We met two young men at breakfast, both professors at Salerno University, one from Basque Spain, the other from Torrento, Italy. They speak good English. Their assignments here are long-term, so they commute home occasionally.
We're in transit now on TrenItalia, passing through flat farm country. We departed promptly at 10:33, non-stop to the toe of Italy, a train-ferry stop...Villa San Giovanni (VSG), then the cars are ferried across the Strait of Messina to Sicily. Our car then heads to Taormina, a town on the south coast, arriving at 16:44.
Well, the train has made two stops so far...I was wrong about non-stop. It is a nice journey, the train electric, quiet, and smooth. Now, we are by the sea, earlier in some mountains...literally "in" several long tunnels. There are some pretty good-sized towns passing by, but the train is going too fast to see much. Nice sunny day. Some great beach areas, but not being used today.
We just arrived at VSG, 14:15. This is where our train car is put on the ferry. Lots of switching at both ends delivers us to Messina Centrale station, Sicily, at 17:55. On to Taormina, arriving exactly on time. Only 30 meter walk to our B&B, just across from the train station/bus stop. It looks out to Ionic Sea, an arm of the Mediterranean, between Greece and Italy. Italy claims it as it's sea using the term "mare nostrum".
Davide, our host, is also a hiking guide in the area. They have operated the B&B for six years, and had hoped to build their apartment above. But, the owner refuses to sell the space to them. Consequently, they live offsite.
We ate dinner at Le Desir Piquant da Roberto (sounds French, but they serve Sicilian meals). I met Roberto and his papa, Lilo, our server Giovanni, and a friend Claudio. We were their only guests for the evening.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Salerno to Sicily Train and Ferry