Sunday, February 10, 2013

Guardia Sanframondi: Part 2 - Around Town

Clare's not the only one with views!

Part 1 - Getting There
Part 3 - Good Eats!
Part 4 - Houses

Clare Galloway's House Hunters International episode introduced thousands of us to Guardia Sanframondi. The view from her ArtHouse balcony is a big part of what seduced us into making the trip. But a 30 minute "reality" show (or a blog post) can hardly begin to show just how wonderful the town and it's inhabitants really are (we'll have more on some of the inhabitants in a later post).

It's Built on a Mountain

Heading to La Meridiana
As you probably know, Guardia Sanframondi is a hill (or mountain) town in southern Italy. However, folks like us who have grown up in the mid-west really don't quite grasp what that means. Until we start walking. Here's an example from the route from ArtHouse Guardia to Piazza Mercato and La Meridiana. The house is actually built over and around that outcrop and the street is rising at about a 25 degree angle. Overweight middle aged Americans like us will find it a bit of a workout getting around. Be sure to bring your hiking boots. (I actually lost 6 pounds on this "vacation" and it wasn't from lack of stuffing myself, as you'll see in the next post.)

You don't frighten us English pig-dog!
And of course there's the castle. Darn near straight up on this side.

Like the house above, the castle is solidly built into the mountain. This picture was taken from the little piazza in front of the entrance and the castle gardens...

Piazza at the Castle Entrance
Where there is a little bit of flat space and a good size house for sale. Given it's location and the configuration of that window I bet you could sell refreshments from the ground floor during events at the castle. (No, we didn't look at this house. Sorry.)

Nearly every corner of Guardia (and there are plenty, none anywhere near 90ยบ) has something interesting.

Not for the weak kneed

And It's Old

All over Guardia you'll see these odd brick boxes clinging to the side of buildings. They're bathrooms (see that big pipe?). Since much of the old town was built well before the introduction of indoor plumbing and inserting modern sanitary facilities into centuries old stone buildings can be a challenge, these little add-ons are time tested solution. I'm pretty sure that exposed waste pipe wouldn't come anywhere near meeting building codes here in the US...

There are bits of the old and very old everywhere:

The New and The Old in a Courtyard

Ancient Memorial Sculpture Reused

Near a house we like
Handy if you have a couple donkeys...
That's a bit of the Guardia Sanframondi we enjoyed. It wouldn't surprise me to learn we only saw about 10% of what it has to offer.

Coming Soon: Guardia Sanframondi: Good Eats!


  1. Hi William, when you were in Guardia S. did you go to other places of interest? Aside from the Amalfi Coast, Pompei and Vesuvius,are there places nearby that we can go to that are worth seeing? We will be there for 6 days and I'm not planning on looking for houses the whole time. Would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks :)

  2. We didn't get out and about - it was chilly and rainy when we visited. I'd hoped to get down to the wine co-operative and maybe even visit a spa in Telese Terme (there are apparently hot springs). There are also some nifty Roman ruins there as well.

    You (or at least I) could easily spend three days in and around Naples. In addition to Pompeii and Vesuvius don't miss Herculaneum. It's much better preserved and a very different experience than Pompeii. In Naples be sure to visit to National Archaeological Museum where most of the really good stuff from Pompeii is kept. And of course there's pizza, the amazing fish market, and the "Spacca Napoli" a long straight street full of fascinating shops and local color.

    From Naples it's a fun boat ride out to Capri but that will pretty much eat a whole day by itself if you have to get back to Guardia.

    Are you talking with Clare or Pasquale or someone else?

  3. Roberto offered to be our guide ( will find out tomorrow on how much he charges )but I told him that I have been to Amalfi Coast a couple of times and I would like to see other places. I have been to Pompei and Vesuvius as well. Spacca Napoli sounds pretty good and the Nat'l Archaelogical Museum. I think there are museums in Benevento as well. 'Will ask him about the hot springs in Telese Terme. Hopefully, it won't be too cold in November. Thanks again.



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