I know I probably should have been taking pictures of the amazing Tuscan countryside I enjoyed from the cramped backseat of Saraàs Fiat, (rolling golden hills dotted with dark-green trees and fields of sunflowers, crumbling stone barns and rustic houses) however the thing I kept seeing over and over again that actually compelled me to dig my camera out so I could try and immortalize the moment because to me it is so “Italian” is this:
So yes, you know you are on an Italian road trip if you see gorgeous countryside scenes such as ones pictured on the sides of Italian spaghetti sauce jars, lots of toll booths, Autogrills and if you are in the back of a Fiat, however it doesnàt really count unless youve counted at least a dozen Italian motorcyclists speeding alongside your vehicle with their glamorous looking girlfriends on the back. At least thats what I think.
So to explain how I came to be taking pictures of motorcyclists…..In my efforts to entertain myself and Fiona while Rijen is away and thanks to the hospitality of friends and family, I had thought to visit the Osterhouts in England and Sara in Italy. I left for 2 weeks in Yorkshire, planning to return to Stuttgart and either Sara and Dani would come visit me in Germany or I would go to Italy or a combination of both.
Once I was in England and discovered the lucky coincidence that the Osterhouts were also planning to go to Italy on holiday, I decided it would be more efficient to accompany them on their flight from Leeds to Pisa, and then drive down south with Sara, Dani and Samuele.
After parting ways at the airport, the Osterhouts went on to discover some amazing Italian cities, while Fiona and I embarked on a totally different kind of adventure. The first iteration being trying to fit our huge American suitcase in the back of their small European car. I hadnàt intended to bring such a large suitcase….but Rijen took both our medium suitcases with him to Africa and I had no other option.
Luckily Dani was able to get it all in, and once I was situated kind of in a birthing position between my grandnephew Sami on the left and Fiona in her carseat on the right, I was fine…..except for perhaps the small detail that the backseat only had two seatbelts….but I felt so cinched in anyway, I just had to trust that Dani would get us their safely. And other than Sara telling off some bus driver and some honking, we got to our first destination- Naples- safely.
There,s an interesting feeling about Naples……it is similar to Athens and Barcelona. Walls covered with disinegrating layers of posters, feral cats and mangy dogs about, peeling paint…just gritty and dirty but still with a lot of personality. This description doesnàt do it justice, and I wish I had taken more pictures since I wasnt there long but perhaps the view from Danis window will give you a small slice of what it was like.
Inside the apartment was a stark contrast. I really liked the way it was decorated–the chandelier, the lemon-yellow paint, the cool white leather couch, hardwood floors. The added charm you cannot tell from the picture was that this room was majorly airconditioned. Just picture me lying down on the couch in total bliss after the long drive and Fiona and Sami running around the couch laughing hysterically. Sara and Dani? Oh yeah, they were probably lugging the suitcase up.
My second favorite room was this master bathroom. I couldnàt get the best perspective since the room is narrow, but I hope you can see how the toilet and bidet is set up on a raised section of the floor. It seriously looked like two thrones. The blue and white tiling is gorgeous and there was even matching blue and white toilet paper. Very classy.
In the morning we set out again and I was too entertained by Fiona, Sam and Sara to take any more pictures, except for this one of Mt. Vesuvius.
We made it to whatever town we are in right now (Iàl have to ask sara for the name tomorrow) and after a delicious pasta dish with veal, we changed and headed for the beach. I will post more pictures tomorrow. It is now well past midnight and I still hear conversations in the street outside….but I am going to join the snoring masses in here.
disclaimer :twice now I have written this post and lost it….I think the internet connection here is the problem. So please excuse typos, strnage characters and anything else….I am writing this on saraàs Italian laptop on the bottom of a bunk bed past midnight with fiona asleep next to me and several italian men or maybe a woman? snoring in this and the room next to me……Iàm not sure if I can do as good of a job the third time around.