Six Months Later…..Episode 1

Six months ago, after my return from the Positano trip in Italy, I was faced with the task of finding another home, smaller, more manageable and affordable. Between the finding, the organizing and downsizing, searching out the location and moving, we are glad to be settled despite the corona virus shutdown. I’ve been unable to write or do much of anything else besides “the move”.  We’ve survived the stress and disruption with hopes our vulnerability will also exclude the virus so we can get on with what lives we have left.

As the plan for our brand new back yard is taking shape, I’m reminded of the glorious grounds surrounding the villas we saw. Perhaps starting with the one in which we were lucky enough to have won a stay, Villa Magia, I want to share the views, terrace and surrounds. If you can survive the 180 stairs to and from the town below, there is a street scene to visit.

Shops and Ceramics abound.

Breathtaking views from the Villa

A boutique hotel with every luxury.

Breakfast on the terrace with views.

Dawn view of cliff dwellers.

One of many ancient saracen outpost lookout towers.

Breakfast served on the terrace.

WHY THE BLANK BLOG?

Blank so Long…….

Over the past several months, I have yet to post in my blog any relevant words. The reason for this is that I have been embroiled in preparation for what might become my last trip to my fatherland. First I had to celebrate a birthday that so clearly defined me a senior citizen that it put me in a state of melancholy for weeks. Then came household property matters about new fire safety regulations so stringent they financially almost ruled out any travel of any kind.

Insurance companies across California have swathed home owners’ landscapes into an ugly depiction of its former self in hopes of reducing fire hazards when any fire within a mile radius would evaporate the property anyway. But I digress trying to explain these powerful excuses.

 

The good news about winning a trip to the Amalfi Coast in southern Italy came on the heels of my return from the Veneto trip last April. I could not include Amalfi in that trip and came home with regret and wishful thinking, only to find the opportunity on line in a raffle on  “italoamericano.org”.   The contest  ran for months, reminding me to buy tickets. I bought two. And eventually, it was announced. I had won first place!  Six nights at one of Positano’s most luxurious hotels, Villa Magia, at the high point on the cliffs of Positano.  It bowled me over, but I knew it was meant for me, thank the Lord, to go, means notwithstanding. I chose October from the two calendar dates offered, and that meant months of anticipation, but time for travel planning.

Pam (travel partner) and I would be in the heart of artisan ceramics, leather sandals, linens, inlaid wood, limoncello and everything else lemon, not to mention the architectural remnants and majolica duomos of centuries past civilizations and occupations by every imaginable kingdom.

Vietri Sul Mare – Salerno Province, Campania Region, Italy, Europe

As a student at heart, I’m a questioning, curious personality who loves to examine, research, find out, and express it in photographs and writing.  My new task was an ominous one. Northern Italians raised by the fierce pride of Tuscan ancestors, don’t usually have enthusiasm for  the South of Italy. But the reputed unbelievable beauty of the coast was a powerful draw for me as it is for other travelers.  So is the culture, history, food and museum wealth to be found there. Little did I know it would be so overwhelming a research project. To me, travel has become so much more rewarding with the research beforehand, so that instead of simply sightseeing and finding I cannot skip the line or being confused about what was abbreviatedly explained (often in Italian), I wanted to learn what I was going to be looking at ahead of time.

I wanted to start my research with the Etruscans…..the ancient people who contributed so much to the Roman civilization. I’ve had a fascination with their civilization since we saw and learned so much about them in our Umbrian/Tuscany adventures (“Lost in Italy and Loving It!”, a memoir adventure book by Betty Albert on Amazon e-books).  But despite their efforts, there is little of their history where we will be going. Read on to learn my discoveries before the travel adventure even begins.