I’m on the train from Rome to Naples; 110-120 miles at the bargain price of £12. You'd pay more to do the comparable journey of London to Birmingham, and it would probably take you twice as long.
My final destination is one of the most expensive summer holiday spots in Europe, celebrity playground, the island of Capri. So, what I save on getting there I'll easily spend on an insalata caprese upon arrival.
Undulating terrain adds variety to the vista; lush, verdant vegetation most Brits fancy doesn't exist outside our 'green and pleasant land' laps the side of the railway track; the sun sits high in a blue sky spotted with cotton wool clouds, and here I sit sampling Italy's agricultural, occasionally industrial and sometimes unadulterated landscape sipping a caffe americano.
It may not have the exclusivity of a private jet, but it's not far off in terms of a pleasant ride. Soon we'll be pulling into Naples.
A short ferry ride away lies the world in which 'the other half' lives. Superyachts hug Capri's rocky coastline like walnuts scattered around a goats cheese & pear salad; glorious Mediterranean sunlight is reflected in the sea's multi-faceted mirror, scattering light like the diamonds that dazzle in the Piazza’s window displays; national stereotypes glossed, pumped up and lacquered parade through the square in Bulgari, Prada and Gucci, and here I sit absorbing the it all with my caffe americano.
How I love to travel.