BACK TO BUSINESS AFTER IRMA

We arrived in Desenzano del Garda a week ago, but I was distracted by  Irma headed our way back home. Irma has come and gone and my wife and I have been blessed to have had no damage to our home. Power was out, but I checked our Logitech web cams and find we are back up. Great no loss of food. Many others in Florida and other states were not so lucky. Consider donating to the various groups out to help the recovery.

Lake Garda is an amazing beautiful place. Granite mountains rise up along the shores and little towns and villages appear all over. German is spoke as much as Italian here. 

Limone Sul Garda, on the northern end of the lake. Nice day trip from Desenzano del Garda. 

More posts will follow as my preoccupation with Irma leaves.


Garda on Garda

The train trip.

No it is not like Metro North it is far more interesting.  Arriving at Romes airport from Catania, Sicily we found a ticket booth that would give us all the tickets we needed for our trip.  Our final destination was Densanzano del Garda on the largest of Italy’s lakes.  We probably could have paid less by going to the ticket booth, but we were running late (as usual),

First we took the Leonardo Express to Rome’s Termini Station. The nonstop train stopped three times due to signal issues but it was still quite fast. We then had to get on the train to Bolzano  at which point my wife thought I was crazy and I had to review the route.  We would stop at Florence, and Bologna before arriving at Verona Porta Nuova.  Here we would take the local train to Desenzano del Garda.

We did not make the first train to Garda, so we have to wait a half hour. If we were not pressed   for time, it would not have been stressful.  It was a short 15 minute ride to our station where I called our host at Airbnb and he picked us up at the station and brought us to our apartment.

This is my first experience on a high-speed train, it goes fast.  In Italy, trains do  not go up or down hills when you can build ultra high bridges or tunnels instead.  Riding for 10 minutes in a tunnel at high speeds is an experience.  All in all, Italy does a great job with the trains. Would do it again, especially after the city driving in Sicily.

We were taking Train 8524 to Bolzano, but there was no track assigned till 10 min before departure. The locals just said ……normale. 

Edit

On to Largo di Garda

Wifi has been very slow and the many new photos take a long time to upload. Tomorrow we fly to Rome and then go by train to Desenzano Dei Garda. Looking forward to exploring the lakes again. Hard at work contemplating tomorrows journey. We hate to leave  Sicily and the wonderful people we have met. Today we visited IKEA. Love the creativity and design. Putting so much in small spaces with style and grace.

This post was done on my iPhone, which resulted in some autocorrect really bad corrections.  Sorry.

The Market in Siracusa, SKIP Eataly in NYC come to this daily celebration.

In 2014 about 40 people from Middletown, CT went to Sicily to visit the town in which many had roots. This was Melilli high above the sea and a short drive to Siracusa. One day many of us went to the market in Siracusa and that became one of the gastronomical highlights of the trip.  We all made purchases and picknicked in the park.  Yesterday Angela and I went back and recreated some of the highlights of that day. Today The NY Times had an article on Eataly in NYC and how great it was for food and produce. It can not compare to the real thing. 

On the left, the green items are pistachios in many forms from chopped, grated and a farina. 


This was our first purchase, it came home for dinner. Delicious. 


Amazing fresh fruits that have been grown close to us, not thousands of miles away. The peaches were delicious. 


​OK there is also some seafood.

Enough about food for now, Later in our trip we will be attempting to visit all the markets in Roma.

The money saving word of the day Ridotto

OK this is to all you seniors out there.  In the past senior discounts were restricted to EU residents.  Recently more places are extending the discounts to everyone.  It never hurts to ask, may not work in the Uffizi or other major attractions. Worked in Castelbuono, and in Tindari both in Sicily.   Text from my UltraLingua dictionary.

The road to Hell, or we made it from Castelbuono to Gangi and back alive.

I have been driving in Italy since 2001. Each time we go back I forget what is can be like. I have lost mirrors in Palermo and Napoli. Been backed into by a young driver in Agrigento. Twice driven the Amalfi coast which is  a piece of cake compared to driving from Castelbuono to Gangi.  These GPS screenshots do not give you the true picture. For each 180 degree turn, it seems to have been followed by another 180 degree turn. Some times the turn was so tight, that 10 mph was too fast.  We watched as cars crossed the centerline and came at us only to pull back to their side. This definitely was more than I hoped for.
The GSP said the 19 miles would take 1 hour. I took 1.5 hours. The 5 speed transmission only needed three speeds.  That said, Gangi was worth the trip. It is the town  that was selling homes for  1 Euro to attract residents back in. It has been quite successful and many homes have been renovated and more are in progress.  Search The NY Times air the Telegram for more info. 
It is high up on a hill and it is a challening drive. But if you can make the trip it is worth it.

​I think you would appreciate this city of art and restoration.
Ciao a tutti. 

At the beach. 

La spiaggia  is where it’s at in Augustbin Sicily. 


All over the beaches are crowded. There are charges at many beaches for the use of umbrellas and lounge chairs. Fees range from €10-20 depending on weekends or holidays. You have it for the entire day plus use of the WC and the showers. 


It is also possible to find some beaches with no crowds 


Here we found a beach near the port of Cefalù. There was a bar about 300 meters away where you could use the WC with no charge. The port area is one of the few places you can park and avoid the €14 daily charge.