What better memory than sitting down to breakfast and dinner while looking out over the lake. We had a wonderful apartment at Wright Art BnB on the lake. We enjoyed breakfast and dinner with the most amazing views. La vita è bella.
What you say is an APE, not an ape, but the ubiquitous little combination of a motorcycle and pickup truck that plugs along all of Italy’s roadways.
Credit photo and text above from the Washington Post.
The Ape hauls almost anything, from buildng materials to fruit and fiish. A clasic Ape in ToscanaNothing elegant about this baby, plain and simple, it does the job.This one was at an Airbnb in Montepulciano.
Not only did he sell fruit and vegetable, he serenaded the streets with his words on the health of his produce.
This fruit vendor was in Cefalù, Sicily. (fruttivendolo)
Some info from Wikipedia:
At the end of World War II, most Italians, badly affected by the war, lacked means of transport and, more importantly, the financial means to acquire and maintain full-sized four-wheeled vehicles. In 1947, the inventor of the Vespa, aircraft designer Corradino D’Ascanio, came up with the idea of building a light three-wheeled commercial vehicle to power Italy’s economical reconstruction, an idea which found favour with Enrico Piaggio, the son of the firm’s founder, Rinaldo. The very first Ape model and the mark immediately following it were mechanically a Vespa with two wheels added to the rear, with a flat-bed structure on top of the rear axle. The early sales brochures and adverts referred to the vehicle as the VespaCar or TriVespa. The first Apes featured 50 cc,125 cc or 150 cc and more recently 175 cc engines.
It is hard to imagine a 125 CC engine pulling a big load.
We first discovered Milazzo and Capo Milazzo in 2011. We arrived hoping to take the ferry to the Aeolian Islands the next day. Since our trip is spontaneous we were finding our lodging on a daily basis. This evening all hotels were booked. I continued to drive from Milazzo to the the point which looked promising but we did not find anything. Like any good tourist does, I said lets stop and have dinner. Now or luck turned. A couple sitting next to us heard our conversation and said they were staying close by and had rented an apartment. We could follow then and they would introduce us to the owner. How kind they were.
Long story short: The owner said we would be able to have an apartment tomorrow, as it was vacant but not cleaned. I said give me a broom, clean sheets and we will make it work. It was a bargain, 50 euros a night and we had a place. See the photos and you know why we extended our stay to four nights.Our apartment with a pool. Even had a washing machine! Down town Milazzo is inviting in the evening, but not crowded.
This is where it starts to become such a thrilling place to visit. I followed the signs.Mare, the sea awaits with a natural piscina, or swimming pool. The walk started high up above the rocky shores below.
I think there was over 160 steps to get down.A slow descent.The piscina awaits.Crystal clear water protected from the sea. Families came to visit. The lighthouse or faro. Below are some of the flowers and sights.
I think if you visit Sicily, this make a great place to stop. Visit the Capo, cape, and visit the islands by boat. The city is not too big, but has enough to keep a shopper happy and a food lover content.
Our first trip to Italy was without the benefit of any knowledge on my part of Italian. My wife with he Sicilian parents had a knowledge of some words and phrases. I realized this was a disadvantage but not the end of the world. So much English is spoken in Italy most people can get along. Most restaurants in the tourist areas have dual or triple language menus. English, German, and Italian are prevalent.
I want to go further and speak to people and know what the road signs say. Not having access to an Italian teacher, I took another route. Pimsleur had a CD course in Italian. I bought the course and ripped the CD’s to my iPod. That was the beginning. It is a good way to learn conversational Italian. Eventually I progressed from levels 1 through 5 which encompasses about 48 hours of lessons. I did enjoy it as I was able to listen while driving or riding my bicycle.
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As you can see, it is not cheap. Try the audio only from Audible for a more reasonable price.
Exercises progress from basic to upper intermediate. It is easy and I have been using if for about 6 months now. You can progress at your own pace and go back to. From time to time you may be asked to donate, but this is minimal. An excellent program for iPhone, tablets, and Android products. You must have WiFi or cellular data connected.
Next there is Rosetta Stone. This is my least favorite method. The program has five levels and retails for about $200-250 on Amazon. It is available for PC and MAC. It does a good job of teaching vocabulary and grammar, but I find it painful obtuse. In many cases you have to decipher a photograph and answer questions based upon your interpretation of the picture.
Some times the photos are not clear and you may give a wrong answer.
It is your choice on Rosetta Stone, I just find it slow. But the content is good. It has voice recognition to help you with pronunciation.
. There is also a subscription version. Te computer version is copy protected to one PC or Ma and can not be used on another until it is deactivated.
There are other programs out there. Transparent Language as a program for phones and tablets. It is subscription based. Seems ok. They offer a free blog with the word of the day. Michelle Thomas has CDs for many language and they are priced reasonably.
Buona fortuna! or as they say: In bocca al lupo
Almost by accident we found the gem of Capo Milazzo and its natural piscina while looking for a place to stay before going to the Aeolian Islands just of the coast of Milazzo. It’s striking beauty and amazing terrain made it irrestiable. We continue to return here. Lodging can be limited to try Airbnb or make hotel reservations in advance. Great town to walk and eat.
CLICK THE BLUE LINK TO VIEW THE VIDEO
A slow day, bells ringing. A cool September morning.Video, Slow Day in Montepulciano
Testing links from my YouTube and Vimeo libraries.
Naples is a frenetic city with an amazing charm. I found this out the first time I drove in this city and did not speak any Italian. I jumped on the Tangenziale, Naples answer to the Long Island Expressway. Immediately I found I was in a war zone and in over my head. Slowing for an accident someone clipped my mirror and sped off.
As time went on I discovered Naples and it people are amazing. In a Fratelli Pellone I was invited to make pizza. In the markets we found bargains and amazing foods. Walking the streets we felt comfortable even at night. My wife and I have been back several times and always enjoyed our visits. Whether it was a musuem visit, or just talking to people we felt at home.
The novels of Elena Ferrante usually take place in the neighborhoods, the quartiere. Those are the streets we walked. The series of books tells the stories of Elena and Lila from their childhood to adulthood as they progress through the challenges the Neapolitan society and continual changes.
fast and energetic in a rather wild and uncontrolled way
The Naples waterfront from a Hotel Paradiso high up on the hillside.Boats docked in the harbor.On the street heading to the market.
All kinds of seafood.Definitely not the A&P.Muscels, Cozze. These did not travel 3000 miles.It is not the wash, it is ART.
La Galleria Umberto
Evening at the harbor
At Pizzeria Pellone, they let me make a pizza. You don’t walk in to a pizza parlor in the US and have them invite you to help in the kitchen. That is what makes Naples great. The people. We were staying in a hotel in the business area of town. There were no open restarunts near us. I stopped and asked someone for advice on where to go. He brought me to a small alimentari, grocery store , and asked his boss. That kind man walked us halfway to the pizza place and made our evening special.
It goes in the oven and with the high heat from the wood fire, 5 minutes is all it takes.Here it is ready to eat. This was a tomato pie. My wife and I joined the crew. What a treat. Pizzeria Pellone, Via Nationale, 93 Napoli. It is great Pizza.
If you vist Naples, be sure to stop here.
A cat resting in an Amalfi store
Capri, Faraglioni, the rocks that make the viewSeafood vendor in NapoliFruta in AmalfiVerona, the opera with the lighting of the candels prior to the performance
Performance the the Opera House of VeronaSome locals having lunch in San Giovane in Fiore ( Calabria)
Caserta, royal palace gardensSan Gorgio Maggiore, Vence Island from the bell tower Cheese (formaggio ) at the market in Napoli Some boats in Messina Sicly
From Sicily to the lakes. From Venice to Vernazza, the doors of Italy are always interesting. Some ornate, others plain. Run down. Beautiful. Always they catch my eye.
A door in Verona.
This was the door and an agritourisimo in Apulia.
She was putting out the laundry in Sicily and gave me a wave.
Our Airbnb in Montepulciano.
Harmony BnB in Palermo. Great place. Free parking and we just walked and walked.Jewlery Store in Pienza
Art Galery in Cortona. Under The Tuscan Sun land.
Thats it for today, more door in the coming days. The photo avove shows the Cinema Salamandra in Siracusa. I had been closed, then reopened, and closed again. Could only look through the doors and think what it must have been like.