfect condition of the mosaics, again well over 2.000 years old …

 

... ja, Pompeii war eine reiche Stadt, wie auch diese antike Tempelanlage (oder das, was von ihr übrig ist), beweist ...

… the temples, hinting at the richness of the town …

 

... um die vielen Touristenmassen zu vermeiden, lautet mein Tipp, gleich frühmorgens um neun zu den Tempel- und Badeanlagen zu gehen: So geht Ihr in weiterer Folge umgekehrt zu den allermeisten Gruppen im antiken Stadtgelände.

… and if you, too, wish to avoid the crowds, my tip is to start right early, at 09.00 in the morning, and walk in exactly the opposite way of the large tour groups that follow. In this way, you will avoid too much congestion at the neuralgic (and most interesting) points of Pompeii.

 

Yes, walking around Pompeii has all been about realising a big childhood dream of mine. As well as walking up the Vesuvius itself!

It’s a fascinating volcano of an almost perfect shape. Dominating the skyline of the Gulf of Naples, well over three million people live here today. A contradiction to the fact that the Vesuvius has and will again become active, like my parents read to me from the Baedeker travel guide they carry. High up at the mountain, you are only left with choosing a guide (in several languages), or reading from the information you brought, in order to learn more about the Vesuvius. There are no further signs (nor WiFi!), which in a way emphasises the primitive nature of the volcanic mountain summit – an eerie place all along. Check this out.

"Brace, brace": Der Aufstieg zum Vesuv ist länger (und anstrengender) als gedacht; gutes Schuhwerk bei dem lockeren Vulkanschotter ein Muss.

“Brace, brace” – and make sure you bring good shoes for walking up the Vesuvius; loose rocks and sharp stones most certainly abound here.

 

Wer Verbindungen bzw. Lust hat, kann es ja "per Autostop" auf den Gipfel versuchen: Wir amüsieren uns ob der Nationalpark-Patrouille ganz im Stile Süditaliens hier ..!

You can of course also opt for “hitchhiking” up top: Can’t take my eyes off the small raised Fiat cars, the national park patrol here ..!

 

Wer sagt, dass ein Vulkan nicht stilvoll bestiegen werden kann? Oben gibt es sogar ein Fass zum Zapfen!

And who says a volcano can’t be enjoyed in style? Right up at the top, you can even have yourselves a nice glass of wine!

 

Ich liebe diesen faszinierenden Ort eines mächtigen Vulkankraters, wenngleich mir Vorstellungen über seinen Ursprung stets unheimliche Schauer einjagen ...

I stand fascinated, although thinking about the origin of this place, you do feel very small in comparison …

 

... und ich muss zugeben, dass es mir ganz recht ist, als wir am selben Abend von Sorrento aus ...

… it’s perhaps nicer to look at the Vesuvius from a beautiful distance, such as Sorrento here across for the Gulf of Naples …

 

... Pizzaduft die Anstrengungen des Tages hinter uns sein lassen ...

… where we wind down from a long day with beautiful pizza aromas & fresh white …

 

... und wir den Abend wunderbar ausklingen lassen: Danke für die schöne Zeit zusammen, liebe Familie !

… thanks for such a lovely time together, dear family !

 

If like me you want to know where exactly we’ve been around here, check out this map tracing our footsteps around the Gulf of Naples as well as the Amalfi Coast:

 

After spending a day on the island of Capri, I take a speed boat from Sorrento to Positano, further along the coastline. Boats leave at either 10.00 or 10.30 from Sorrento; right about an hour later, you are in Positano passing by Capri in a beautiful turn! Positano grants you two hours of free time, before taking the same boat on to Amalfi : I take well over a hundred photographs in these two hours alone, that’s how beautiful this coastline really is! From Amalfi, I opt for taking a bus on to Vietri sul Mare … a great combination of land & sea travel, opening up different views of the impressive terraced hills that have earned the Amalfi Coast UNESCO World Heritage status – and rightly so.

Von Sorrento aus ...

From Sorrento harbour …

 

Ebenfalls faszinierend : Der Blick zurück auf Capri vom Boot aus, vorbei an seinen berühmten Grotten. Dazu beim nächsten Mal mehr!

… we take a stint at Capri before veering right off towards Positano …

 

... bevor mich die Magie der Küste (das wunderschöne Städtchen Positano hier) völlig in seinen Bann zieht ...

… a most beautiful little town along the world-famous Amalfi Coast …

 

... sowie, naja, auch gewisse Ablenkungen am Strand ...

… including, well, nice little sightings on the beach …

 

Weiter geht es entlang der weltberühmten Amalfiküste mit ihren dramatisch wirkenden Felsformationen ...

… off we go travelling further along the Coast, spectacular as it is …

 

... historischen Schönheiten, wie dem kleinen Städtchen Amalfi ...

… reaching historic little towns, such as Amalfi itself …

 

... halsbrecherischen Busfahrten auf engsten Küstenstraßen ...

… and taking the bus on these narrow coastal roads, an adventure all in its own right …

 

... die gleichzeitig wundersame Ausblicke auf die vielen Zitronenbaumplantagen eröffnen ...

… love how most of the terraces here are “reserved” for growing lemon trees …

 

... die hier kurz vor und bis nach Vietri sul Mare angelegt sind.

… all of which dominate the landscape right up until Vietri sul Mare.

 

Die hübsche Kleinstadt hier ist übrigens bekannt für ihre Fliesenkunst ...

This cute little town here is known for its hand-crafted ceramics and tile art …

 

... sowie den Esel von Vietri als Symbol für die Stadt!

… with this donkey being the main symbol of town!

 

Zu guter Letzt verabschiede ich mich hier von Euch mit diesem Bild der ersten, frühreifen Erdbeere, die ich Mitte April (!) schon entdeckt habe ... Tja, im Süden müsste man leben!

Love how I’ve spotted the first ripening strawberry here in what is only the middle of Apri, i.e. early spring! Well, you should ideally be able to take the climate of Southern Italy with you ..!

 

*Lovely*.

There’s more if you wish, but be careful – you’ll want to travel to Southern Italy immediately:

 

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Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
Five good reasons for visiting the island of Capri in Southern Italy.
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