Small town Capaccio.
Because we had decided to visit Pompeii and Vesuvius, we had found an affordable campsite nearby, in the small town Capaccio. The summer season had started and the prices had gone up, but Villaggio dei Pini had several advantages. The price was fine, the shade from the pine trees was great and the beach was nearby. Normally we prefer freecamping, but there is a lot more crime surrounding the tourist attractions, and we would’t risk another burglary, so we went for the safe option. After all, free baths and the opportunity to take out the garden furniture and relax in the sun, was also a plus. Usually “camping behavior” is not allowed at the freecamping spots.
To be honest, we did’t achieve any of what we had planned. The temperature reached 35 degrees Celsius in the shade and there was no wind at all. So hot we could barely move! Fortunately Villagio dei Pini had the advantage of being right next to the beach. About 50 meters from our pitch, the sand started and continued into the clear water, which was probably 24 degrees Celsius warm. That’s kind of hard to disassociate from. So we spend some relaxing and lazy days under the pines and at the beach.
The excavation in Paestum.
We read that a few kilometers from the campsite was a town called Paestum. It was supposed to have an excavation of a Roman city. We both like ruins and after all we couldn’t just lie down and do nothing for weeks. So we got up on the scooters and drove through the Italian countryside. We didn’t really expect much, but were actually blown away, by some ruins that we didn’t even imagined existed, in such a small town. In addition to “simple” ruins of houses and daily life, the excavation also consisted of 3 large temples. None of us had ever seen Roman temples in real life before. What an experience.
The 3 temples.
The excavation was not only beautiful, but in fact overwhelmingly beautiful. It turned out to be the excavation of the city of Poseidonia from 600 years BC. A city in honor of the Greek sea god Poseidon. In addition to excavations of very ordinary houses, an amphitheater, granite benches in the shade of olive trees and some stunningly beautiful mosaic floors, the ruins also consisted of 3 extremely well-preserved temples. The temples belong to Hera and Athens. It is believed that Hera, Queen of the Gods, has two temples, but that one of them also worshiped Zeus, Poseidon and other gods. Walking around between the giant columns is truly an experience. It is not difficult to imagine the life that must have been in and around the temples. The prayers and sacrifices that have taken place to throw success and fertility upon family growth, fishing, warfare, education and much more. In many places at the 25-hectare area, we walked on the original roads, and we could also see both the city walls and the view towers. In fact, only about 5 percent of Poseidonia is excavated. The remaining 95 percent are on private land, which in Italy cannot just be claimed.
Much to do in the area.
We stayed at the campsite for 6 days before we pulled ourselves together and drove on. The campsite is highly recommended, as all the facilities and the price are perfectly fine. In fact, they also have cabins that you can rent if you don’t have a caravan or similar. Naples Airport is approximately 100 kilometers away. From here you can take the coastal road to Villagio dei Pini and maybe get your toes dipped in the Tyrrhenian sea on the way. The Amalfi coast is also close by and it should be incredibly nice. That part of Italy is next stop on our bucket list.
– Text: Eva. Adding and photo editing: Malthe