Today we said goodbye to the Amalfi coast to head to Pescara for a night. We headed out at 7:30 this morning, trying to get through the narrow streets prior to all the huge buses starting their runs for the day. We ended up working a good system where I tried to look ahead at the cliffs to see if cars were coming so I could pre-warn Jeremy to expect them as he navigated all the corners. Here is the route we took:
And here are the last of the towns along the Amalfi Coast.
Heading further south than we previously had ended up with us wandering in and out of the narrow streets along the cliffs. It was lovely, but quite foggy this morning. It’s funny how when we seem to leave places the weather starts to turn – I think the towns are sad at our departure, haha.
As we headed inland and back to the Autostrade, the fog really rolled in. You could hardly see the hills surrounding us as we made our way northeast.
Once away from the coast, the temperature cooled considerably and the trees were definitely starting to turn. As we made our way into the central part of the country, the industrial setting off the autostrade changed into a more scenic country setting. It was a refreshing difference from the coastal towns that we had been in the last two weeks. There were quaint little villages set into the hillside with an occasional larger town sprinkled throughout.
We decided to stop in Loreto Aprutino to have lunch and tour the olive oil museum and maybe tour an olive farm. This area is known for its unique and limited production olive oil. I think it is hard to find in the US, so we were excited to see how it was made. Loreto Aprutino is the furthest thing you can think of as a touristy town, even though there are some touristy things there (olive oil museum, ceramics museum, castle). The drive up was gorgeous with tree lined streets and olive groves and grape vines throughout.
We parked down below the main part of town and wandered our way through the streets, trying to find the olive oil museum.
Since we skipped breakfast, we found what looked like one of two restaurants nearby and stopped in for a bite and laughed that our eating times are always off from when locals eat. Convivio Girasole was deserted, except for the owner Adriano. He kindly seated us, took our order and then went back in the kitchen to cook everything for us! We ordered an appetizer that was to show off the local flavors and there were five different small plates with it, ranging from cod sashimi (and yes, I actually did eat it), to a dish with a grain like barley, to a dish with beans and pumpkin, a flavorful small stew of veggies and more beans and of course fried cheese within a marinara sauce. I had a homemade pasta with a pistachio cream sauce while Jeremy tried a gnocchi with boar. Both were rich and both were delicious. Here is Adriano:
With full bellies, we found our way to the Olive Oil museum, only to find that it was closed. Apparently it is only open on the weekends. We meandered our way back to our car, taking in the quaint loveliness of this town.
Laughing at our mistake, but also our fortune for finding such a delightful town, we headed out to Pescara. The small windy roads out of town felt like something out of a story book. Miles of olive groves and vineyard land, all along the rolling hillside.
After arriving, checking in (with a not very gracious or welcoming attitude from our hotel), we set out on a walk to see the town. We saw two of Pescaras sights – a fountain along the beachfront and a suspension walking bridge. We watched some young people filming a dance routine below us and watched the boat traffic for awhile before heading out to find the shopping district.
The area of Pescara we are staying in is a bit of a business district and away from the main waterfront street, things were dirty and not well maintained. We walked by a school where the children were just being released for the day and then finally found the shopping streets, where the people watching was fantastic.
We found a little restaurant with outdoor seating and had a glass of wine to watch all the people going by. The first thing I noticed was all the people who get around via bicycle – they were riding by with their baskets full of whatever they were shopping for. The shopping area was for pedestrians only, so no one had to worry about dodging traffic. It made me realize I wish we had ways away from the cars to get around – I would love to ride my bicycle to and from the grocer, but the roads are full of cars that I don’t trust.
We headed back to our hotel, had a lot of internet issues that the management was not helpful with. We asked to change rooms (wifi doesn’t extend to the room we are in), were told no and that kicked off the night. We headed to the restaurant the hotel recommended, got the nastiest bottle of wine that was super expensive and okay food. Thankfully we laughed and decided that we have been very lucky so far that this was our first experience of unfriendliness and a poor restaurant. And we are leaving tomorrow, so we aren’t stuck here. We tucked in fairly early, knowing we had more driving tomorrow when we head to San Marino. And while I am very excited to see San Marino … I am finally missing home!