Sunday, August 24, 2008

Summer Days

The last few weeks have been pretty laid back, just hanging about at home and spending some days by the sea. It is the busiest time of the year in Ischia and the holiday makers have arrived on mass. Traffic has increased and the various tourist towns are swelling with pedestrians, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to take Milly out for her daily walks trying to manouevre around the crowds doing their passeggiata. Hopefully next week some normality will return.

Our friends Salvatore and Adriana have come over from Napoli for the weekend to spend some time with us and I had to do the very Italian thing of hiring a brolly and sunbed on the main beach of Casamicciola (not a nice beach at all and the dirtiest water with being near the port) but they insisted on going to the nearest beach. It is definitely not my idea of a relaxing day, it resembled a meat market, with kids crying, parents screaming at them, sand flying…but the Italians seem to thrive on it!

The Beach- Casamicciola

Usually I head to the rocks near Lacco Ameno when I am by myself, no crowds and transparent water for swimming.

The Rocks

On one particular day I spotted this guy heading out to sea on his blow up lilo….I am sure there are some do’s and dont’s when using these floating devises!! ‘One should be aware of the danger in floating too far especially when you end up in the pathway the boats take for coming in and out of the port!’

Spot The Wally!!

After taking the photo I put my camera away and looked up to try and locate him, but he was no where to be seen, perhaps a passing boat had picked him up!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Isola D'Ischia

We arrived on Ischia Tuesday evening just as the sun was setting, it was an awesome site and I took loads of photos only to find that I must have somehow deleted the folder as the photos were no where to be found on the memory card. Just my luck!

Domenico found a studio/ apartment on the internet in the town of Casamicciola, which will be our home until the end of August.Then we will look for something more permanent to rent once the holiday season has finished.

The last few days have been spent exploring the Island which is extremely picturesque. Apart from the areas near the coast most of the homes are built on the hillside terraces.

An area I particularly love is Sant' Angelo on the Southern coast of Ischia, the small town cascades down the hillside to the marinas below.

Sant' Angelo

We parked the car in the first car park as no cars are allowed in the town and made our way along the narrow streets to the marina then up through the town towards the long stretch of Maronti Beach on the other side of the peninsula. Luckily there was a large area of beach ‘libero’ at the far end so we made our way there hoping that there wouldn’t be too many people so we could swim with Milly.

Spiaggia dei Maronti

End of the afternoon- Domenico & Milly walking back through Sant'Angelo

The evening was spent back at Ischia port at Il Gabbiano restaurant for a beer and pizza. Domenico’s brother Bruno worked here for 10 years as a pizzaiola before moving to New Zealand with his family.We have eaten at a few places along the port but find that everyone is doing pretty much the same menu- same pasta, pizza, seafood and are really catering to the mass of tourists. So I am determined to find those places that are a bit 'more special'

Il Gabbiano at Porto D'Ischia

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Changes Are Good

It was one of those spontaneous moments that I have come to love, that saw us driving up to Napoli and jumping on the ferry to Ischia.

Although Domenico had visited before, it was the first time for me and I’m just annoyed that I left my camera behind to snap the beautiful images of the Island.

We took Milly with us and she was a gem coping with the ferry ride ( I captured this shot with my phone) and the several bus trips.

It is obligatory to keep a dog muzzled especially a German Shepherd on public transport, and they were very strict about checking. Luckily I had her Halti collar on which is able to be tightened to keep her mouth closed if the need be, and they seemed to be happy about that!

I was actually amazed at how many people would come up to me and ask ‘posso caresare il cane’… can I stroke the dog…. Which was really nice as Milly is a real softy and just loves the attention from people.

After a couple of days on the island and making several new friends we have decided to move there for a while and our plans to move to England are now on hold.

I had my doubts about moving to England after our last visit…usually when we decide to move to another country everything comes together pretty quickly, but after 6 months of trips back and forth looking for a business things weren’t coming together and I began to think that perhaps it was not ‘ meant to be’. And each time the novelty of being there quickly wore off and I missed Italy more and more.

So we have decided to move to Ischia for a while and take it from there, at least we can still enjoy the Mediterranean climate and the Neapolitan food which I love so much and Domenico can speak Neapolitan to his hearts content!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

House For Sale in Le Marche

A lot of this year has seen us back and forth to England looking for a business. Domenico has had itchy feet for a while now to get back into the restaurant industry and we feel that for what we do, the UK would be our best option. I have mixed feelings about this as after a week of being back in the UK I really start to miss Italy.
We have also decided to sell this house and down size since this one is really too big for us now the kids have left. So we thought to find something we can use more for a holiday and weekend breaks when we want to escape back to Italy. We have nearly finished the first floor of the house apart from one room which we reckon will be the second bathroom. It has been a hard slog and we have now basically conked out! Here are a few pics of how it now looks.So if anyone is interested or knows of anyone looking to buy in Le Marche at a very reasonable price this house may be for them…. The fact that we haven’t touched the ground floor gives the new owner the chance to renovate and restore the lower level whilst still living in the house. I reckon there is a lot of potential for a B & B or separate apartments. Also the house will be available to rent whilst on the market as we are probably moving over to the UK in September.

Our Orto

With the rising prices of food in Italy this spring we decided to become more self sufficient and grow our own fruit and veges. A friendly neighbour stopped by with his tractor and dug up a large area for us to plant our ‘Orto’ and to give us a few tips on what and when to plant.

There is nothing more satisfying than eating your own grown food.The tomatoes and zucchini have really taken off, though when we arrived back from England last week the zucchini were a little over done and some have grown to nearly half a metre long. They are still pretty firm though so I will cut them width ways and make an eggplant parmigiana but using zucchini instead of eggplant.

When we go back to England I always get so bloated as the food over there just doesn’t agree with my tum. I can eat bread and pasta here, but in England it gives me terrible cramps. It makes me realize just how much healthier we eat here as the food is so simple and doesn’t need much done to it. Today lunch was fresh figs, prosciutto, fresh ricotta and melon, yum….

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Milly's 1st swim and other adventures!

After a chilly spring the heat in June hit with a vengeance. It was particularly tough for Milly who spent most of the time in the house where the stone walls keep everything nice and cool.
One very hot day I decided to take Milly to cool off at the river, a short walk down the hill from us. The wheat surrounding the house was very long and overdue to be harvested which made the trek down there quite scary as I was worried about snakes. We eventually made it through the overgrowth and came to a relatively deep waterhole. Milly didn’t take long to be tempted in and she had her very first swim.

However what happened next has made me very reluctant to go down alone with her again. I suddenly heard a rustle in the bushes across from us and when I looked up I was in full view of a huge Cinghiale (wild boar), it resembled a woolly mammoth. Well, my adrenalin kicked in big time, I screamed at Milly to run and we both bolted as quick as we could whilst I was looking for a tree to climb up if it got near to me. We belted back up the hill through the wheat no longer caring if there were any snakes, luckily the boar stayed put and chose not to chase us. When we got back to the house my heart was pounding out of my chest and and had the taste of blood in my mouth.
I knew there were Cinghiale down at the river in the winter as the hunters come to hunt them, though for some reason I thought this time of the year they lived somewhere else…silly me!!!

I'm Back!

Well blogging has certainly gone down the tubes this past year, mainly due to the fact that telecom still haven’t got their act together and installed a phone line. Every 3 months we receive a text to say they are coming to assess things and every time it is the same old story- that they are working on it… I give up! I reckon that after the last 'run in' they had with Domenico who basically told them how dysfunctional the company was that they won’t be back in a hurry.

One positive thing though is that I have a new mobile that seems to work a lot faster when connected to the internet, so I am now able to download photos etc.and hopefully get this blog back on track.