Yesterday I returned to Punta Campanella, curious to see how the newly restored path was holding up and what novelties there might be along the way.
I had only just started walking down when I heard a moped approaching from behind. When it drew level, I told the riders very politely that non-resident vehicles were not allowed. They were a young, foreign couple and seemed rather surprised. On hearing that it was a good 30 minute walk, they decided to turn round and give it a miss. Maybe a bigger, more obvious "in your face" notice well before the present small, decrepit one could be an idea?
I continued on my way. The path is now beginning to look less new, merging better into its surroundings. This is positive and quite honestly I don't consider it the urban (or rather extra-urban) disaster that it was initially made out to be.
I could now hear another, much noisier vehicle approaching, this time from the opposite direction. It soon came into sight - an ancient dilapidated "vespa" transporting an elderly fisherman and his catch of the day. He cheerily waved and went on his way. He has probably been doing this for years, even before the work on the path. Hence the state of his scooter!
Walking further down I came to the first of a series of placards, placed on rocks like wall-top lecterns. These illustrate various aspects of the path: historical, mythical, geological, flora and fauna and lastly a plan of the tip with key structures (past and present) evidenced. They are in Italian and English, but not too long, not too complicated and simply written. For once even the English translation is virtually spot on and anyone who has seen some of the existing local public notices, magazine articles, hotel and excursion websites will know exactly what I mean. If I want to be really picky, it is a pity that they weren't properly proofread to avoid the occasional typo, but all in all a job well done.
What is not so good is the state of the path along the unpaved stretches. The stones are fast coming loose and I shudder to think what will happen once we get the heavy winter rainfalls. On a positive note, it will soon become extremely difficult for mopeds to continue going right to the tip... even in its present state, you are risking.
Maybe that will resolve the problem for the local authorities before they get their act together and devise a way of making the path really pedestrian only.
And as for the less mobile.. well, despite the funding having been obtained to make it accessible to all, this has never actually ever been the case. It is just not realistic in its present state. Up to a point, fine, better than before; as far as the tip and the tower, no way!