230 miles by Bike in Italy in Seven Days

In July 2011, I travelled by bike in Italy from Rome to Salerno. Here are some photos.

1. My route - as planned

Indeed in Day One I lost my way and made an unnecessary extra 20 mile loop. All the rest went as was originally planned.

While preparing to hit the Italian roads, I made five 40-mile trips riding every other day from Claremore, OK to Pryor, OK and back sometimes in a 105+ degree (over 40C) weather. Thus I had travelled 200 miles. In doing so, I believed that July in Italy could be as hot as in Oklahoma. It was a misconception. It turned out that during my trip the temperature never was higher than 90 degrees (32C).


22. Poor Man's Upgrade to the TomTom navigator
On the internal battery, this device can only run two hours at most. So instead of buying a new $700 model, I just added an external rechargeable battery. This cost me some $10. Now my TomTom can run up to seven hours.


3. The starting point of my trip
Presumably everybody knows where it is. And no, this is not Disneyland.


4. An ordinary street in the Southern part of Rome

Presumably, these residential buildings date back to 1960s. Note the sun screens on most windows and balconies. Surprisingly, air conditioning in Italy is not as widely used as in the USA. Many dwellings are just hidden from the direct sunlight by screens like these; windows are kept open but rooms are mostly dark. And one can hardly find AC in a 3-star hotel.

5. Teracina, a resort town on the Tyrrhenian sea shore


6. The beautiful Tyrrhenian sea coast


7. A country landscape
My good friend bike and an ancient aqueduct in the background. Both are in good shape and work well.


8. Naples
This is what I have seen in many Italian movies. The laundry does not hurt, but the pavement shakes your bones and can break your bike (after riding some 15 miles on such a pavement towards Pompeii, three non-critical nuts had unscrewed indeed). And you can easily break your neck when this pavement gets wet.


9. Naples
Not all beautiful though. People told me that the city government is having eternal problems with garbage disposal.


10. Different Naples
This business district looks nice. Neat and clean. There is no laundry hanging on the balconies in the residential building on on the left-hand side; sun screens only. Still it is just a small part of the city.


11. Naples museum
These sculptures date back some 1700 years. Still most of them are just the copies of what the ancient Greeks created 400 years before the Romans.


12. Pompeii

On this photo, I am not the most important object. Rather, the Vesuvius volcano in the background is. About 2000 years ago, an explosion turned one third of this mountain into a hot cloud of dust. The fallout covered the city of Pompeii by some 5 meters (17 feet) of hot volcanic ash and debris, burying thousands of its residents alive. The now missing part of the mountain could be easily imagined. 

Also note the pavement; no much of improvement in the today's Naples as compared to the ancient Pompeii. 


13. Salerno, the final point of my trip


14. Unusual building in Salerno


15. The Salerno Promenade
The promenade is 9 km (5.6 miles) long. The city officials proudly claim that it outperforms the French Riviera.