After a week in Orvieto it was time to move south. We headed down to a small town called Riardo near Caserta, situated in the Campania region of Italy.
As we travelled from the North to the South of Italy the difference between the two soon became evident. The country is beautiful, with lush emerald green fields offset against the deep green and grey ruggedness of the mountains. Yet, driving southwards you become painfully aware that things are very different.
With no rubbish collection in the south litter was strewn along many of the roads. Row after row of fields, indicative of the agricultural industry in the poorer south, harboured rubbish at their borders with the roads. We would pass through bridges which were cluttered with old mattresses and furniture, and playing host to the remains of the bags of waste and trash which were dumped there.
The stench of smoke would fill the air at times during the day, with the locals attempting to keep household waste to a minimum by burning it. The beaches, oh the beaches. How alluring they would have been with their clear, blue water and warm, golden sand yet spoilt by the constant stream of broken glass bottles, paper and packaging lining their shores.
Yet still, this part of Italy still had a beauty of its own. The poverty somehow allows an unspoilt simplicity. An acceptance of life and a more laid-back ease rather than the rush, rush, rush of the world we are used to.
The people are friendly and welcoming, unknowingly sacrificing the materialism that the world says they ought to have, instead focusing on the more important things; family, friends and life. Here is where wants and needs are truly separated. They have what they need but their wants aren’t based on the consumerism of life. Simplicity is the key,and life is for living, and they live it with a laugh, a smile and welcoming arms. What wonderful people they are!