Hello everyone! Here at Italy Magazine, we want to know

02/10/2021 - 09:38

Hello everyone! Here at Italy Magazine, we want to know your travel memories and tips from the region of Campania as part of a special issue we're working on. We might not be able to easily travel right now but we can still think about those trips we've enjoyed in the past. Perhaps you've had the most incredible meal in Naples, visited a long-lost relative, or found an artisan along the Cilento coast/a favorite hiking trail in Capri. Comment with your stories. I personally look forward to hearing them as well as the rest of the team. Grazie in anticipo! 

- Georgette 



I had a great experience during my most recent trip to Italy, in Oct 2019. It involved anchovies!  I love anchovies, but had never thought much about them...how they were caught, where, when, etc.  An article in the New York Times related how one particular area on the Amalfi Coast, Cetara, used an ancient sort of net which allowed very small anchovy to slip through and thus sustain the population. After some research, I discovered that Nettuno was the company that I really wanted to visit on my upcoming visit.  And, I did.  I met the wife of the man whose methods of catching and preparing the anchovy for sale.  She was a lovely woman who helped me select the products that best suited my interest....salted anchovies, oil packed anchovies and their fish sauce.  I have been using these products ever since, and they are delicious. The areas surrounding Cetara are beautiful as well and my trip was much enhanced by being able to visit this little town and it's fishery.

In 2016 I spent 3 glorious days on the island of Ischia. Was so excited to get to know this island and a new place in Italy. Most of my days other than touring the island where spent relaxing in the sun and enjoying the beauty of the island. The best day trip I enjoyed was an all day boat trip around the island. It was my birthday and even though I was the only American on this boat ride I had an amazing day. We stopped over 8 times during the day for swimming, snorkeling in the beautiful clear waters and each location was different. At almost every stop when we returned to the boat we were offered a home cooked treat from the small on board kitchen which was manned by two men and they were also running the boat and the tour. It was impressive. Even fresh cooked mussels I enjoyed while floating in the sea! The day ended with cake and prosecco even though before joining this trip the Captain did not know it was my birthday. It is a day I will never forget! I hope to return to Ischia some day and maybe rent a villa and stay longer. 

Hi Georgette! The Campania region of Italy is near and dear to my heart and I think this little story shows how the people we meet when we travel there can have a big impact on your life, often without them even knowing it. 

Pre-Covid, my husband and I visited Positano (and Ischia) each summer while our children were at sleepaway camp. During these trips, we would hit pause on the world around us to focus on each other and our love of the region. The first time we visited our favorite beach club D'Arienzo many years ago, we immediately fell in love with this gem of a spot just a short boat ride away from Positano. And as we sat down to lunch on the terrace overlooking the glistening Tyrrhenian Sea, we noticed the place card on the reservation spelled our name incorrectly - it said SPIGO instead of Spiegel.

We joked about how much we loved the Italian "version" of our name, which represented who we were while on vacation in Italy. We were carefree with no schedules or carpools, and we were the kind of people who had no reservation about drinking a pitcher of white wine with peaches every day at lunch! Every morning we would arrive on the boat and the staff would yell out Ciao Spigo! We decided not to correct them about the spelling of our name; when in Italy, we really were Spigo.

When we got home from that trip, we told family and friends the story and they too started calling us Spigo. My husband's Instagram handle is even @iamspigo. It wasn't until years later that we told our friends at D'Arienzo our real name was Spiegel.  We all laughed about it and agreed that when in Positano, they would always call us Spigo.

We are counting the days until we once again arrive to this small stretch of beach on the Amalfi Coast, where the sea sparkles, the peach wine flows and our friends announce our arrival with a wave from the dock and a Ciao Spigo on their lips!  

Georgette, I have a photo of the original place card that says Spigo if you are at all interested in doing anything with this.  Stay safe and well,

Allison Spiegel (for now)

Buon giorno (o, buona sera), Georgette!

My first trip to Italy was in 2001, with my father and uncle. After a tour of Venice, Rome and Florence, we spent a week on our ancestors' home of Ischia. I've since traveled there every year...well, except for 2020, of course!

Below are some excerpts from a presentation I did about Ischia for an international Italian language and cultural group:

Ischia: The Island Paradise in the Gulf of Naples

•About an hour from Naples (by boat)

•About 4 times the size of Capri with a population 60K (approx)

•Known as The Green Island

Why visit Ischia?

  • Spectacular  views
  • World-class thermal spas
  • Amazing food
  • Warm and welcoming people


  • Aragon Castle
  • Poseidon Thermal Spa
  • Mt Epomeo
  • Mortella Garden

Ischia is known for:

  • ceramics
  • award-winning white wines
  • lemon products

Best times to visit: May/June and September/October--avoid July & August!

To get around on the island, a scooter is best. Otherwise, a small car.


If you have any questions or would like more information, let me know.

Tanti saluti,

Dawn (Alba) Mattera

Oh my gosh, guys these stories are so wonderful. Thank you ALL for sharing. I know I am really wanting to go back to this area of Italy and clearly it's a special place for many. Grazie a voi! 

Too often there is an understandable focus on the stunning Amalfi coast and islands. My experiences are of inland Campania which reminds me of a less tourist focused everyday Italy. For many years I would visit the towns and villages around Benevento, the ancient capital of il Sannio region, and going from one summer festa to another. The straw procession at Foglianese up in the near mountains was a highlight. The deserted roman ruins at Aeclanum that would be a major draw anywhere else in the world are worth a look if in the area.  The lovely old part of Montefusco where we asked at the comune next door for access to the castle and they willingly gave us an impromtu guided tour and history lesson that italian unification was also seen as a conquest from the north. It also has a great b&b on the edge of the small main square. Another is Montemiletto with it's preserved castle and network of alleyways. The list goes on. It is an area whose history is a mix of Roman and feudal Italy with a hint of Greek influence and Oscan tribe.

We have lots of lovely memories of a tranquil traditional italy off the beaten track with lovely scenery and great food at great prices as most places cater for locals rather than tourists. I would also add Naples as somewhere that is more than a transit point. Campania is more than the fabulous Amalfi coast. It is a place to chill and to staccare la spina.

Hello, My Mother was born in Montemarano, Avellino, Campania region in 1923.  In 1995, my Mom, sister and I went to Italy to visit family over Easter.  One day, they drove us to Montemarano to see where my Mom was born.  On our drive there, all of a sudden we stopped at the home of an older woman, who was the relative of my cousin's husband.  In her humble home, she had prepared a feast for us, using her white linen tablecloth and best china.  The meal was delicious.  We had no idea we would be eating there and felt so bad that we had not brought her a gift for her kindness.  So not only was it a thrill for us to see my Mom's hometown and the home where her family had lived, but we were once again shown Italian hospitality.  It is a very special memory for me, especially now that she has passed on.

Hi Georgette...

I just wanted you to know how much I've enjoyed reading the various tales others have shared on this website, and hope my experience encourages others to visit the little village of Cetara, and Nettuno in particular.  This Italy Magazine feature has rekindled my memories of my trip(s) and I particularly like that.  Thanks for the great feature.


We are so happy to hear this and it's definitely motivation to spark up more fascinating conversations here in our community about diving deeper into various parts around Italy. Honestly, with travel being at such a standstill, we're all living for stories that touch the spirits. So thank you all for participating!