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Published: March 27th 2018
Tuesday March 27 2018 - I got up before 7am, got packed, had breakfast and still didn’t get out of there until almost 8:30. I had to drive about two hours to get to the Villa Romana del Casale, an ancient Roman house that was flooded and covered with mud, hidden for over 700 years. It had paid parking, which always seems insane to me when you have to drive to get there, and you’re paying to get in. At the ticket counter I asked if they had a discount for teachers. He said yes and I gave him my school ID. He balked because the date on the card said September 2017, and it was now March 2018. I’m not sure what he expected, since it’s for a whole school year, but he did eventually let me use it, and it actually granted me free entry, which was pretty cool.
I didn’t realize how large the house would be. Some of the walls are still in place, and all of the floors are covered by mosaics that are beautiful and mainly still intact. You walk around each room on a boardwalk looking down into each room. I also underestimated
how busy the place would be. I arrived just behind a large German tour group, and when they finally left, I found myself surrounded by hundreds of high school boys. On two separate occasions. As I was leaving the girls were starting to come through. All of a sudden, field trips seem like really bad ideas. As if a 15 year old cares about Roman ruins. They hardly even looked down, at least not further than their phones.
Before I left I sat in my car and ate the leftover pizza from two nights ago. I had been planning to eat it last night, but was not hungry enough after the cake and some of the fruits I picked. After the pizza I finished the rest of the fruit and started my journey to the airbnb I was staying in tonight and tomorrow. I told the hosts that I would be in around 2pm and amazingly that is when I arrived. The husband Lee got me set-up in one of their two small apartments (below theirs) and left to get me a bottle of water from upstairs. When he left I said “I love it” and was quite pleased
with the place. When he came back with the water, he said he had gotten the wrong apartment and mine was next door. It’s ok, better in some ways, not in others, but I don’t have the “I love it” feeling, though it’s still nice. I had a few questions about places I wanted to visit in the afternoon and tomorrow. He also mentioned that I could walk to restaurants, a shop and the beach, which I hadn’t realized.
I walked to the beach first. It’s not a great beach, but it was nice to see. I had a look at the nearby restaurants and saw a gelato place I may go back to later. As I was passing the house to check out the shop in the other direction, Lee told me he’d be driving his wife to an evening class around 4:30pm and that he could lead me to the Turkish Steps, a place I’d asked him about earlier. This would make life much easier, since the site wasn’t in my GPS. He also mentioned that the shop wouldn’t open until later. I did walk a bit in that direction, but then came back to wait.
We left around 4:15pm and it took about 20 minutes to get to the Scala de Turchi, the Turkish Steps. It’s a beautiful white rock formation that leads into the sea that you can walk on. Lee helped me figure out where to park - you can just park on the street, apparently. I waked down to the beach and then over to the rock formation. There were several others there as well. Shockingly, there was no entrance fee. There was a fence that blocked the way onto the steps, due to falling rock, but that did not stop me or anyone before or after me, judging by the well worn path around the fence and all the people on the rocks. It really was beautiful to see, and could hold hundreds of sunbathers when it gets warmer out (and I bet those rocks don’t heat up due to the color). I also had a look down from the top, just a little past my car before leaving. I saw the shop was open when I passed, so I stopped and had a look. I decided to buy tortellini and parmesan for dinner, and granola and yogurt for breakfast. This
prevented me from having to wait until 8pm to go have someone make me a pizza. It’s nice to have a kitchen. I also bought some rather inferior chocolate, sadly.
I tried to catch the sunset, but it was pretty cloudy and there is not a direct view to the sunset in any case. Wow, either the people in the apartment next door or the ones upstairs are pretty loud. I can hear all their movements and talking. And … peeing? Reminds me of my first apartment in Basel. At least they’re not singing love songs on repeat at 10pm...or will they?
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