La lunga strada di sabbia

La lunga strada di sabbia di Achim Kowalczyk


Estate 1959. Per la rivista Successo, Pier Paolo Pisolini percorre la costa italiana al volante di un Fiat Millecento per realizzare “La lunga strada di sabbia” un ampio reportage sull’Italia tra cambiamento e tradizione, vacanza borghese e residui di un dopoguerra difficile. A quarant’anni di distanza, il fotografo Philippe Séclier ha ripercorso quello stesso itinerario, ritrovando tracce, immagini e memoria del grande scrittore e del suo memorabile ritratto dell’Italia.

A cinquantanove anni di distanza Achim Kowalczyk, di Oldenburg, psicoterapista dell’età evolutiva, ripercorre in bici l’itinerario ed effettua una tappa notturna presso le aree riqualificate dell’ex Asilo Vittorio E. III – Ospizio Marino Colonia Tommaso Astarita (ex Convitto Monachelle).


17 Settembre 2018, ore 20:30, rientrato dal lavoro mi sono recato presso le Monachelle con la bici, ho notato Achim con la tenda e la bici ed incuriosito mi sono avvicinato, ci siamo presentati  e mi ha raccontato del suo viaggio in bici.


Ho avuto tra le mani qualche anno addietro il libro di Pasolini e il viaggio da lui intrapreso nel 59 l’ho voluto ripercorrere con la mia bici….




La curiosità è tanta, ascoltare Achim sorseggiando un limoncello….. ad un punto la domanda viene spontanea: come hai trovato il sito Monachelle?




Si è fatto tardi, Achim, ma anche io, ci sveglieremo presto, uno per continuare a pedalare, l’altro per andare a lavorare….. 



Bicycle Trip from Pozzuoli to Pisciotta/Cilento

In mid September 2018, coming from Roma, I was a guest of Sal and his family whom I met late in the evening next to Pozzuoli’s alternative cultural centre Monachelle. Around midnight Sal had a little conversation with me, which he put as a video on his blog. My tent was pitched up in the garden of their signalman’s house and in the night it felt temporarily like lying right between the tracks…

Pozzuoli, Lungomare Pertini

Pozzuoli, Ex Convitto delle Monachelle, prospect from sea


The next day after breakfast (with whom Imma, Sals wife, had regrettably to wait for me) I took a ship from Pozzuolis harbour to Ischia, where I have never been bevore (on CapriI’ve been a dozen times). Less crowded and more sandy beaches to find, than on the rocky Island of Capri, I spent two days on Ischia and saw just only a few places in the north and I had to come back to discover more of the ‘burning fields’ (what ‘campi flegrei’ originally mean) either on Ischia or in Pozzuoli, the volcanic area in the gulf of Naples.

Ischia, Spiaggia San Pietro


Dispite to what internet schedules say, I found a boat what brought me together with my bici to Positano, so I could circumvent the busy area between Napoli and Pompei. First of all in Positano I had to conquer with my bici and my heavy lugage the stairways up to one of European most famous road built into the rocks of the Monti Lattari: the Amalfitana, a breathtaking and beautiful street from Positano to Vietri sul Mare. Positano was a little familiar to me, because I spent many weeks in autumn in the 80thand 90th years in that beautiful village, doing group therapy with german patients.

When the ship leaves Ischia I had the only rainy moment on the whole trip. To enter the boat I had to remove the luggage.

Positano, view from the sea


Positano, arrival at the marina


Strada Statale 163, Amalfitana


Strada Statale 163, Amalfitana


The next stop was an extraordinary campsite near Maiori, where the owner changed a former lemon crop into a lavishly equipped campsite situated on its picturesque terraces. The guests where unexeptionally invidualistic travellers and I had a lot of insteresting encounters and converstions (in Englisch…).

We had a “gezellig” evening what these two guys from Holland would say. They were law students in Napoli.

Bella Baia Camping, Maiori


View into Bella Baia


Campsites owner’s passion was collecting old tiles and on exposed spots even on the stairs he attached floor tiles from 17th century. Because I myself be interested in ceramics and pottery I had an instructive conversation the padrone. Very much matching to that was my visit to the Museo della Ceramica Vietrense in Raito next to Vietri sul Mare where I could see the first time originals of Richard Dölker, a german, and Irene Kowaliska, an austrian ceramist who joined up with the group of german ceramists who already had their worhshops in Vietri in the 1930s years. This group had a hugh infuence on the local pottery in changing the painted ornaments from a traditional sacral to a more modern folkloristic style. Richard Dölkers favorite figure was the local donkey and today this animal has become an often reproduced ceramic in Amalfitanas worhshops.

Exhibits of Richard (Riccardo) Dölker in Raito


Some years ago I found in Sorrentos centro storico a little ceramic shop run by Pietro Amos, who complete dedicated his work to Dölkers donkey. I have several replicats at my home inOldenburg in different sizes.

One of Richard (Riccardo) Dölkers donkeys


Near Paestum I was passing a hugh pineta where numerous signs indicate an area with truffles although I thought they are to be found in Tuscany and other nothern regions of Italy.

One of a dozen signs that even inform about truffles but you have to stay back. A productive or counterproductive sign at harvesttime?Entering the Parco Nazionale del Cilento at the level of Agropoli there was my last halt. After having a tasty fish dish an a cold bottle of local white wine I reached the only opened campsite in late september outside of Agropoli in the darkness where a friendly lady from Napoli shines with a lantern while I pitched up my tent. Altough it became very late the staff left open their little bar and I had a nightcap ore two.

Friendly signora from campsite’s neighbourhood


Last but not least I found on my way south a fragment of a very old floor tile on the roadside near Agropoli. When you talk about it…

Fragment of an ancient glazed floor tile


During very last break bevore arriving Marina di Pisciotta/Cilento I had a little rest with an espresso in the nice little town of Acciaroli (where Ernest Hemmingway once gone fishing) and I also passed Pioppi (where the american biologist and nutritionist Ancel Keys invented the mediterranian diet, well known in Germany).

Acciaroli, bar next to the marina


The last 20 kilometers on the coast of Cilento have been demanding for me because of the mountainous street and I was very lucky to reach the vacation home where Ralf, my partner, has just arrives 1,5 hours earlier with his car.

Since years our holiday home in autumn.

 Achim Kowalczyk

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