Monday October 21 Tropea, San Costantino, Papaglionti, Vibo Valentia, Vibo Marina

We started our day with breakfast at the resort before heading out through some amazing topography. Up and down gorges and through some narrow winding roads. There are plenty of old olive groves and cactus pears growing on the side of the roads. Every village seems to have a road named Umberto I. We parked the car in Vibo Valentia and took a walk through the historical town stopping for espresso along the way. We did some grocery shopping and then headed for Vibo Marina. We parked alongside the yacht basin and made rolls with hard boiled eggs and pancetta. We headed back to Tropea, stopping along the way at a market. We also found a harbour with a ruin at the entrance. We drove through Tropea and back to the resort where we off loaded the car. We then caught the bus to the shop and got stuff for supper. We stopped for gelato and the shop owner asked if I was a journalist as he noticed me writing down our flavour choices. Dave had limone and I had al gusto di tarrone. He told us his father makes onion ice cream so tomorrow we might brave that! After a nice walk we stopped for prosecco and snacks in the main square before heading back to the resort. Wine tonight is Cirò Rosso Classico 2011.  Pasta sauce tonight is chilli, tomato, onion, garlic, cream, valeriana and chorizo served on taglietelle.  This was one of the strongest chillies I’ve tasted. I added bocconcini to my pasta to help cool it down, and so did Dave. If he thinks its hot it must be HOT! After dinner snack was crackers with proscuitto, cheese and pesto. The cheese is quite strong and changes the taste of the wine completely. We ended our evening with limoncino. Stromboli is well lit up tonight.

"Tropea, San Costantino, Papaglionti, Vibo Valentia, Vibo Marina"
Tropea, San Costantino, Papaglionti, Vibo Valentia, Vibo Marina

Sunday October 20 Tropea

Our resort fees are €35 each and include breakfast. After drinking three demi tasse of coffee and reading in bed we showered and headed to the dining room. The breakfast is a buffet with fresh fruit, cereals, yoghurt and breads and cheese. After a double espresso each and tea for me we sorted out emails and then caught the resort bus into Tropea. The bus runs every half hour in the morning and late afternoon and is part of the fees. We walked around and went to the museo dioscesano di Tropea where we saw some amazing bronze artifacts. Dave’s choice of gelato this morning was cioccalata and mine was opera Italiana. We did some grocery shopping and caught the bus back to the resort. Lunch was nduja which is a local piquante sausage like spread, chorizo, bocconcini and tomatoes. After reading for a bit we caught up on the motorbike racing news and then caught the bus to the beach.  We walked along the beach and Dave swam in the sea. We then walked up to the old city before having another gelato each. Nocciola for Dave and tartufo for me. After a short walk we had prosecco and snacks in the main square and then caught the bus back to the resort.  Wine tonight is Settesoli Syrah 2010. Dinner is tortelloni ricotta e spinaci with a sausage, tomato, zucchini, onion, chilli and garlic sauce. We ended our evening with proscuitto on crackers and the last of the gorgonzola and a limoncino each.


Saturday October 19 Amalfi to Tropea

Breakfast this morning was typical Italian fare.  We drove through an amazing village and then headed to Amalfi itself. We did not quite get there before we turned back and had an espresso at Cafe Pasticceria. We headed down to Tropea and after spending some time on a major road we explored the long and windy roads. We were 1.5km above sea level at one stage. Lunch was a roll with proscuitto and cheese, put together by the lady behind the deli counter at the shop. We did our basic grocery shopping and spent some time exploring the vista of southern Italy. This region grows corn and farms buffallo dairy products. One of them being butter which I have bought. We checked into the resort and unpacked before heading to the resort bar for prosecco. Dave made pork sausages with a ragu of tomato, zucchini, garlic and chilli. Wine tonight is Primittivo Salento 2012. We ended our meal with crackers and gorgonzola and a limoncino each.

"Amalfi to Tropea"
Amalfi to Tropea

Friday October 18 Paris to Amalfi

I can highly recommend sitting upstairs on the A380. We got priority boarding. The meal was fantastic and the cabin crew in charge of our section was very attentive. I did not sleep well as we had a very chatty person two rows in front of us who only shut up to eat! Dave and I both catnapped.
We had an hour between flights and Charles de Gaulle is easy to navigate. We landed in Rome, collected our luggage and I changed. We then collected our car and headed for Naples. Driving in Naples is scarier than Johannesburg and Florence in rush hour together! We walked around and the streets go off each other in tangents. Eventually we got a pizza slice to share and went to swap the car as there was a warning light. We drove to Amalfi and walked around eating gelato. Biaco for me and pistachio for Dave. We are now at Casa Anna Rita for the night. We are 20km from the city of Amalfi in a village called Vietri sul Mare. We walked around the village and had a glass of prosecco and snacks at Cafe Pasticceria. We then went for supper at La Lucia where we had the most amazing seafood anti pasta. Dave had spaghetti vongole as his main course and I had gnocchi with sausage and porcini. We walked back to the B&B and slept soundly till 7:30am.

"Paris to Amalfi"
Paris to Amalfi

Thursday October 17 Cape Town to Paris

We have flown up to Joburg and we are sitting in the lounge waiting for our flight to Paris. I cannot wait and for sure, both Dave and I are ready for this holiday. Hope you all enjoy reading about our holiday!

Monday June 3 – Tuesday June 4 Mandello Del Lario to home

I had the best night sleep – it is so quiet here, just like at home. We had breakfast of yoghurt, croissants, bread and coffee before packing for the final time. Cannot believe this is our last day here! We walked to the Moto Guzzi shop and got spares for Dave’s bike and then drove to Varenna. We caught the ferry to Belagio and walked around – what a beautiful place. We then got the ferry back before walking around Varenna and having lunch at Nilus Bar. Two paninis and a bottle of water cost €11.50. Gelato flavours today was nutella for me and pistachio for Dave. We then drove back to Mandello Del Lario and walked around before taking the tour of the Moto Guzzi museum. It was fantastic. After that we drove to Como. We drove around a fair bit, did some last minute shopping, walked around a bit and then drove to the airport. We checked in, collected all our boarding passes and spent some time in the business class lounge. The food was nothing spectacular but it had a bathroom and it was away from the crowds. We caught an Avro RJ100 to Zurich and after going through passport control went to the Diners Club lounge. What a mission to get in! The food was better but they don’t have bathrooms or showers. Amazingly OR Tambo even have a lounge with a shower after customs! We flew on an A340-300 and I slept a bit! The food was average and the staff were very polite. We landed on time despite leaving late, went through passport control, collected our bags and cleared customs SAA have a baggage check in as you come out of international arrivals which is fantastic. We are now in the business class lounge waiting for our flight home.

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Sunday June 2 Bologna, Milan, Mandello Del Lario

This morning we packed up, had an espresso and caught the train to Milan. The central station has had an upgrade since we were last there in 2003. We left our baggage at the airport (€5 per case) and caught the metro to Lanzo station. We went to Castello Sforzesco which we stumbled upon when we were on honeymoon. It too has had an upgrade. Sadly the Da Vinci painting we came to take a picture of is not on display as the room is being ‘renovated’. Historians are trying to recover fresco’s painted by Da Vinci in the room. We did however manage to get a picture of the Pieta. This is the work Michalangelo was busy with when he died. On Tuesday this section of the museum will be closed for historical work. We then got the metro back to Milano Centrale and caught the Malpensa express to the airport. We bought lunch at the Carrefour and collected our car to drive to Lake Como. We drove 65km before getting out of the urban region and now we can see the snow capped mountains.  We are spending one night in Mandelo Del Lario in the house where the first Moto Guzzi was built. The house is owned by the son of the man who helped Guzzi get started.  After a tour of the workshop and cellar we sat and had a glass of wine with Gianni and his friend. We then walked around the old city and the kale, stopping for gelato on the way. Dave had chocolate and I had biscotto del nonna. The restaurant we were recommended, 20m away was closed so we walked to the old city. We had supper at Bar Roma. Dave had pasta arrabiata and I had pasta with salmon. We shared a bottle of red wine and salad and the bill came to $40.50. We then walked back to the B&B and checked in to our flights back home.

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