ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Traveling from Rome to the Southern Mountains of the Italian Countryside

Updated on November 3, 2017
Catherine Stolfi profile image

Catherine is an independent research consultant at NASA Langley with degrees in English, Biology, and Environmental Science (M.S.).

The Coliseum - Rome, Italy
The Coliseum - Rome, Italy | Source
Ziti w/ Goat Cheese in the town of Paola
Ziti w/ Goat Cheese in the town of Paola | Source

Traveling from Rome to southern Italy’s Paola, Acri, Naples and Sorrento was filled with adventure, small town charm and all that this culturally rich European country has to offer. My Italian nationality is an important factor in my first trip to Europe because I never really felt like a tourist in Italy, especially Rome. As a New Yorker, I could swear I felt like I was at home walking around Rome, until you walk upon a 1,000 year old ruin, of course. I also had locals approach me asking for directions in Italian, which I do not speak. Perhaps if I was visiting Sweden my long dark hair and darker complexion would have me stand out like a sore thumb, but in Italy it was an easy transition and made for a truly enjoyable trip.

The city of Rome felt like lower Manhattan full of traffic, yellow taxicabs and graffiti but with some ruins and ancient pieces of art sprinkled throughout. Seeing the Coliseum amidst a busy Roman street with traffic and people, locals and tourists alike, walking past, was exciting. We wandered into a local ice cream parlor directly adjacent to the Coliseum plaza and grabbed some gelato, Italian ice cream, and sat on a seat outside with the Coliseum in our view. We visited the Forum and ate lasagna at a local restaurant before calling it an early night.

The next day we grabbed our travel books and took a walking tour through the heart of Rome visiting the Trevi Fountain and the Piazza Navona. Just simply walking around the piazza, you will see luxurious cafes, Baroque palaces and fountains: Fontana Dei Quattro Fiumi, Four Rivers Fountain, has the most details of any with its artistry and Fontana del Moro. We were able to walk from the Piazza to the Pantheon and Piazza della Minerva, a large pillared structure dating back to 118 and 128 and its surrounding square. We were able to see the Column of Marcus Aurelius before exhaustingly heading back to our hotel.

Mountains of Paola, Italy
Mountains of Paola, Italy | Source
Resting Artist on the Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy
Resting Artist on the Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy | Source

The next day we were to be heading south to the town of Paola. We passed cities and small villages of Italy, occasionally passing cows and sheep in a distant field, while on the train heading south. The train station there is at the lowest elevation in the town with the streets winding upward in the mountains to reach the center of the city. After a 20-minute ride, which seemed straight up, we arrived at our hotel along the mountainside, Sant'Agostino. We were on the third floor and had a view of the entire mountainside from our bedroom window. It was a stark difference from the hustle and bustle of the city of Rome to be in the peaceful, quiet town of Cosenza.

We made our way down the steep hill to a restaurant; the name is literally translated into “Restaurant” in English, in the center of town. It was located across from the B&B La Piazzetta. We sat down for the freshest dish of ziti and goat cheese I’ve ever had. The cheese was from the butcher’s goats, the sauce made on the premises and the pasta handmade. The wine we enjoyed with it was also from the local hillside vineyards. After our meal, we walked around the town and people watched enjoying the children playing soccer in the streets while their fathers watched from chairs outside a café smoking big cigars. Every apartment had a terrace that viewed the street below with clotheslines and flowered potted plants on the ledges. It felt like the authentic Italian experience.

After saying goodbye to Acri and Paola, we traveled back north by train to the oceanfront town of Sorrento. Sorrento is like the equivalent Hamptons of Southern Italy for a New Yorker. The shopping and restaurants are expensive, the people are high-class and the town is clean, beautiful and luxurious. When visiting Sorrento, the only option is to stay in the city of Sorrento in the heart of it all. Everything you need to visit is within walking distance. You will find among the expensive clothing shops, some touristy small shops and little cafes. It’s also a convenient place to stay when visiting the village of Pompeii. Pompeii was mostly destroyed and buried under 13 to 20 feet of ash in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. It left much of the city, including its inhabitants, intact. It is an amazing place to see for its historical significance and a popular tourist stop.

Small Streets of Paola, Italy
Small Streets of Paola, Italy | Source
Trevi Fountain - Rome, Italy
Trevi Fountain - Rome, Italy | Source

Naples is only a forty-five minute train ride from Sorrento and so a perfect stop for us before heading back to Rome. The thing I will always take with me from Naples was the authentic brick oven pizza that I had there. There are no slices of pizza in Italy such as you'd see in the NYC or other popular American cities. Here, you order by the personal pan size and order it with almost any topping you can think of. I had the margarita pie, which was a perfectly proportioned layer of sauce to fresh mozzarella cheese on a perfect crunchy crust.

We were able to see some historical sites here that included the 16th century chapel, Cappello, which hosts 18th-century sculptures of the late Baroque period. Our time in Naples was cut short in order to catch a train back to Rome. We arrived in Rome and had a good nights rest for the early start of our tour of the Vatican City our last day.

When Visiting the Vatican, you will see artwork, sculptures and of course the Sistine Chapel. You’ll enter into the museum and be able to visit St. Peter's Basilica. A few interesting facts about Vatican City is that they really are like their own country; they have their own currency and coins and the state of the Vatican City is a recognized national territory under international law.

My first trip to Europe was an amazing one that will always stay with me and I hope to be able to visit this country of pizza, piazzas and ancient ruins once again.

More in Travel & Places

Visit Hawaii, the islands of Oahu and Maui for Beach, Surf and Waterfalls

Step away from the Monotonous Caribbean Vacation; Puerto Rico is for the Adventurous, Culture Driven and Sunbathers

Weekend Trip to Philadelphia: From Old City to Valley Forge


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • freecampingaussie profile image


      7 years ago from Southern Spain

      Enjoyed your hub and the pizza in Naples sounds delicious ! We went to Rome yesterday & going back in a couple of hours ! Walked thru the Colossium , By the fountain etc. Head south tomorrow .


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)