The 15th April seems a long time ago, yet the time has just flown so quickly, since we left Brisbane. Turkey and Greece were wonderful with villas on the Aegean, and now we are in our final week here in our two bedroomed, quiet, clean apartment in the mountains in the village of Rocca di Mezzo in the Abruzzo region of Italy. We love meandering down to the village square in the early evenings, and joining in with the locals, in sitting around the square, and chatting as the sun begins to set. Most Italians live in apartments or condos, and most take a stroll to the square in the early evenings. The children and infants join in, running around with their friends or the older children on bicycles or playing football.
Photo on left depicts what we always thought
– all roads seemingly lead to Rome!
Sometimes, after our sit in the square, we visit one of the local bars, and have a pre dinner drink. They offer complimentary substantial snacks when we buy a drink here. No, not just peanuts, but antipasto and tapas, all thrown in for free.
Just order a drink and the
antipastos come for free!
This week, we sampled a few more local restaurants, and thoroughly enjoyed the Italian food. We were told by locals, that generally, but not always, people have pasta for lunch, and pizza or meat for dinner. We have been mixing them all up. The portion sizes here are huge, with people invariably ordering an entire pizza to eat. At home, a few slices suffice. The flavours and mixtures are delicious. The best pasta we found is in the Campacavalla restaurant. Bookings are preferred on 338.3232941. We also tried the local speciality dish of Arrosticini which is lamb skewers accompanied by the red wine of the regions Montepulciano D’abruzzo in the tiny restaurant of Ristorante Antichi Sapori 0862.917360 here, which only opens on weekends, at this time of year. These restaurants become extremely busy after 9pm. They do not open until 8pm. We wonder where all the local people come from, in this tiny village. Many have to be turned away because they have not booked.
We visited a well restored castle in the nearby town of Celano. It had an amazing museum inside with lots of restored wooden figures, sculptures, carvings and artefacts from pre Roman and middle age times.
We also visited the nearby towns of L’Aquila, which is still under a lot of reconstruction, after the devastating earthquake of 6 years ago; and the town of Pescara which is on the Adriatic Sea.
The most exciting part of our week was catching up with Michael’s son, Wes, and his wife, in Naples. They had been on a short break in Positano and the Isle of Capri, and we caught up for dinner, before they flew to their home in Los Angeles. We all went to the home of what is supposed to be the best pizzas in all of Italy, Pizzeria La Notizea firstname.lastname@example.org, and we were not disappointed. We all stayed at the Hotel Domitiana in Naples, which is a three star hotel I can highly recommend. www.hoteldomitana.com It is simple, but clean, and very reasonably priced, with free wifi, and a tasty breakfast thrown it. We went to some retail outlets on the outskirts of Naples on our way back and I found a lovely genuine Italian leather handbag.
By the way, a few have asked when is it coming – my blog about the Home Exchange from Hell – I will publish it here sometime in July.