Off to Italia - First stop Ascoli Piceno

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October 18th 2019
Published: October 30th 2019
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Recalculating. We have decided to deviate from our original travel route. Having Eurail passes, the train track is literally running out heading south towards Greece. Another option is to fly, and the shortest air time is to go through Turkey. That does not seem like a good idea presently. Therefore, tonight the journey will be on a ferry departing from Split, and arriving in the morning to Ancona, ITALY. Will do Greece another year.

The teeny tiny cabin on the ferry has bunk beds. It brings back memories and am so glad Chris gets the top bunk and the ladder. In the middle of the night, under the moonlight, I peer at the calm inky sea. On arriving in Ancona, it is a two hour train ride into Ascoli Piceno. This charming town is where Chris’ brother Dennis lived 50 years ago, and where his parents visited at that time. Ascoli was founded in 268 BC, and after centuries of turmoil, was annexed in 1860 into the Kingdom of Italy. Many of the historical buildings of cathedrals, churches, temples, palaces, castles and convents are constructed out of marble. The economy is run by agriculture, which explains why the food is so fresh and good.

We have a quick nap, and then go for lunch to experience all things Italian; fresh bread, homemade pasta, and fabulous wine. The waiter suggests tasting olive ascolanes as this dish originates from here. In preparation, the olive is cut away from the pit, and then formed around a meat stuffing, sauteed in chopped veggies, stewed in white wine, cheese, nutmeg, and then deep fried. They are wonderful.

In the evening, we of course have cream and coffee flavoured gelato. This ones for you Lauri.

Palazzo Guiderocchi is a palace from the 16th century with vaulted roofs and frescoes, and is also our accommodation for the next two nights.

On Saturday, many vendors are setting up for a large flea market in the Plazo Arringo. Several hours are spent poking through all the relics. Some of the statues are made of gesso. Chris so wants a huge copper vase, but how to get it home, as this is Italy. Going for a coffee, we just cannot figure out how to order what we want, and end up with a small shot of very strong and pure caffeine. But, beside the cup is a chocolate filled with Anisette. Ooh, we need these in Canada. In the evening, people pour into the streets. Everyone is stopping for drinks and a bite to eat among friends. A great way to spend an evening.

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