June 21st, 2009

drinking bird

Italy trip

I have just returned from 2 weeks in Italy. Naturally the food was delicious, grilled sole and other fish, various pastas, gelati, fruits, etc. I will not go into details.

I landed in Milan and had a day and 1/2 there dedicated to shopping. Then my friend and I joined other friends and went to Ischia, an island in the Gulf of Naples. It is about an hour by ferry from Naples or Capri. It is a lovely island, renowned for its flowers

Ischia wild flowers

Bougainvillea everywhere

and lots of oleanders.

It is also known for its hot springs. So, for a week, we lolled in warm pools similar to the Japanese onsens. Several are located in 2 main resorts. First, in Forio, where we were, the Giardini Poseidon, which is quite large. It has 10 or more pools of varying sizes and temperatures.

a path at the Poseidon

A small pool

In Lacco Ameno, the next port, is the Negombo. Its advantage is its situation on a small protected bay with a lovely beach.

distant view of the Negombo's bay (you can see the end of the beach, which continues hidden on the right).

It has nice pools too.

small thermal pool

We were staying at a pensione in Forio, a small port. It is an early 19th cent. house with thick stone walls which keep it cool. In the morning each day we walked about 3.5 km to the Poseidon gardens along a coastal road. There are a few steep slopes, but luckily the end each way is downhill. The walk by the sea is pleasant, and you get the scent of the lemon flowers in the air.

When we went to the Negombo, it was more taxing: 10 km... You do get great views

Forio is in the far right

glimpse of the coast near Lacco Ameno

But we arrived hot and sweaty. So we returned home by bus, and took it both ways the next day. In spite of mostly sitting under beach umbrellas and wearing block-out creams, I managed to get sunburned.

I guess I will stop here now and finish (I hope) tomorrow.

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