Today is the day, finally Jacob and I are going on the holiday that we have been looking forward to for so long. Saying goodbye does not exist, the keyphrase of our story.
At 11 o’clock our plane leaves from Schiphol to Naples. Overcome my fear of flying, and we are on our way to Italy. Once there, we have 4.5 hours before the transfer bus arrives at the hotel. We decide to take a taxi to the heart of Naples to visit a beautiful city and have a nice snack. As soon as we reach Naples, we realize that this was not the way we imagined. The city is dirty and it is very hot due to the smog. That is why we decide to visit a museum where we can admire the archaeological finds of the ancient Greeks, Romans and Pompeii, named: Museo Archeologico Nazionale. This was fantastic and definitely worth it.
After seeing the beauty and pride of Italy we go back by taxi to the airport where the transfer bus is waiting to take us to the start of a super holiday.
After we’ve arrived at the airport, the transfer bus took us to our hotel ‘O Sole Mio‘, we’re already looking forward to it. What a view! You look hundreds of meters down over countless colourful mountain villages and of course the Mediterranean Sea. This is already promising for the coming days.
As soon as we arrive at the hotel we receive the key to our room. The room is amazing. From the balcony we have beautiful views and everything is complete. Everything is arranged perfectly. We immediately plunder the minibar and enjoy the Italian nature with a cold beer.
The Vespa crew is waiting for us in the lobby. We are introduced to the Vespa crew and a number of other Vespa Trippers and are well-informed about the trip that we’re going to make in the coming days. We were also able to read in on the Vespa Trip app. This app is specially made for the Vespa Trippers by the Vespa crew. We read where you could eat the best, where you can go to the beach, which places you really should see and also some nice facts about the places where we could go.
On to the next day because then the party will really start! The alarm clock rings while the Italian sun is smiling in our faces. Quickly freshen up because we couldn’t wait to start the first day of a great adventure. At 08.00 a.m. we were in the parking of the hotel where a long line full of beautiful authentic Italian Vespas were waiting for The Vespa Trip.
There he stood, a white 125cc Vespa, a picture! Bella Vespa! In the GPS were already three possible routes set for us to go to, that went through the most beautiful places of the Amalfi coast. Everything is well organized beyond expectations. Before our departure we have breakfast at the hotel, my favourite, a buffet with real Italian pastries and fresh fruit and so on! After we have eaten our bellies we immediately go on an adventure. We choose to go first to Vesuvius and Pompeii, as this is the longest route, and we want to take all the time for this. After setting up our GPS, we immediately headed for the farthest destination, the tip of Vesuvius.
The traffic in Italy takes some time getting used to. Everything goes together and it looks like you’re not a real Italian if you don’t have a broken car! However, different rules apply to scooters. Scooters are allowed to do almost anything and also receive a lot of priority from other road users. We get used to this quickly and driving on Italian roads is going smoothly.
We stop at a real Italian supermarket. I just put in some bottles of water and food for the coming days. The Italians speak very Italian to me … I tell them in my best Italian that I do not speak Italian, this is not going smoothly but I have my water.
We arrive in Pompeii. We first want to see the Vesuvius, so we have to drive a bit further. We stop for a moment to reset the GPS. After doing this we did not get on the Vespa any more. I immediately call the crew to ask what might be the matter …
YOU SEE MORE OF ITALY ON A SCOOTER
At a certain point the view over the Mediterranean Sea and the wide mountain roads was traded in for narrow roads through downtown Italian towns with tiles, which made us almost bumped away from the Vespa. I think this is a super plus of The Vespa Trip. You come through streets, towns and places where it is difficult or impossible to come by a car and therefore can never get different. You really see more of Italy on a scooter!
We kept driving through the nice places until we came to a mountain area. We saw Vesuvius in the distance. We arrived at the foot of Vesuvius. With the Vespa we were allowed to get almost to the very top of Vesuvius. We had to do the last 900 meters on foot. During the climb up the view was beautiful. We looked out over a completely different landscape, namely a mountain landscape. It was very hot and the paths to the top were formed by loose stones and sand, which made the climb quite difficult. As long as there is enough water available, you can enjoy the splendor that Italian nature offers.
WE MADE IT!
After no blood, a lot of sweat and few tears, we really have the Italian volcano, THE VESUVIUS, climbed. We are so proud! We bought postcards with a proof stamp so that our friends and family would believe it.
Oh, and if it is thought that swirling lava can still be seen in Vesuvius, it is not. You can look down meters and see dried up magma and of course see miles of Italia from the highest point of Vesuvius.
We went back to the Vespa to continue our journey. Abzeiling was a lot easier. Oh, if you pay attention you can spot a lot of salamanders and geckos in the dusty sand!
NEXT STOP: POMPEII
Return to Pompeii. You will pass through all the nice downtown Italian streets where you can only come by scooter. Parking in Pompeii with the scooter is also very easy and much easier than with the car. What a fuss that would have been! The advantages of a scooter in Italy are unprecedented.
Once in Pompeii you will be amazed by what you can experience there. We did not get bored and fantasized about what people had and did and had at the time. Time flies by. Every time we thought we had seen it, we discovered something completely new, so we ended up walking around for 3 hours and not yet seeing everything! What they had already achieved at the time is incomprehensible. From ordinary houses to entire arenas. To think that at that time they had no automatic tools at all or whatever! Bizarre!
We decide to go back to the hotel at 7 am. We wanted to eat something on the way because it was getting later and getting dark. It was already 9 o’clock in the evening and we thought we could have no dinner anywhere else because in the Netherlands all kitchens were already closing at 9 o’clock. Nothing in the truth. At 9 o’clock the villages and towns were buzzing and everything is still open. And what do they eat when they first arrive in Italy? Bruschettta and Pizza of course! No sooner said than done! The best food with the best view.
When we got back to the hotel it was already very late and decided to go to sleep immediately because we wanted to start a new route fresh and fruity the next day.
DAY 2: COASTLINE
I get up and fall back into bed, MUSCULAR !! Because of the many walks the day before, I don’t have to go to the gym for a month!
Well! We enjoy breakfast in the hotel in the Italian sunshine with again the beautiful view.
Off to Positano! The colourful mountain town on the water. Here you can relax and swim at one of the many pleasant beaches. Positano is known for its lemons, you can buy them everywhere and many souvenirs are sold! It looks so colourful and cosy! Really recommended! Along the way you enjoy the most beautiful parts of Italy. You look out over the Mediterranean sea and the beautiful nature. On the way it is advisable to drink a refreshing freshly squeezed juice made from freshly picked local oranges and lemons (the lemons are HUGE in Italy) and sold in small food tricks! These food trucks are usually located in the coves of the mountain roads. As perhaps already expected, you can also drink your juice overlooking the sea. Who would not want that?!
We drove over the beautiful Fiordo Di Furore! To protect this beautiful picture, you are no longer allowed to swim here. The road to the beach and the rocks are covered with concrete walls. But seeing this piece of Italian heritage is breathtaking enough! Cars cannot easily park here, but a Vespa can! We stopped to enjoy the view and to take some nice pictures. We enjoyed the people who dared to climb over the barrier and jumped into the water from the rocks.
Before we could continue our journey to the final destination of the route, we had to refuel. Two days at least 5 hours a day on the Vespa and only 12 euros to pay for a full tank of gas! HOW?! Really a hoot! We continue our journey.
IT LOOKS LIKE A FAIRYTALE
Pay attention because on the way to Ravello you will come across a mountain wall at least 2-3 times in which an artist has copied the neighbouring village in miniature format. It looks like a fairytale and is of course very cleverly made!
After a beautiful drive we arrived at Ravello. Here we enjoyed the beautiful gardens and the old estate with the famous gardens laid out by Nicola Rufolo. The gardens are so beautiful that the famous opera “Parsifal” is inspired by this. Very special to see that. Climbing the highest tower is recommended. From the highest point of the castle / estate you can look for miles over the Italian villages, mountains, nature and the sea. The old village of Ravello is ideal for a nice walk. In Ravello you have several beautiful and especially old churches. For enthusiasts, it is therefore highly recommended to arrange more time for this.
After we have seen everything we enjoy a lunch followed by a delicious homemade Italian gelato!
On the way back you can go to Grotta dello Smeraldo. You step into a boat here and it sails into a cave full of stalagmites and stalactites and the water gets a beautiful green color through the sun. I personally really recommend this! It is not very big, but what you see is beautiful!
Once back at the hotel we had a wonderful swim and chatted with other Vespatrippers about the day and shared tips with each other while enjoying a cold beer. In the evening we had a drink with them and we learned and played a new card game. We also talked and laughed a lot. It was so cozy that we forgot the time and it was already half past one in the meantime.
We went to our room at 2 am to get ready for the next day!
DAY 3: MOUNTAIN ROUTE
Got up with mixed feelings … Today is the last day on the Vespa. Saying goodbye does not exist! This is very unfortunate because we had so much fun but also very nice because we still have a day to go on the Vespa!
Villagio Monte Faito
Immediately after breakfast we boarded, and we started driving to the highest point in the area. Monte Faito!
We are going to do the last route to Monte Faito, the mountain route. In terms of driving on the Vespa, we think this is the nicest ride. You come to places and along roads where you would normally never come. This is also because you come through three different landscapes and the roads are unpredictable and adventurous. One moment you drive through the coastal roads on the mountains, the other moment through really just the mountains and the villages of these and finally you come through forests. Really nice to see nature change as you drive through it. The roads are mega style and bumpy along the most beautiful nature and the view is once again BREATHTAKING. Along the way you will pass the nicest Italian orchards where pomegranate, figs, lemons, oranges, olives, melons and of course grapes are grown. If you pay attention you also see mozzarella factories where you see the people making the mozzarella balls themselves.
It takes a while before you have had the climb with the Vespa but that is once you are completely on top of the mountain you know why you did it. WOW!
We heard from other Vespa Trippers an eatery with wooden benches where you can eat well. It looks so nice! Wooden benches with wooden tables with red and white chequered tablecloths. It felt like you were having a picnic on the top of a high mountain in Italy with the view of the Mediterranean Sea … Really cool!
We chose to be surprised by typical Italian dishes where they only use local products. In a word: DELICIOUS!
After the fantastic lunch we walk up a mountain road and end up on the edge of the mountain. We enjoyed the view here for another hour before we would go downhill again with the Vespa. Climbing up the mountain with the Vespa is actually just as exciting as going down the mountain. Narrow roads and some gravel here and there make it a small challenge.
Bagni della Regina Giovanna
On the way back we should pass Bagni della Regina Giovanna, the secret seaside resort of Queen Giovanna, where she took her many lovers to clover jackets. Unfortunately my sense of direction is hard to find today and it takes some time (and help from other Vespa Trippers after I have released an SOS signal in our group app) before I can find this secret seaside resort. Ahhah, it’s not a secret for nothing.
Once arrived there are only nearby parking places for scooters. Again very happy with the Vespa !!
Off to the resort, have a nice swim! Mind you, bring enough water because you have to walk a lot to get there and it is very hot! But once you get there you immediately forget the long walking tour. What a picture! It is a pool in the rock walls that leads to the sea through an arch. I can watch this for hours.
Children and adults have fun by jumping from the bow into the sea from a spicy high distance, Jacob dared this too (not me!). It is nice to see how young and old together enjoy this piece of Italian splendour.
You dive into the blue water from the rocks and swim under a cave. This is the most beautiful place I have ever been allowed to swim. Afterwards you feel completely fresh and fruity. I do understand why Giovanna chose to come here with her lovers, it is breathtaking.
One last dive and ready for the return to the hotel, the last ride back on the Vespa. This is very unfortunate because we had a blast, but at the same time 3 days is enough to see and do everything in the most fantastic way possible. We’re going to miss the cross on the Vespa!
One last refuelling for our brave Vespa, who has taken us brave everywhere in the last three days. Saying goodbye does not exist!
BEST HOLIDAY EVER
The last evening we shared and ate together with a number of fellow Vespa Trippers. This was very nice, and we hope to see each other again next year on another adventure with The Vespa trip!
We walk back to the hotel together in the evening and then have a chat. We were really lucky with the company of the past few days. Sleepy last time in Italy!
Saying goodbye does not exist! Cheers on the best holiday ever and definitely see you soon!
Roos & Jacob
The Vespa Trip 2019 – Amalfi Coast