From Paris to Amalfi Coast: Castellammare di Stabia

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On Monday we woke up around 1:30 again. I don’t really like waking up late, but after going to bed at 4:00 a.m., having gone through a lot of hardship in Paris, having to wait for the night bus in the early hours of the morning and running a certain risk of being robbed. Yes, you’d wake up late too.

This is the day we took the flight to Naples, Italy. Our flight was from Bouvais Airport to Naples. Grace told me that it would take about 3 hours to get from Combs-la-ville to the airport by public transport, whereas it would take 30 to 40 minutes by car. I was worried at this point because it was 1:30 p.m., we had to have lunch, and the flight was at 7:20 p.m., so we had to keep an eye on the time.

Flight from Beauvais to Napolis

Beauvais airport is a little far from Paris, so to get there you need to take a bus called Aérobus Paris-Beauvais from Porte Maillot, and the journey takes about 1h30. It was raining a bit on this day, but we kept walking so as not to miss the timetable. We stopped along the way and had some snacks, at least I did, Ingrid wasn’t that hungry. We caught the bus at around 5:30 p.m., but because of the rain, it took almost two hours to get to the airport. We arrived with 30 minutes to go before the boarding gates closed, and rushed through the airport to the check-in line. Then the security guard in the queue told us to relax, that we had enough time. It was then that I realized the flight was an hour late. I was so relieved at the moment, I thought I was going to miss the flight.

The flight was smooth, no turbulence, about 2 hours. We arrived in Napolis at around 22:30. It was very late, the stores were closed and we had a few slices of pizza at the airport. The big problem was transportation to Castellammare. Our hotel was in Castellammare di Stabia, a small beach town about 30 minutes from Naples by car, a bit longer by train.

We took a bus to Naples central station. There were a few taxi drivers there, so we decided to approach them and ask for the price to Castellammare. We talked to one, talked to another and got a taxi from Naples to Castellammare di Stabia for 70 euros. It was already past 11pm and we just wanted to have a shower and then go to sleep, after all, we were tired from the last few days.

First impressions of Castellammare di Stabia

Waking up in Castellammare, I went for breakfast. We stayed at the Hotel Stabia, a 4-star hotel, one of the best in Castellammare. The breakfast room is on the 6th floor and the view of the Mediterranean Sea was incredible. From there you could see Monte Versuvio on the right and Monte Faito on the left. After breakfast I decided to go for a walk and Ingrid stayed in the hotel to sleep.

Castellammare di Stabia is a very cozy little town, the people are very kind and cheerful. I loved seeing the number of scooters on the street, lots of different types of scooters, super scooters, it was very different from what I’ve seen before. I strolled through the town’s main square, which looks like a small theater, and I think there were performances there sometimes.

History of Castellammare di Stabia

Castellammare di Stabia is a charming coastal town located in the Campania region of southern Italy. Situated along the picturesque Sorrentine Peninsula, between the renowned cities of Naples and Sorrento, Castellammare di Stabia offers a blend of natural beauty, historical heritage, and Mediterranean allure.

Nestled between the azure waters of the Gulf of Naples and the lush slopes of Mount Faito, Castellammare di Stabia boasts a rich history that dates back to ancient times. The town’s name is derived from the Latin word “statio,” indicating its role as a Roman military outpost.

One of the town’s notable features is its long history as a thermal resort. The area is blessed with natural thermal springs that have been sought after for their healing properties since Roman times. Today, visitors can still indulge in relaxation at modern thermal spas, which offer a perfect blend of ancient tradition and contemporary wellness.

The town’s waterfront is a picturesque blend of colorful buildings, fishing boats, and sweeping views of the Gulf of Naples. The marina serves as a hub for maritime activities, and the seafront promenade invites leisurely strolls as the sun sets over the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Castellammare di Stabia also holds historical significance. The Villa Arianna, an ancient Roman villa buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, offers a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the Roman elite. The nearby Stabiae Archaeological Site features well-preserved ruins that provide insights into daily life in ancient times.

For those seeking breathtaking panoramic views, the town is a gateway to Mount Faito. A cable car ride takes visitors to the summit, where they can enjoy hiking trails, fresh mountain air, and stunning views of the coastline and surrounding landscapes.

Being in close proximity to Pompeii and Herculaneum, Castellammare di Stabia serves as an ideal base for exploring these renowned archaeological sites that were buried and preserved by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.

With its historical significance, natural beauty, and easy access to nearby attractions, Castellammare di Stabia offers a delightful experience for travelers looking to immerse themselves in the cultural and scenic riches of the Campania region.

How to climb Mount Faito?

I walked alongside the docks to the main entrance to the port, then decided to turn around and head back towards the hotel. I saw a cable car going up towards the hill. So I headed in the direction of the cable car. I looked up the cable car station on Google Maps and went there. The train station was next door and to take the cable car you have to buy a ticket at the train station. It takes about 8 minutes to get up to Monte Faito by cable car. At the station I met Ana, a Spanish woman who worked on a boat for private tours in the Amalfi Coast region. She was there on her day off, they had docked in Castellammare the day before and decided to take the day off. Chatting a bit more, she told me that the boat she works on has a capacity of around 8 people and is a luxury tour, where you can hire it for a few days and go sailing with the crew.

Without a doubt, the quickest way up Monte Faito is to take the cable car from Castellammare di Stabia. You pay XXX and reach the top in about 8 minutes.

Monte Faito is a mountain located in southern Italy, in the Campania region. It’s part of the Lattari Mountains, which are a subrange of the larger Apennine mountain range. The mountain is situated near the Amalfi Coast and overlooks the Gulf of Naples and the Sorrento Peninsula. Monte Faito is a popular destination for both locals and tourists due to its scenic beauty, hiking trails, and panoramic views of the surrounding areas. The mountain is known for its lush vegetation, including forests of chestnut and beech trees. There is a cable car that takes visitors to the summit of Monte Faito, providing an easy way to access the breathtaking views without having to hike all the way up. From the summit, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the Amalfi Coast, the Gulf of Naples, Mount Vesuvius, and even the island of Capri on clear days. The mountain’s elevation and position make it an excellent spot for paragliding and other outdoor activities as well.

Once there, I went to buy two bottles of water at the bar just ahead to continue my walk. Leaving the station and standing in front of it, I headed off to the left along a path through the middle of the forest. Passing some buildings and power towers, I reached a more open area where there was a bench with an incredibly beautiful view of Castellammare di Stabia, Naples and Mount Vesuvius. I sat there and enjoyed the view for a few minutes, the feeling of satisfaction was incredible.

Following the trail and going down a little further, you’ll reach the Hotel Ristorante Sant’Angelo. There they have a very good pizza for only 7 euros, it’s super worth it, you have an incredible view. Going further on, you’ll find the Terrazza Belvedere-Monte Faito di Vanacore Giacomo. It’s really amazing up there, you can climb up the side of the enclosure, up the rocks above the restaurant and have a wider view, seeing a bit of Sorrento, Napoli, Castellammare di Stabia. I imagine a dinner there on a clear night with little wind must be incredible.

Hiking Mount Faito, Italy

I took a trail up Monte Faito. Just in front of the Terrazza Belvedere restaurant you’ll find a cliff to the right, and then a small trail that slowly descends. Further down you can see a power tower.

The trailhead is next to the Hotel Ristorante Sant’Angelo. It takes about 2 hours to get there and back, but it’s very quick and well worth the walk. Be prepared with walking shoes, water and something to eat – light food, bananas, fruit or cereal bars. Towards the middle you’ll find a power tower with a sign saying “Pericolo di Morte”. I was a little afraid to go on, I confess, I could also hear the noise of the electricity running through the cables of this tower. Nevertheless, I kept going, passing about 15 meters from the power tower. Further on you’ll find a cross with some writing on it, there are also papers with messages. It’s the Croce dell’Eremita. It’s a very beautiful place, you have a view of the whole region, you can see Capri, Naples, Castellammare di Stabia, Vico Equense and Sant’Angello.

I took a moment to reflect, took some photos and then went back to the Ristorante to meet Ingrid. We went to eat together at the Hotel Ristorante Sant’Angelo and had a delicious pizza for just 7 euros each. Then we went the other way, back to the station to take the cable car down to Castellammare. We went back to the hotel to shower and get some rest.

What nightlife is like in Castellammare di Stabia?

Later in the evening we walked through the streets of Castellammare. It’s a beautiful town at night, with lots of people, tourists, the bay full of boats. Well-decorated streets. It all gave me a good feeling to be there. So we went for pasta with seafood. Just opposite the restaurant we were staying in, there was an alleyway with a curious little shop. I saw people ordering all kinds of fruit, and I wanted to sit there and have some for dessert. They sold various types of fruit in small portions, including melon, strawberries, grapes, watermelon, pineapple and many others. I found it a very Italian experience, I loved it. Afterwards we went back to the hotel to sleep, we were exhausted.

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