Apologies for the long pause in between blogs – I’ve been very busy with family….lots of visiting, lunches, dinners, trips.

Sperlonga is a great little town in summer.   Only about 3,000 people live here; but in summer the population swells by about another 30,000.   There’s lots of holiday apartments here (in the new part of town).   We arrived just at the right time – the new school year started last week, so there’s only a handful of tourists now.   Lots of Russians, though.

Had a fabulous day today – up at the crack of 10am, down to the family restaurant/beach for coffee and cornetto (croissant), a massage, “light” lunch… until 4pm, then a snooze on the beach.  Had to go for a walk at sunset…..to make room for the next family dinner – spaghetti vongole – Michael’s favourite and made specially for his visit.

Got smothered by hawkers at the beach today – after I made the mistake of buying a bracelet from one of them.  Of course, then they all thought I was in the market for jewellery from them too.  Michael and Franco had to intervene, because they wouldn’t take no from me for an answer.  There’s hawkers for umbrellas, spiderweb cleaning brushes, kids toys, clothes, etc, etc.  Check out the kiddies toy seller wagon –

Sunset from our hotel room –

The restaurant that I insisted Michael take me to the other night….we had to have a break from the big meals.   Can you believe it, the red wine – Dolcetto D’alba – was $4 Euros – bargain – usually $50-60 dollars in Australia.  Fantastic.

Last Monday night, our first night with family, was dinner with the family here in Sperlonga.

Tuesday night, dinner with Zia Giuseppina, her son Antonio and his wife Mirella in Sperlonga.

Wednesday night, back to Latina, and dinner with Damiana and her family.

Then last Thursday, we (Franco, Nunzia, Michael and me) set of for Ascoli-Picena in the Le Marche region.  Was a pretty good trip.  Too much driving though.

On the way to Le Marche, Michael was obsessed with finding one of the famous porchetta vans on the side of the autostrada.   Porchetta in italy is a bit different to porchetta in Australia.  Its often available freshly roasted at Panorama, one of the best supermarkets in italy.  But its also available on vans on the side of the road –

The traffic at this van is so busy, that the vendor has signs everywhere telling people to drive slowly and be careful around the clientele.

Couldn’t find a hotel in the town centre at Ascoli-Piceno, so had to stay on the outskirts of the town.  Hotel was at the end of a dirt track with a couple of houses around it.    They guy who ran it was just lovely – but talk about jack of all trades…..receptionist, in breakfast host, tourist guide.  He helped us plan our trip around Ascoli-Piceno.

One night we came home from dinner in town, to find the streets around our hotel packed with cars – up trees, up fences, double-parked, they were everywhere.   Turns out that one of the most popular restaurants in town, was in a converted house right next door to our hotel.   So that’s were we dined the next night.  Fabulous food.  Had Scamorzza for the first time – smoked cheese cooked in the oven.  Absolutely beautiful.

It always amazes me – these restaurants located in strange places (it seems to me) often have the best food.

On one of our trips into the countryside, we came across this scarecrow.  Then this old guy driving past stops and has a chat with us.  We thought that he was going to tell us off for taking and eating the walnuts from under the walnut tree.  Instead, he stops to tell us the story of the scarecrow.  It was built by the locals as the centrepiece for their town dinner that they held in the field behind it.



Then it was on to a little town called, Offido.

Boys will be boys, guess who tried to ride the bike???