Sunday, 26 April 2009
Thursday 16 April 2009
Another warm and sunny morning, this really is so much nicer than last year when we came here and it was bitterly cold even gave us two days of snow, mind you that said we were in L’Aquila, which is higher up in the mountains. We have breakfast with Cilla, fresh fruit salad with yoghurt, a selection of cheeses with fresh bread and homemade preserves. We pack the car and bid our friends Cilla and Bryan farewell and head of in the direction of Ari. We stop off in Francavilla al Mare, south of Pescara on the coast. It sounds lovely, sadly however it wasn’t. The beach was filthy, litter was everywhere, Italy has a love hate relationship with graffiti, however here it was brash and ugly. In Irsina, southern Italy I once saw what I think must be the ugliest house in Italy, however there’s one in Francavilla that gives it southern neighbour a run for its money.
We eat lunch sat on a concrete block on the beach, looking out to sea. It looks sombre, almost sad to be rolling up onto this beach. A woman passes by walking a haughty looking Pomeranian, the tiny dog stops briefly to sniff at a plastic bottle half embedded in the sand, before nose skyward it trots off behind its owner.
We leave the depressing coastal town behind and head off to meet our friends at their house in Ari. The signs into the town tell the visitor that it is a community of flowers, the sun is high and as we turn right, passing by a small chapel we are welcomed by the scent of geraniums. We park in the small piazza and are met by our friends Dave and Helen, who own a delightful three story house in the town, which has magnificent views of both the Gran Sasso and Majella mountains. We sit overlooking the town drinking cool beers and chatting, before we take a tour of the town and enjoy dinner.