7/19/09

Italy #7

On Wednesday, the rest of the family went to Loreto to visit the massive basilica there, while Keven and I rode in Paolo's car to the seaside. Silvia's family has a little flat just across the road from the Adriatic. Beaches along the strip of road all belonged to the condominium complexes or hotels, so you need to know a resident or be a guest in order to sit on the beach. Paolo introduced us to the man in charge of that section of beach and made sure we had a comfy spot by the sea.

We were to meet for lunch at 1:30. Until then, I had books to read in a marvelous view. I get out of the sun, ironically, because after the serious hangover problems I'd had earlier in the trip, I didn't want to lose any more time or comfort to something as stupid as a sunburn. And except for the final Sunday we were in Italy, that was the cloudiest, coolest day of our visit. No matter. It was beautiful, with a spectacular view of Monte Conero (much like this one).

I thought Paolo would make us lunch, but instead he had gone for takeout. Now remember this is Italian takeout. Forget burgers or Pizza Hut. He bought a three-course meal of seafood specialties, including spaghetti with mussels. I don't know what all of it was, but it was delicious. We had lemon ice for dessert and champagne to drink. when I was trying to use my rudimentary Spanish-Italian hybrid to say that the champagne was refreshing, Paolo thought that I was complaining about it being flat. He immediately agreed with me and went to open the second bottle. I was embarrassed, but I think he was actually impressed--that I'd found the nerve to complain, which Anglo types don't generally do while in Italy. (Apparently we say "grazie" too often as well.)

Throughout lunch, I break the language barrier in order to converse with Paolo, often translating what he said to Keven. We actually manage to talk about politics and culture, most likely with the vocabulary of a five-year-old, but we laughed a lot and didn't let the barrier come between us and a good time.

We knew rain was coming, so we didn't return to the beach. The drive back to Cerreto was quiet and uneventful. I think I must've been naps then, and an impromptu dinner--too full from lunch.

Next time: Assisi! And so very many steps!

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