Campofelice di Roccella is located in Sicily. Sicily in the past called Trinacria is the largest peninsula in the Mediterranean sea belonging to Italy with a population of about 5 million. It is known mainly for volcanic activity, citruses and mafia. In addition, it has a rich history, good food, beautiful traditions, interesting language and much more.
Seeing Sicily was my dream long ago. After browsing through several catalogs, I realized that I can expect top-class services in Sicily and that this is not an underdeveloped part of Italy, where, as tourists, we will have to accept what is offered to us with no choice. Many Italians have stressed that "North Africa begins under Rome." Finally, I was quite satisfied with the choice of the village of Campofelice di RoccellaCampofelice di Roccella, but I did not forget this statement in my mind.
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So in the evening of day D we went to the airport to discover the beauty of Sicily. Our plane was unfortunatelly almost 2 hours delayed. We haven't rushed anywhere, we just had to rue the view from the plane. After about 2 hours, the pilot told us we were descending to Catania airport. At midnight, one can imagine a deserted airport, which is the case in Bratislava. In Catania it was still alive at midnight. Crowds of tourists running cross airport hall, among them lost children with luggage shouting "Mammmmaaaa dove sei?"1, airport staff, police, housekeepers pushing their carts, full cafes and restaurants.
Melodic Italian language is heard from all sides, and almost no concern for the participants about who hears their conversation. Staying in such an environment always invokes a smile on my face and warms my heart. I just feel good here, and even these scenes are a confirmation to me that people really live their lives for 100 percent . You can see it and hear it.
We wandered through a lot of people and outside we wewre greeted by Benvenuti in Sicilia2 out it was 30 degrees and dampness coming from the road. In front of the airport hall transfer was waiting for us ... Tiny old shuttle bus3whose year of production I was afraid to estimate, should lead us to the resort. I prayed that the 150 km still awaiting us we can survive somehow, because I will tell you that they do not have such transport in every corner.
It is said that what is old is good.. That was true of our four-wheeler which very cleverly intertwined through the streets of Catania and in the autostrada had no problem competing with its modern colleagues. It even had "AC", a kind of air that was of variable temperature and was blowing at us. We did not see much during the journey as it was past midnight, but I noticed the good quality of the motorways and many bridges. From Catania we had to cross the province of Enna, Caltanissetta, to Palermo? on the north side of the island to the Tyrrhenian sea, where our hotel was located.
About two o'clock in the morning, we all woke up when bus suddenly stopped. The tour guide shouted the name of the hotel, and we scuttled quickly out of the sleep. We found ourselves at a beautiful fountain surrounded by palm trees, flowers and ancient statues. We were only four and together we went to the reception for check in. In front of the hotel entrance there was another huge fountain with a Trojan horse in the middle. Receptionist welcomed us in fluent English and her colleague accompanied us to the room. The rooms were beautifully decorated in ancient spirit.A cold dinner awaited us at the restaurantwhich was probably the best experience to date. In this galaxy there is no better cuisine than Italian..
The next morning we had an equally flawless breakfast and set out to see who we were. The hotel was situated in a tropical garden. Three sides surrounded by a fenceon the fourth side there was sea. In order to get out of the hotel you had to cross the gate that was closed and it was opened by the porter after giving the reason. That would not be a problem, but behind the gate there was just the exit of the Palermo - Messina highway and nothing more. There was a similar hotel complex in the neighborhood. Disappointed with this finding, we went to the beach.
We went through the whole garden, went around 2 pools. One was about 40 cm the other for swimmers was 80 cm.I was amused by the inscription during the first "No diving". Behind them was a beach according to the catalog with golden fine sand with a gradual entry into the sea. We can call this beach a wild beach. It was covered with stones about 20 cmin diameter. These stones reached down to the sea,so access to the sea was practically impossible.The Tyrrhenian sea was not so cleanhere. Approximately 15 meters beside the hotel beach, a packer regularly moved stones. What was the point, I don't know. For trouble-free movement along the beach you needed solid hiking boots. The hotel cleverly placed sun loungers on these stones, and guests hatched happily here.
African conditions continued when we went for a walk on the beach to the west. Near the hotel half-dilapidated and abandoned buildings, neglected land began to multiply.Unfortunately, garbage was also common on the beach. The mystery remains why why about 50 meters from the hotel beach, the sea was suddenly beautifully clean.Only the hotel management knows the answer to this puzzle.
Hopelessly we went back to the hotel and lay down on the deck chairs. We realized we were trapped in the middle of nowhere and we could not even bathe normally, because even a towel on the beach we could not put nowhere. I regretted only an irrational description of the entire site by the company that offered the holiday. A 5 * hotel cannot be a bastion. During the day, I met a guide who I asked where Campofelice was. The young man just waved his hand to one of the cardinal points and told me that there behind the hill. I don't think he even knew where the village was.
Spanish or English music played all day in the resort, which did not bother the German, French, Polish, Russian and Chinese clients. For them, the 80 cm pool was a swimming pool. In the afternoon we had a meeting with another tourist guide who did not seem to be very kind. Her cool attitude and expression did not fit the lively landscape at all. She offered us some trips that we were not interested in, because we had a different price list from travel agent than it was on the spot. In translation - in Bratislava they told me that the trip costs 55 euros, in Sicily guide told us that it is still necessary to pay a mandatory fee of 70 euros.
Other downsides were the inability to eat during the day due to the absence of any restaurant nearby, Wifi, which was only available at the reception, no possibility of leisure time activities.The only activity was warm up in the pool. The sentence 'acquagym alle tre qui in piscina'4 has become a nightmare of this stay. I don't even know where we were. Not even a little piece of Italian culture, no effort to promote their own country, just the adaptation to clients who were interested in lying on a lounger all day.
So what are we going to do here? How do we survive 7 days? I started to think when I finished reading my second book on the same day. The plan was to look around. At the reception, we learned that "circa a 5 chilometri si trova Campofelice di Roccella e la torre si puo vedere sulla spiaggia"5. So we went east along the beach at 40 degrees. In the distance you could really see the symbol of the village of Torre Roccella. On the way through the neglected beaches we came to lido after about 90 minutes.
Finally, we found the first restaurant and clean beach. Lido was about 2 km long and at the end there was a tower. After 2 hours we finally arrived "in Sicily among the Sicilians". Up on the hill there was a village Campufilici as Campofelice is called by Sicilians. Landmark of the village was basically a complex of ruins Castello di Roccella.The ruins of this castle reach down to the sea. The best preserved was the tower, which was partially reconstructed. The Roccella river flows into the sea near the tower.
The whole lido had a local characteras evidenced by the number of parking lots, but no accommodation facilities. Tourists are a very rare phenomenon. This place is mainly used by Italians, which was also felt in restaurants and cafeterias, where it was not possible to speak foreign language. But there was also Italian warmth and willingness. Of course, small things like when you get vanilla ice cream instead of chocolate ice cream, they need to be sorry.
Satisfied with the discovery of this place, we enjoyed the clean Tyrrhenian sea, a nice beach and brilliant food in a local restaurant. Lido was incredibly calm despite the wild Italians. I had the impression that it was used mainly by those who live close. There were no tourist attractions,but you could find some disco playing on the beach till the morning. The cleanliness of the beaches was taken care of, there were deck chairs, umbrellas, dressing rooms, showers. There was a possibility to buy beach supplies in several places and if you forgot something, beach sellers also had a basic assortment.
Campofelice di Roccella is a small Sicilian village. There is peace everywhere. These places they are attractive to tourists especially for Italians.All the major tourist sights are quite far away and I don't know what traffic is like. I would say it is best to come here if you want to share your life with the locals - to stay at the locals who have no problem with it and enjoy swimming.I hope not all expensive resortsrecommended by travel agencies are cut off the civilization. Maybe the Slovaks think Sicily is not safe. We didn't meet the mafia members, no one kidnapped or robbed us, and both our kidneys remained. I think it's just a good marketing gimmick to get tourists to go to the most expensive hotels.
Sicily is harsh , somewhere resembles the Balkans and also it is very calm. People live hereat their own pace, always with a smile on their faces,although I know the smile hides many bitter fates. The country is rather mountainous, there is less green and a lot of rocks. It is characterized by drought. On the plains kilometers of olive trees, citrus, fig trees and other goodies are stretch. Herds of cows graze on the hills. There are plenty of beaches where a human never steped in.. It has a rich history and many beautiful places to keep your breath away... but again in another article.
1 Mum, where are you?
2 Welcome to Sicily
4 Acquamgym at 3 in the pool
5 About 5 km far from here there is a village Campofelice di Roccella, you can see its tower from the beach