As a child, I often went on vacation to Italy with my grandmother. By car, of course - that was the custom back then. I remember well how I pressed my nose against the windshield in the back seat of her old VW Beetle while the landscape passed me by. Colorful cows, high mountain passes, farmhouses, clear lakes. On our trip on vacation, we picnicked on a blanket, stayed in small. Pensions and paused at rest stops with plug ice cream and lemonade. But the best part was that I could chat for hours with my grandma about God and the world. When we finally arrived at the vacation spot, I had the feeling that I had already come a long way.
Back then, the road was part of the journey.
That's exactly our plan now, too.
Photographer Roman Kuhn and I didn't want to fly the distance from Palermo/Sicily to Florence, but rather drive it.
1,600 kilometers under the tires and Italian dolce vita in front of our eyes !!!! Great! If only it weren't for the requirement of our client to cover this distance in only four days. An extremely sporty project!
My partner Roman Kuhn, one of the best car photographers, is to photograph for the car magazine RAMP. Not just any car, of course. But a Bentley Continental GT. Does anyone know what it is exactly? Honestly, I didn't know until we took delivery of the vehicle at the airport in Palermo.
The Bentley Continental GT costs a whopping 250,000 euros, has a whopping 650 horsepower, and goes 320 h/km with the pedal to the metal.
From now on, I'm the driver. Someone has to drive the car so that Roman can photograph it. But me of all people?
Not that I intended to take advantage of the qualities of the luxury limousine, but just the idea of having such a fiery lady at my service made me all tingly.
I'm not usually into cars, but this lady appealed to me. It's her color...she's just amazing. A flaming orange. She takes my heart by storm with that.
I take it upon myself to treat her well. From now on I call the limousine affectionately
From Palermo we set off in a southerly direction. The navi shows Corleone. Isn't that THE legendary CORLEONE? The birthplace of all real Mafiosi. We want to see that. One and a half hours we roar through the barren, hilly landscape, but Corleone is untraceable. Without realizing it, we must have passed it, because that's when we discover a road sign pointing us to Corelone in the direction we just came from. No matter, on we go. The Godfather will have to do without us.
Our destination is the Verdura Golf and Spa Resort.
It is located about 150 kilometers south of Palermo, near Sciacca directly on the sea. The Verdura belongs to the Rocco Hotel Group, which will also provide us with its fantastically beautiful hotels in Rome and Naples on our trip.
Apparently they were expecting us, or is it just Orange Flame that impresses? In no time at all we are surrounded by a bunch of Italians, tenderly stroking along their curves.
GOLF- AND SPA-RESORT VERDURA, SIZILIEN
The next day, the route Sciacca/Sicily - Rome is on the schedule. That means lots of land and sea to cover between Sicily and the mainland. All in all, 1,000 kilometers! How could we do that in one day, including photos?
We were probably very naive and unprepared. However. It's too late to complain now. We decide to take the overnight ferry from Palermo to Naples. While we sleep, the ship does the many kilometers for us.
We find the crossing and especially our little bunk extremely romantic. Roman and I treat ourselves to a Prosecco and drink to our little adventure. When was the last time I traveled this way? It feels good, decelerated.
With this "analog" way of traveling, my soul also comes along.When I usually jet from A to B by plane, my body has arrived but my soul is often still stuck in a kind of limbo. Now everything fit!
Arrival at the port of Naples. Shortly thereafter, I Orange Flame curves a rough road up to Vesuvius.
Unfortunately, the last stretch to the crater is closed because of "Eruzione". So, down again, via Pompeii, on to the legendary coastal town of Positano. The Bentley winds its way along the coast, again and again through menacingly narrow village alleys. Not only once does it almost get stuck. It's only 60 kilometers, but it's a tough drive.
Two hours later we are finally in Positiano. It is very pretty, but also a bit like Disneyland. Too many tourists!
Actually, the most beautiful are always the encounters with the people that Orange Flame gives us. With the Italians, the luxury limousine doesn't evoke envy, but honest admiration for your beauty. I wonder if it would be the same in Germany. After all, we are known for our culture of envy.
After a coffee at the Hotel Palazzo Murat we leave Positano. 280 kilometers and four hours later we arrive in Rome at the Hotel de Russie. It is beautifully located in the middle of the old town on Via del Babuino 9. Before we fall into the luxury bed, we stroll through the neighborhood.
Italy, what a way of life.
I've got a good handle on Orange Flame by now and usually manage to follow Roman's photo instructions. I no longer discuss how far, how fast, how often I should turn, or how slowly I should, may, or must drive.
Quite simple... the boss is always right. If I have to, I speed around the Trevi Fountain 30 times. Just until the photo is in the box.
Our last stage from Rome to Florence across Tuscany is relaxed. Only 280 kilometers and plenty of time for photography.
In the evening, we check into the luxury Savoy Hotel. It is located in the center of Florence at Piazza della Republicca 7.
A last candlelight dinner and good-bye Bella Italia. Tomorrow we will return to Germany.
1600 kilometers in four days. There you go! It feels like we've been on the road for two weeks. My eyes saw so much and my soul could always keep up. This was certainly not the last time I traveled this way.
Rocco Forte Hotels Italien:
Verdura Ressort, Sicilia, S.S. 115 kim 131, 92019 Sciacca (AG), Italia
Hotel de Russie, Via del Babuino 9, 00187 Rome,
Hotel Savoy, Piazza della Republicca 7, 50123 Firenze,
+39 055 27 35 1