If we're going to see southern Italy, we had better start planning. That's our job for this weekend because we leave Borgo Solario on Monday for Naples (or, as they say here, Napoli). We have done pre-work, but now it's time to nail down our transportation and places to stay and things to see.
Naples has a bad reputation on safety and security. Sergio has suggested several ideas: stay out of town on Caserta or Ercolano; stay in a safe area such as Chiaia in the city. These are our guidelines. We will probably do a combination, some days in both locations.
Several hours of web time has produced good results. Plus, we have made air reservations on RyanAir for France in April, returning in late May. There is a lot of coordination with buses and trains to reach our apartment in Fumel, France, where we will stay with Madeleine and John Chambers, where we stayed last year, for several weeks. They are such a nice couple and it will be great to stay there for a longer period of time. John has put together several notebooks on places to see and there is transportation from Fumel, so we are really looking forward to being there.
So, we've made some progress.
Mom did two loads of wash in preparation for our departure. We'll only take our backpacks and one small carry bag for our three week's travel in southern Italy. We will leave our big bags at Borgo Solario until we return on March 30.
Sergio drove us into Sanfatucchio where we thought we could get lunch. No luck. Closed at 15:00 until 19:00. So, we walked around the corner to a local bar, had pizza and a beer, and played Foosball (6-6 tie) and billiards (I sank more solids than Mom's stripes).
It has cooled off and gotten windy, but still sunny. Sergio and Michelle are doing a lot of work to get ready for the upcoming season, starting March 31 for Easter week. Sergio is planting several hundred new bushes and plants around the front patio. Michelle is painting the interior of a "new" apartment that still needs some electrical work, so it won't be rented until April or May.
Making our reservations for the Naples area has been frustrating, but finally found a B&B in Sorrento for three nights. We will take a narrow gauge train from Naples along the coast passing Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius. We will visit both during our stay. To relieve some tension, we take an abbreviated repeat walk up the country road and through the fields for 45 minutes.
Susan Crawford has given us some good tips on hiking on the Amalfi coast and sights in Sicily. Sicily is our next challenge...how to get there, where to stay, how to get around.
Took another walk into our town and we notice how green everything is getting. We will really notice a change when we return I'm sure. This has been a grand place to stay for us and we certainly saw lots.
Sandy attended mass at the local church in Sanfatcchio at 11:30 while I read my book "The History of Tractors in Ukranian" outdoors in the sunshine. She enjoyed the service especially the young boys who sang and read (one reminded her of Jake), and the common ritual and nice congregants. Mom couldn't tell me what the priest's message was though (in Italian, of course).
We had hoped to eat lunch at the Trattoria d'Italia across from the church, but when we called yesterday to make reservations they could not understand English, and hung up, not once, but twice. So, we walked to our favorite Ristorante Pizzeria Locanda di Sanfatucchio where we feasted on a large appetizer of muscles (at least 60) followed by a risotto with a thin-baked parmigiana cheese, two 1/2 liters of wine, red and white, and two homemade desserts. No dinner needed tonight.
At home for the last afternoon and evening, we finish packing and search out some towns on Sicily for visiting. We're all set for the next adventure. We might have to check in with Sergio for advice ! He has been so helpful while staying here.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Three Days to Prep for Three Weeks of Travel