.. How we loved it all!
25.10.19 - 31.10.19 22 °C
Naples: dirty, graffitied, festive
Almost every wall in every street is festooned with spray-can art, while a staggering amount of abandoned rubbish lay along every alley. We held our bags close to our chests as we wandered aimlessly through the alleys of the Old Town where we found the ugliest load of trinkets, gourdy grottos, and cheap souvenirs that anyone could wish for.. or not. We eventually found the ‘tourist area’ along the waterfront and watched the sunset over Mt Vesuvius
To give credit, it was lovely to see all the Neapolitan families out together as it was Saturday night. There would have been not a soul at home in front of the Tele.. even the elderly were promenading up and down the crazy busy streets, stepping over rubbish and having fun.
Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast: Life styles of the rich and famous
After a morning marvelling at the immensity and grandeur that Pompeii was before Mt Vesuvius decided it need covering in AD69, we arrived at our Airbnb apartment in Sorrento. This has been the only accommodation that we were not totally satisfied with: no kettle, dodgy plumbing, scanty and mismatched kitchen supplies to name a few. This definitely shows an ‘end of the season’ attitude.
We did go for a nice drive however with ‘the Italian Mafia: Sal’.. his own description of himself!! That Amalfi Coast Road is to be seen to be believed. and I am not talking about the magnificent 1300 metre cliffs with houses dripping from the sides and the ‘famous’ villages”. The roads are so narrow and windy that it made the journey a bit like riding a roller coaster. We arrived home without a scratch on our car or anyone else’s... a miracle.
By the way we popped past Sofia Loren’s little villa at Amalfi, shame she wasn’t home to greet us so we ended up having a Michelin Star lunch in Ravello in the hotel where D.H. Lawrence wrote ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ in 1926, The scenery was spectacular, the light lunch was not as expensive as you’d think!! We kept an eye out for ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ in Positano but no show either but we discovered that ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ ‘Love is all you Need’ so ‘That’s Amore!!’
1. We started with a major treat: Business class upgrade... what an absolute treat. Can you imagine actually sleeping for a few hours on a plane, eating with real cutlery, not having your elbows in the air as you eat. We were brought back to earth from Dubai to Dubrovnik: ‘Fly Dubai’ was a shocker!
2. Our first meal out in Dubrovnik: Soup and bread $150... we didn’t realise it was top class!
3. Phone sex by a man on the train (he kissed the phone and wiggled a lot): with a photo of his wife on the other side of the phone (he wasn’t talking to his wife!)
4. Zebra crossings and Amalfi Coast roads: Crazy driving and drivers... Inches between passing cars, buses and motor bikes
5. The weather has been amazing, wet weather gear came out once. We didn’t swim in those pristine waters though.
6. Prices much more than expected.. Aussie dollar didn’t add up well.. except our last bottle of wine which cost €1.35 (about $2.10). Thank God for Andrea’s well-stocked cupboards in Assisi and Nona’s tart. Some of those supplies have kept us going!!
7. Height of the Amalfi Coastline: you’ve got to see it to believe it.. 1300 metres
8. Chinese laundry in Wenice (Venice) apartment using the kitchen oven and broom handles can be used for many things
9. Shock value of Naples:mountains of stagnant, rotting, ripe rubbish and graffiti on every surface including trains, miasma of cigarette and motor exhaust everywhere
10. The line ups at the Doges Palace toilet in Venice and the attendant who protected the Men’s toilets with her life. We rarely went to a toilet where there wasn’t a long agonising line up. Jen’s experience of the first class train toilet was very different.. plush!
11. Little white lies. ‘So sorry! we’ve got a appointment at 1pm!’ Assisi’s most mind dumbing guide in history where we spent 3 hours of our lives that we will never get back!
12. The magnificent flower arrangements in the churches at the weddings we attended (gate-crashed). It was like being in a giant flower shop!
13. The Gelato evaluation went very well... mainly on the hips!!
14. ‘My darlings!!’, ‘TatatAtera’(Come along!) from our wonderful guide,Irena in Croatia and Slovenia
15. ‘Alorrrrrrah!!’ What more needs to be said about the animated, loud, passionate Italians
16. ‘How to speak Italian’ by Eil should be a best seller..’ Esperanto style’
Lessons we have learnt..
Some of these lessons you just had to be there..
Never step into a shower without checking the direction of the shower nozzle
Never lock a toilet door without checking that the lock actually works.. especially if you are in the Men’s
Always cross roads in a group.. makes for a bigger target
Cigarette smoke? ‘It just happens so get over it!’
Nobody wins wars
You CAN live on plastic cheese, tomatoes and stale bread rolls
Scanning for the WC sign and being the first to stop it can make a BIG difference to your day
Big plump green Italian olives are the best!!
Spend the inheritance and fly Business Class everywhere!!
Take good walking shoes.. those feet are made for walking!
Feed stray cats and dogs wherever you find them.. they have saved cities from ruin!
Have a day every week to do nothing but wash your undies and sleep!
Don’t go on an eating and wine tasting tour if you don’t want to gain weight!
Use ‘Packing Bags’ - and label them (you know: Pants, Tops, Undies, Warm Stuff) - keeps your port (suitcase) looking as neat as a pin and your socks
Enough! Enough! Thanks for reading.. we are lined up at the Rome International Airport about to spend the next 30 hours flying to our home and loved ones.. Ciao and Arrivaderchi Roma...