My Trip To Italy travel blog


Friday:

I have not been able to call my Bed and Breakfast with the number that was printed out since they offered complimentary shuttle service. I instead asked a taxi to take me there and it cost me cash as he didn't take credit cards and there was no meter, so it was just a verbal quote. That was not a good start to my stay in Calabria and ended up being an omen of what was to come. I used the cash I had left which left me without any for food and I was starving. The driver was an older guy who didn't speak any English and didn't know where my B&B was so he asked a younger guy who gave him directions. I was not feeling very good about all of this but he eventually found the street. He parked and we got out and started to walk around. He found a guy on the street and asked him and it turns out it was right there or so we all thought. The cabbie took off and I rang the bell and a woman stuck her head out of the door to say something to the effect that it wasn't this place but she did call the owner who came within 15 minutes on his scooter to show me the other location which is a long block away. He spoke broken English but we were able to communicate enough. I told him that I was there to visit where my grandmother was born and he offered to help me until I showed him my grandmother's surname which he responded with that it was a very common surname. I kind of figured that out already as there were a lot of names that came up when I did a search online.

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We arrived at the B&B and the outside wasn't anything special but the inside looked nice. He showed me a map on the wall of the town so I took a photo of it so I wouldn't get lost and asked him where I could eat. He told me about a place that only has fish and was nice but that wasn't what I really wanted so I decided to venture out and see what I could find. I went outside and found the funniest thing, the trees are in the street and are spaced far enough apart that you can park a small car in between them. I walked straight up the street to what looked like a busy street and found a sandwich shop and they had cc signs on the door, perfect! I looked at the sandwiches and picked out one only to find out they don't take cc's (although neither of them spoke much English so it was hard to know why). I pointed to the signs and they say something about it not working. So I moved on and find another sandwich shop and they also don't take cc's. Same at the next shop so I'm quickly adding up the change I have in my pocket and wondering if I am going to have enough to try to buy something. I also don't see any ATM machines around either. So I keep walking and decide to take a right at the next street which is also a pretty main street. I don't see a whole lot of options down this street and then I find a pizzeria called Pepy's Pizza. I walk in and ask if they take cc's and they do. I am relieved, thank you so much! I sit down and look at the menu which is in all Italian of course and order what looks like a good sandwich since I had sandwiches on the brain and a lager beer. The sandwich turns out to be a cheese pizza with pepperoni but no sauce. I have to say that it was a delicious pizza and had the thinnest crust I have ever had. The edges of it were made from the extra dough that was rolled up into the edge. The pizza though doesn't come cut and so you have to use a fork and a knife to cut a slice which has been common in Italy. I downed that pizza in no time but saved the crust for later. I decided to try some desert and saw they had gelato so I ordered what looked like the vanilla one. It also was a surprise as it was coated in something like a toasted coconut topping and inside of it was an almond flavored dark filling that was so delicious. It was probably one of the best deserts I've ever eaten. I tried to ask about it but no one spoke enough English to be able to answer so I just thanked them and told them that everything was delicious. I told myself that I will have to go back there again.

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I started walking back to my place not really sure where it was and with it being dark could have been a challenge but it turned out to be okay. Since I didn't check the streets and there are so few signs I just looked for sites I could remember. I was only a block off and did have to rely on the map a bit so I was glad I had it with me. I got ready for bed and tried to watch some TV but all I could get was one Italian station. Instead I checked email and FB then went to sleep as I was tired after a full day of traveling.

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Saturday:

I woke up to some noise in the entryway around 7:30am and laid in bed hoping to go back to sleep for a bit but instead heard what sounded like someone taking a shower. It turned out to be downpour. Of all of the days in Italy so far, the weather was supposed to be nicer in southern Italy and it turned out to be rainy. I got up and took a shower, then went to the kitchen to have breakfast that the owner had showed me last night. It was a pretty decent spread for a small place. I decided on some cereal and a sweet cake that is local along with an espresso. As I started to eat, I looked up to see this beautiful Italian woman walk in and I say good morning to her and then in walks her friend from the other room. They sit and eat breakfast and I continue with mine and by the way, the cake turns out to be a custard filled piece of deliciousness. I finished eating and started to write in my journal when the two women get up and grab their bags and head out. They left and didn't come back unfortunately.

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Then the maid came into the building and started talking to me but she didn't speak very much English so we tried communicating as best we could. I'm not sure what she asked me but the next thing I know she was in my room cleaning it so I just stayed where I was until she finishes.

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I looked at what I could do for the day and according to Trip Advisor, the only things to do are to walk along the beach (via Marina) and go to Sicily. I decide to walk along the beach but had some trouble getting there with the buildings along the beach in the way. I continued to walk and found a way to the beach. Once there though, it was beautiful and emotional. I guess I felt like I was finally there for some reason even though I don't know where my grandmother lived exactly, it just felt like I was there now. I sat down in the sand and just watched the waves like I always do at the beach but this was different in that I didn't smell the salt water and the water is very clear here. The view of Sicily is beautiful and although it rained hard this morning, it has turned out to be a sunny and warm day.

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I continued to walk along the beach and then ran out of places to walk so I went up to the walkway and find a statue of Reggio overlooking the water. I took a few photos of it and then a woman approached me and asked me to take her photo in front of the statue. I took a few and then continued to walk and found a spot where some fisherman were fishing. The walkway is made of tiles, most of which are broken and I find it odd that they would use tiles for the walkway.

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I am getting hungry now and I need to find a cash machine so I started to walk back. It was almost noon now and things were picking up although not many people are out and about. I walked to the street and cross it looking for food and I see a moving sidewalk going up so I take it to see where it is going. It ends up at a street with all kinds of stores like a giant outdoor mall, some high end stores on both sides of the street and it goes for as far as I could see. No cars, just a few people walking about and shopping. This is very strange considering the "downtown" region I was in last night and what I had seen so far today is not this nice. I start walking and looking for a restaurant but there are none I can find. There is pretty much every other kind of store around but no restaurants. I walked further and found a jazz band playing in the street so I stopped to listen and record for a bit then crossed the street to see what looks like the city hall and another statue. I continued on until I see a sign for a Restauranti pointing up the hill so I walked up but didn't find any. What I did find was that there is a total of 4 streets all lined with stores and other buildings. The top street did have cars on it though. Finally I came across a place that looked like a deli or a cafeteria and they took cc's. I had a little trouble ordering but found lasagna and pointed to it. It was good although not as good as the one I had in Venice. She didn't want me to pay until I was done which seemed odd but okay. After I finished I paid and was on my way to find a cannoli but could not find what I thought was a cannoli. The place that advertised them were huge and had whipped cream in them which seemed like too much. I walked on and found an ATM so I was able to get some cash out at least. I walked on and found a big gelato place so I ordered a café gelato which tasted very much like coffee and not so sweet which I liked.

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I walked back to my room and researched a trip to Sicily using the brochures that were left at the B&B. Then I mapquested the pickup point and it is not very far from where I'm staying so that will be my Sunday trip.

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After a little while I decided I need to find the laundromat I saw on one of my trips to the shopping mall plus I'm hungry so I start walking again to where I thought I saw the laundromat but can't find it and it's too early for restaurants to be open since it's a little after 5pm. So I walked around hoping to find something open and walked up and down the streets. I found a delivery van from a pizzeria and tried to ask where it was and he gave me some general directions to the place. I walked the way he gave me directions to and although I didn't find that pizzeria, I did find another one and there were people walking in and out of it so I was hopeful. I walked into it and asked if they were open and the woman said they were but she didn't speak much English. She said her son spoke English and he came out and was about 14 years old. He brought a menu that was in English and showed me to the table. I was the only person in the dining room so now I was really feeling bad about them maybe not really being open. I ordered a salad and a cheese pizza. The salad was good and when the pizza came out, it was the all meat pizza. Not wanting to send it back I just ate a couple of pieces and took the rest with me back to the room. Luckily I have a mini frig in my room.

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I walked back to the B&B and after checking email and FB I was tired and decided to get ready for bed.



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