Pozzouli, Arco Felice, Lucrino, Baia and Cuma
Pozzuoli has lots of clubs for the crazy Neopolitan kids on holiday, but for more mature, outdoor drinking, head into Baia, there are lots of popular bars around the marina. You will see large crowds of people standing along the sides of the main road as you go through. There is they a ‘mini Pompei’ nearby and the marina is also the place to get the glass-bottomed boat to see the sunken underwater Roman ruins, including many beautiful mosaics. There’s lots of sightseeing in the area but be quick before it all sinks into the sea! The whole region, known as the Campi Flegrei is a vulcanologist’s fantasy land. I love this area but sadly they have the same problem with the Camorra as Naples so there are piles of uncollected rubbish lining the roads. It’s a very sad sight and a reminder of the problems that exist in this paradise. I have stayed twice at the unremarkable but convenient La Tripergola in Arco Felice on the main coast road.
Il Capriccio (Intermediate A), in Lucrino near Arco Felice, 1 Piazetta Italia, on the land side of the main drag, near the station just by Lago Lucrino. Any local will point you in the right direction. Tel 081 866 2984. GEM ALERT!
A very famous seafood restaurant, informal and popular with families (ie lots of noisy kids!). You can sit outside under the awning. Start with some pizzette (deep fried balls of dough infused with seaweed) or the bruschette. Risotto alla Pescatore was good, washed down with a nice Fiano. Wasn’t too impressed by the Greco di Tufo white (Montesole for €12), and the local white is just about drinkable for only €3. Also good is the octopus salad and the deep fried prawns with rucola. Profiteroles and a free grappa or limoncello to finish. Ate here most nights. Coperto is €1 and service 10%. Go to the bar next door for a good coffee.
La Nunfia (Advanced B+), opposite the above, on the lake.
Great seafood but at a price. It’s too formal and lacking in atmosphere for my liking. Better to go over the road.
There is a public indoor swimming pool where you can do lengths. It’s on the coast road in Arco Felice, just before Lake Lucrino on the sea side.
If you turn off the main road by Lake Lucrino and follow the side road that goes between the two restaurants above, you will get to another lake in an old volcano crater. It’s a nature reserve so very nice to walk or jog around. Lots of vinyards, moorhens, frogs, lizards and the odd tramp! The Temple of Diana is here though there is not much to see.
There is a very long sandy beach at up the coast Cuma but you will need a car to reach it (I hired a car from Hotel Europa in Caserta for €150 for the weekend). La Plage was a fairly nice beach club but I wouldn’t recommend Papete. To get to the beach road, take a left turn as you come out of Cuma.