Spent the day at the beach….again. Today was overcast, but really really hot.
Italian beaches are privately owned, with a couple of narrow spaces where you can put a towel down for free if you wish. It costs about 30 Euro per day for one chair on the front row, less for the second row, and less again for the third row back from the beach.
Today, I saw one of the “hawkers” lie down on one of the last chairs at the restaurant/beach we were at. I thought: oh god, here we go. This isn’t going to end well for him. Sure enough. Along went the assistante bagnanti (beach patrol) and told him to pay or move on.
Because both sides of Italy are close to other countries, the ocean is more like a giant lake. That is, it doesn’t have waves (only when there is a big storm). So most italians just wade through the water. The beaches are more for working on your tan and sleeping…..before your next meal.
Italy doesn’t really have any nasty animali…..no snakes. But I have seen a scorpion in the carpark (man, that sucker would hurt if he clamped on to your skin) and wasps that look like they’ve flown in from Land of the Giants. Those bastards are massive and friggin’ scary….especially when they fly around your head (which is what one did to me the other day).
Have just returned home (to the hotel) from another fabulous dinner.
Ristorante Il Giardino Di Anngelica: http://www.ilgiardinodianngelica.it/
Had a fabulous meal in a fabulous location. One of the best seafood pastas that I’ve ever had. Its a new restaurant in Sperlonga that Franco and Nunzia have discovered. Run by a husband and wife team. He’s “front of house”; she is in charge of the kitchen. The way he prepared/plated up our fish tonight in front of us was like a maestro.
The restaurant is new, just opened this summer. It is on a piece of land that was an abandoned Orto, that is, a vegetable garden/small farm next to the ocean. They have converted it perfectly. My photos don’t do it justice. It would be a fabulous location for a wedding. Its sits beside the sea, below the citta vecchia (old city/town).
And tonight, I understood the word surgelato (frozen), which I’ve read many times and understood to be something cold.
For dessert tonight, Michael and Nunzia wanted sorbetto, lemon sorbetto. It was served, surgelato. When it arrived, it then understood surgelato. It means frozen. Their gelato was served inside half a frozen lemon. Oh, the limoncello was mine 🙂
And, once again, ate wayyyyyy too much. Its absolutely impossible to pace yourself.
Antipasti – fagolini (fagoli (beans) cooked and pureed with a salsa of polpette fritto (fried calamari and pane fritti)
Primi – Paccheri (large pasta shells) con cozze (mussels) e vongole (not sure of its english name)
Secondi – Pesche con vedure
Dolci – sorbetto ai surgelato e limoncello
and lots and lots of Moscato di Terracina (a popular wine made in the town next door).
Just as well we went for a walk up to the centro storica (old centre) before dinner to build up an appetite for dinner. Bonus was that there was a fabulous sunset (probably because today was so hot).
Tomorrow, we are off to the family vineyard up in the hills of Esperia.
There have been many conversations around the dinner table about the family vineyard; but it was only the other night when the penny dropped for me and I fully realised what they were all saying.
Because the “kids” have all moved away for work (Sicilia, Roma, Germania) there’s no one to carry on the vineyard and the winemaking. So after hundreds and hundreds of years, and generations and generations of running the vineyard up in the hills and making the famous Moretti vine, they are abandoning the vineyard. They are all getting too old to maintain the vines, harvest and make the vino. So tomorrow is the last time they will harvest the grapes and make the wine. It is very sad.
Yesterday, we drank one of the last bottles of Moretti wine from last year’s vintage in Pasquale’s garden: