Once you get down near the bottom of Italy, headed for Sicily, things start to get a little edgy. The buildings are less-looked-after and the environment is rough and rocky with less vegetation. As the landscape changed and the buildings started to resemble Mexican-styled-ghettos, Lorna and I began to wonder if our call to visit Sicily was such a good idea.
Before catching the ferry to Sicily, we decided to make a stop in a little Italian town called Paestum. And things finally started to look up. We checked out two or three camping grounds, then decided to stay at Camping di Pini.
An Australian staying at Camping di Pini during the Italian summer is a truly local experience that you’ll never forget. We were the only english-speaking people there for the three days we stayed. Each day and night we watched the local Italians go about their summer holidays and interact with each other. It was fun to watch. The locals and staff were very friendly and would laugh with us as we tried to communicate with them. A nice Italian couple staying right next door to us noticed we didn’t have table or chairs to eat at, so they offered us their spare ones.
Literally a stone-throw from our tent, was the magnificent Tyrrhenean Sea. Every day Lorna and I swam in the paradise warm-water and sun-baked on the plastic deck-chairs.
One afternoon I captured an amazing sunset in photograph form and also made a video I’ll never forget. It was just me, the ocean and the setting-sun.
The next day we went to check out the local ruins. The Paestum Ruins date back to the 6th Century B.C. and three major temples still stand.
It is said the temples were built by Greeks to honor gods called Hera and Athena. In front of Hera’s temple, there are still remnants of an alter that was used for sacrifices.
They’re well worth checking out. As a matter of fact, you’d better be quick, because the administrators are pretty relaxed and let people walk all over the surrounding walls.
Rob Kaay is an Australian author & musician.