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Trip Report My Trip to Calabria

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A few years ago a friend told me about a research study that stated the fastest way to learn another language was out of necessity. Well this turned out to be true on my recent trip to Calabria. About 7 years ago I studied Italian through a travel tape. I used some of this knowledge on that trip, but not much. I then returned to Italy 4 years ago and studied the tape again and used more of what I learned. This time I have no tape deck and I just didn’t get around to buying a CD. So I had to pull out every word I remembered, some words I thought were gone from my memory bank, and some words I invented to get me by. I was throwing around phases and my hands. I was able to communicate, but I had a headache after long conversations.
Let me start at the beginning. My DH and I are about to retire, therefore you know my age. My thought was, buy an apartment in Calabria. Winters would be sunnier and warmer than northeast USA. My husband and I could use the apartment for March and April, maybe February. The rest of the family (children and our small grandchildren) could use it whenever they wanted. My sister was interested in getting in the idea so now she and I were on a quest to buy an apartment in Calabria. It all sounds so wonderful. We had an appointment with a real estate agent, high hopes, and some money to part with.
We started our trip in Naples, where we stayed at the Hotel Piazza Bellini. Thank you Ann1 for the suggestion. The hotel arranged for a car to pick us up. After the 19 hour trip to Naples (door to door) this was one wonderful idea. Plus the car ride to the hotel should be a ride at Disney World. I did not know cars could maneuver around such narrow and pulsating streets. The hotel is in a great location, near the National Archaeological Museum. The rooms were quite modern and the hotel has a lovely court yard. We walked everywhere. The Archaeological museum houses the mosaics from Pompeii. It was easy to get around and very interesting. We did the Rick Steve’s walking tour. We went into the Spanish quarter and loved the narrow streets and street life. Then onto the harbor, the galleria, and the street that divides Naples into, Via B. Croce which becomes another name at some place along the way. We saw the duomo, many other churches, the castle etc. We even took the subway back to the hotel. All was great. No pick pockets or hassles. We did not go to Sansevero as we had been there before, but it is a must do in Naples. We had 2 nice dinners, great pizza and gelato. I also bought what I call a lobster tail pastry. It tasted just like the ones here in Boston, but the woman insisted you only get them in Naples. Who am I to argue, but it tasted the same to me. Later in the trip I did see them in the frozen sections of a supermarket and I think we are all eating the same thing, unless there is a particular bakery that makes their own.

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