We’re currently just outside Ravenna in a dead posh campsite; its been a while since we stayed in a proper campsite that has things like showers and toilets and we needed one because we haven’t done any washing for over three weeks! We ran out of underwear a week or so ago and ended up washing clothes (as well as ourselves) in the trusty bucket. If I was writing hitch-hikers guide to Europe (as apposed to the galaxy) it would be a bucket not a towel that was my number 1 accessory and it has served us well. We just stopped at the first campsite we came across and its lovely, has a posh (and open) pool bar, restaurant, shop, fruit n veg market thing, clean showers with hot running water; I’m in heaven! It also has full length mirrors which means I have seen myself for the first time since leaving home and I’m happily losing some weight! Turns out that you can forget Dukan, slimming world, weight watchers and going to the gym what you need to do is ditch your job (and stupid shifts) run away from anything resembling a schedule and responsibility and gorge yourself
on pizza, pasta, cheese, wine and sunshine! Oh and good company J
So Roma was pretty cool, the place we were staying was in a bit of a rough area but I guess that’s the real Roma and it was interesting joining the commuters on the bus and metro. Some of the graffiti is incredible and I wanted to take pictures but thought that would be a bit weird! The graffiti artists are very prolific too and we saw that vans, cars, bins and pretty much anything that stood still long enough had been decorated. We wore our feet out walking around The Coliseum, palatine ruins, The Spanish Steps, The Vatican and its museums and climbing up Saint Peters where we actually saw the new pope… well the top of his hat! We thought that Roma would cost us loads and had been trying to save money for going around but it was actually pretty reasonable though we did accidentally spend 20 euro’s on ice cream near The Vatican which meant we were too stingy to buy any dinner that night!
We ended up heading for a very sodden Pompeii after Roma which is
a bit depressing as we thought we had finally found the sun. Luckily when we arrived the rain was taking a break so we managed to go and see the ruins. Totally pointless. God I was so bored, ok its fairly interesting to look at but not at 11 euro’s a throw and the only info written in English was about the importance of recycling. Don’t bother unless you fork out for an audio guide or a tour is my advice; and there was loads of stray dogs! We ended up playing house in one of the ruins, trying to follow English speaking tours without them noticing and then legging it when the rain descended again. Ah well!
After spending so much time in towns and cities we got itchy to get away from people and headed towards the coast, ending in a sleepy little fishing village where we stayed in a car park next to the beach and watched the old guys playing Italian bowls. We then continued to follow the coast south staying next to the beaches and getting in plenty of sunbathing!
We had stayed some time in Italy by this point, and
although the beaches were nice we were a bit fed up of costal towns and cities in general so we decided to cross Italy and start heading north. We had decided to return to Italy towards winter and ferry it to Greece when the rest of Europe gets cold so thought we would spend some time in south Italy then. We ended up in Zapponeta at a lovely little camperstop ran by an Italian couple and their son; they were so lovely! When we arrived the old guy took me around the site showing me where I could pick herbs and salads they had planted, went off to get some beach chairs to lend us and let us try his lovely home made wine (which we ended up buying 5 litres of!) Every morning and evening he made the rounds saying ciao and chatting with everyone, really gave it a proper family atmosphere and we got invitations from the English couple to their place in France if we were ever passing, and from a Slovenian couple to theirs when we eventually manage to pry ourselves from Italy!
One of the next places we stayed we found after
a long day of driving around looking at closed camperstops and campsites, and ended up parked next to a local couple on their way home from their holidays who told us that we needed to head inland to Umbria for real beauty in Italy. They gave us a bottle of wine from their holiday to Sicily and wrote down the names of several small beautiful towns that we should visit as well as their phone number. We ended up spending the next 7 days travelling from Ascoli Piceno to Urbino stopping at gorgeous towns all for free with amazing views, lovely people and wonderful local produce to eat. Our new friends then met up with us, gave us a guided tour of Bevagnac-the town we were camping in-then of Foligno and invited us to their house for real Italian pizza; we were not disappointed! The food was incredible and those guys are defiantly feeders there was so much that we literally struggled to move until the next morning! They let us stay on their drive and we went walking with them the next day before returning to have a lesson in making pasta and then getting to eat the finished
product-a dinner invitation turned into guided tour, dinner, bed, breakfast, and lunch! They are amazingly warm generous people that we are glad to have met. They saw us off the next day with a brand new coffee maker, coffee (so now we can drink coffee like the Italians!) and enough left overs to make up a second evening meal. Not quite sure how we are going to return the favour quite as well but we can try.
So now we are off towards Venice and onto Slovenia….depending on who we meet along the way! Happy days!
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