Saturday, June 30, 2007

ITALY - Orvieto and Positano

Now have a few days respite before we move on, have time for blogging and email, but still having problems uploading photos - grr - the vagaries of other people's systems!

Here's news from Italy, hopefully photos will come soon!

Having spent an extra day in Venice, we have only 2 days to get down to Positano, on the Amalfi Coast S. of Naples. We take a midday train down to Orvieto, a medieval hill town in Umbria. The landscape is dramatic and slightly fantyastic - like a fairytale town suspended in the clouds - actually a plateau above steep cliffs.

Not too many people get off the train, maybe it will be nice and quiet? Aagh - on our arrival at 6pm the bus is mobbed by tourists on their way back down - it doesn't look promising! However, we go for a walk around town - the views are incredible, the Duomo divine - and find that it's very friendly and quite quiet now that the daytrippers are gone.

We find a 'local' bar and drink some white wine. We hear music, and discover a music event in a courtyard nearby - the band is playing Hendrix and other blues, they are selling Fair Trade beer, and rough-as-guts red, and homemade panini. The night ends with an Italian pop version of reggae/ska - the crowd is up dancing - it's lots of fun!

Next day, after sightseeing, and strolling at dusk in the beautiful piazza, also ends in music - a guitar trio playing outside a bar attracts a large crowd, and the girls are dancing in the streets - it's my kind of town!

Another late night, but we leave early for Positano - it's quite a trip! The train to Salerno takes only 4 hours, but it takes as long again to reach our little hilltop village of Nocelle, 5km above Positano. What a scary bus ride! now we really feel suspended in the heavens. It's a tiny village of vegetable farmers, with a few B&Bs and one small restaurant which happens to be fabulous.

Foodie alert - we ate (ok, it was over 2 nights):
Antipasto di casa (various cheeses, meats, grilled vegetables & bruschetta)
Cheese ravioli with tomato sauce & basil
Pork cutlets with cherry tomatoes & rocket
Grilled whole fish stuffed with rosemary
Finished with Limoncello liqueur - a local speciality.

The trip out was less hair-raising, but arduous in other ways. Let me just say:
1. Timetables in Italy are approximate at best.
2. The only time a train runs on time is if you are trying to connect with it.
3. It was about 38°C in Rome.
After 2 days, we make it to Arles, but that's another story.


Mandy said...

Great to get your latest news/photos - beats postcards :)
Keep up the good work on the eating/drinking front!
Has anyone mentioned how cold it is back here (even in 'sunny' Queensland)
Lotsa love
Mandy (and co)

belinda_ann said...

Hey Mandy

Not missing the aus winter, however
we've just arrived back in 'sunny' england, and it's cold and rainy in
midsummer - pining for italy already. o well - scottish highlands next
week - better rug up!

Sally & David Green said...

Hi happy travellers,
your Italian experience sounds fantastic. We're looking forward to the expanded recount and recreation of favourite new dishes back in Bundeena.
Garry's birthday party went well, lots of friends, good food and wine. Garry & Lila both good and looking forward to their trip.
Keep your eyes open for mentions of my ancestors Black Agnes and various Dunbars while in Scotland. Have a brilliant road trip and enjoy the pub fare.
Lurv, Sal & Dave