EuroAdventure15: Travel Day
(posted by Emily)
11 July 2015
Saturday was our big travel day for the Italian leg of our journey. We didn't have to go too far, but the day consisted of 4 trains and a bus in order to reach Casperia.
We left the Hilton in Sorrento around 8:30
Got on a local train to Naples
Waited for our high speed train
Which took us to Rome
Got on the Metro to go to another station outside of Rome
Then got on a local train to Poggio Mirteto
(though we did have to wait a bit for it to arrive)
Then finally a local bus to Casperia
Casperia is a medieval village, about an hour outside of Rome. The city itself is about 1000 years old, with a walled complex that is home to 200 people. The village has expanded outside the walls, but it's only home to about 800 people total.
We are here because of Rick's fascination with olive oil, and desire to learn more. One for the world's leading experts on oil lives here, and we are taking a tour with him Sunday. For now, it was off to our b&b, La Torretta. Maureen, the owner, virtually created tourism to this part of Lazio and it was fun to see this very unspoiled part of the Roman countryside--a place we think everyone should visit!
Inside the lounge of the b&b--very charming!
While walking through the histric part of the village, there are no cars or motorbikes--just a lot of steps! And, a fair amount of animals running around. We decided to explore a bit before dinner time.
The view from over the walls
Looking out over the countryside
At the local grocery, we had fun looking at the products for sale, including a fair number of vegetarian things like veggie burgers, spinach patties, and frozen meals. Even soy milk on the shelves!
We needed a little snack to tide us over, so we stopped at the local bakery for a beer, Chinotto (our new favorite), some potato pizza, a zucchini veggie roll, and some pastries. The boy working in the bakery, Bob, just couldn't get over the fact that a) we are from California and b) we would want to come to Casperia of all places! Even though we had to use a hybrid of English, Spanish, and Italian to communicate, we had a great time laughing and joking with him.
On the way back up we noticed a particular feature of this medieval village--a Lego store! Filled with every kind of Lego set you could ever want :)
That evening, the local dance students were going to be putting on a performance--we saw the stage being set up from our perch atop the village.
We headed back to the b&b for a bit before dinner, wandering through the narrow streets and enjoying the views.
At dinner time, we headed down to Vigna, the restaurant owned by Johnny Madge, the olive oil tour guide. He knew who we were right away, and made us feel very welcome. Vigna is in a great spot, and lots of locals and tourists alike gather in the little square to have drinks and dinner and socialize.
Looking over at Vigna--Rick is at our table, and Johnny is standing there in the darker pink shirt.
For dinner we had a Swiss chard mousse with Parmesan sauce, pesto pasta, a delicious tepid soup, and a cheese board. I of course had to get dessert, too--a custard made from biscuits with chocolate sauce.
One happy camper with his pesto.
While at dinner, the dance production began, just below us over the wall. We peeked over to watch a bit, as they performed "Alice in Wonderland."
After dinner it was back to the b&b, and off to bed! We already love this quiet, charming village and can't wait to see what else it has in store!