Saturday, November 04, 2006

Vietri sul Mare! 11.4.06

We are getting settled down here. It's a bit of a culture shock from Verona! Seems a bit more helter-skelter, not unlike some of the places in Sicily. First impressions are that the town seems cute, centered around the majolica-topped dome of the church and spilling down to the sea, which is literally outside our window and gorgeous. Our view is partly obstructed by a hotel directly across the street, so not like it was in our apartment in Marina di Ragusa, but it is a short walk down to the beach and a view of Salerno's harbor, which we think will be cool. We can walk out there and watch the ships coming and going from Sicilia and wherever else it is they come and go from!

The center is a jumble of streets that need exploring and are a walk up. We need the exercise and will enjoy it. There are a ton of ceramic shops that are still open and it seems lively, so we'll see how many remain open through the winter months. We will have to find places to shop and buy groceries etc. as we always do.

The apartment is a bit on the funky side, a different tile floor pattern and color in each room, clean and simply but comfortably furnished. We have two bedrooms and a sofa sleeper thing so there will be plenty of room for my sister Suzanne and her two girls over Christmas. The kitchen does not seem as well equipped as the others have been but we will manage OK. Nigel (our “agent” who found the apartment for us and from England and lives in Italy) told us to make a list of the things we need and he will do his best to accommodate. We’ll see how it goes.

It’s a little hard to describe, we are on the ground floor, but it doesn’t really feel like it. There is a big terrace out front, separated from the adjoining terraces by low walls. The other apartments seem mostly occupied and we met the woman whose terrace is connected to ours on the right and she seemed friendly. The building itself has a very nice appearance as you approach. It’s white with balconies that look out to the sea and there are plants (and laundry) on most of them. Our terrace seems a bit bare at the moment but there is a patio table and chairs and we may have to add a few plants to soften the look of it. There are some plants in pots that look as if they could use a little loving care and we’ll try to nurse them along.

The building seems to have recently undergone some restorations and all the windows are double paned and insulated and will keep out noise and cold.

I mention the cold, because yesterday was a very unseasonably cold day all over Italy. In Perugia there was frost on the roof of our car and on the ground. The distant mountains had snow on them for the first time this season. Two days ago it was gorgeous, like spring weather in Verona but everyone said it was going to turn colder within the next few days. It even felt cold as we arrived here in Vietri but we were very comfortable inside our apartment. We don't expect it to get any colder than that and hope for warmer days ahead!

We feel very much like we have jumped off yet another cliff and don't know what we will find when we land but we are together and there is much we want to see here. I am reminded of Mark Twain's quote that sustained and motivated me before we left for Italy:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

We are keeping this in mind as we do just that.

Stay with us. There are so many things to see and do here we can’t wait to get started!

Con affetto,
Rosemary e Robert

(Photos yet to come, once we get unpacked and settled in!)

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