What can I say anything other than how great Italy is. From a historic point of view, it's one of the youngest countries in Europe. It has stunning nature and the most interesting cultural heritage.
Exploring Campania first. Who hasn't heard of the Vesuvius and Pompeii. Sad that a whole village suffered from the 79AD outburst, but leaving an amazing stamp on time for us to explore. Strange to think that the Vesuvius is the largest active volcano in Europe, but closely monitored. There are evacuation plans in place in case of an eruption. The Amalfi coast, including Capri, is magnificent. The greatest attraction not to be missed is the coastal road leading to or from Salerno.
Moving on via Basilicata. The rugged and mountainous landscape makes place for the flatter terrain of Puglia. Driving from Brindisi to Gallipoli we see the saddest and devastating consequences of the Xylela, a disease without cure amongst olive trees. We see acres of dead trees and it saddens me to think about the families losing their livelihood. As the disease, around since 2013, is spreading in Europe billions worth of income is lost, which eventually will increase the price of olive oil.
The most remarkable fact
A lot is being said about Italian driving style, but it never ends to surprise me. It took me 8 months to feel safe driving in Florence, but nothing prepared for the hectic traffic around Napoli.
In Puglia merging onto or exiting the motorway seems difficult. I like the signage "guida e basta", drive and that's it. No other distractions, but this is very hard to follow-up. I have just seen too many mobile phones whilst driving. It is remarkable that in terms of fatalities per million inhabitants (EU statistics up to 2017) Italy sits roughly in the middle, whilst I had expected it to be worse.
The greatest, the saddest, the most remarkable I can find a few more superlatives. Let's talk about it another time.