So far they’ve toured Rome, visited the Vatican and had an Il Volo Pizza made specially for them. Then they spent quality time with Gianluca and Mr. Ginoble. They were even made famous in an Abruzzi news article:
Read on. ~Marie
We went to Bar BereBene in the morning for coffee, where we met Emiliano again and there was Nonno Ernesto, sitting outside with a group of his friends! Our guide and Maria both speak Italian and told Nonno Ernesto that we had met with Gianluca and Ercole the day before and Ernesto said that Ercole had told him all about us. We stayed a while and had coffee and took pictures with him. Like his son and grandson, he was very accommodating and charming! We talked about his having been to New York and California with Gianluca, and what a sweet boy he is; Nonno said that Gianluca has always been that way… very caring and sweet. We expressed our thanks to him for his beautiful family. Nonno thanked us for coming.
Nonno Ernesto said that if we wanted some good pictures, we should walk down a certain road for a beautiful view of the sea below, from way up on the mountain in Montepagano. You’ve all seen pictures of Gianluca in the same spot! We took photos of the most exquisite view of the sea and towns below us. A man who was fixing up an apartment to sell invited us in to take pictures from his balcony. The apartment was adorable and the views were spectacular.
Once again we were on the road, traveling around Abruzzi. We went to San Benedetto di Tronto in Marche District where we saw buildings that were built into the mountainside in the 16th century. We bought lunch at a small shop on the square and sat outside eating stuffed fried olives, eggplant, and roasted tomatoes. We toured this beautiful region and enjoyed every second of it! We almost hated to leave but we had plans for Sicily!
May 14: Hotel Vecchio Borgo, Palermo
Since our flight to Palermo was postponed from 11:00 to 22:00, our hopes of meeting Ignazio and Piero were snuffed out because they had to leave for Bologna to get ready for Eurovision.
Having time on our hands, we had the opportunity to tour Pescara. What a beautiful city!
From a deck atop a seaside hotel that we wandered into, we took some pictures of the beautiful scenery around Pescara and other interesting sights.
We walked around the town for an hour or so and stopped at a little seaside café where we ate individual pizzas that were served with brown paper wrapped around them; very good, too! We did more touring, then headed to the airport where we said goodbye to Christophe and “dined” at the airport while we waited for our flight!
When we finally landed in Sicily around 23:30, our driver & guide, Ciro Grillo, took us directly to our hotel where Maria tried using her key to get into Madeline’s room… she thought it was her room… okay, so it was late!. Lol!
May 15: Morning
Ciro picked us up and took us through Palermo, where we went to the “Capo” – the open food market where vendors had beautiful fruits and vegetables, meats, fish, etc. At the Capo, half way through the market, there is a baroque style church with mosaics made out of marble. Exquisitely beautiful.
Palermo has three opera houses, one of which is the biggest in Europe – Teatro Massimo
May 15: Stella d’Italia – Marsala
We checked into our hotel and quickly got ready to be escorted to Marsala City Hall by Alessandro Tarantino, assistant to the Secretary General of Marsala. A Mayor was to be elected at the end of May and the Secretary General took the place of the Mayor until the election. Alessandro walked us to the square where City Hall is located, and we went through the building and saw the room where Ignazio was inducted as Ambassador! Then we met the Secretary General, and Alessandro took our pictures and wrote an article about us which was later posted in the Marsala newspaper!
That evening we went to Pizzeria dei Desideri where we met Nina Boschetto and Buddy. Ignazio’s friend, Dario Piccolo, met us there as well.
More? Of course, they said it was a trip of a lifetime and it’s not over yet! Lucky dogs! No offense Buddy.