Mangia bene, ridi spesso, ama molto (Eat well, laugh often, love much)

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27 lazy days for last Italian leg - 5,000km total
27 lazy days for last Italian leg – 5,000km total
Beautiful Vieste jutting out into the Adriatic

When we last spoke Deb & I were relaxing on the beach for a few days. We eventually got motivated to move 70km up the road to Vieste, a great seaside town with many beach resorts that catered for us motorhomers. We set up camp across the road from the first white sandy beach we have seen here and only a 400m walk to town.  A 3 hour boat cruise here is obligatory as it explores the area’s beautiful coastline & grottos.

Boat Cruise
Exploring the coastline & grottos around Vieste

We had promised our new Italian friends (see a few blogs back), the Amorosa’s, to pop in for a visit when we reached Campobasso. We thought we would stay for 1 night but we should have known better.

re-uniting with our new friends in Campobasso

Their family’s warmth, friendship & generosity was never ending as they made us not only welcome but part of their family for the next 4 days!

Homemade Dinner
does not get more authentic than this
In Italy parking and road rules are merely suggestions open to interpretation

It just so happened that our visit coincided with the weekend Michele & Francesco (father & youngest son) go away each year for a festival in the mountains about an hour away. So when they left Friday afternoon we stayed with Pina & Andrea (mother & eldest son) and had pizza in town followed by a walk around the main square being sure to taste some yummy local gelato.

joining the menfolk in time for lunch

On the Saturday the 4 of us drove to the festival site to meet up with the boys. When we arrived Deb & I realised that the festival doesn’t really start until the Sunday and that the boys just use this as an excuse to go camping in the bush with about 15 of their friends. It is 3 days of drinking, eating, and music. Everybody plays several instruments (some homemade), everybody eats & drinks (home-made wine) non-stop (except Francesco, being the only underage attendant), and most importantly everybody sings!

bush camp
real Italian folk music

Before introductions could be finished we were sat down and presented with all kinds of glorious food & wine. While we partook we were serenaded with up-beat folk music.

not exactly Woodstock

Eventually we had to participate so we started with dancing….

if you’re not playing then you’re dancing

….then playing. They wanted us to join in the sing-along but we naturally didn’t know any of the words so they kindly changed their tune to the only Italian song EVERYBODY knows, Volare! As we had the floor when they stopped for a break Deb & I broke into Waltzing Matilda and everyone joined in as much as they could.

Roccamandolfi campgrounds, Italy
joining in was the only way to avoid having to eat more food

Back home the family made Deb feel special with birthday candles, flowers & hugs.

Happy Birthday
some birthday love from the Amorosa’s

Back in tourist mode we headed north to Sulmona which has to be the bomboniere (aka confetti) capital of the world. A quick walk around town revealed more shops selling bomboniere than I’ve had weddings (and that’s a lot)!

food art taken to the next level

Then onto Assisi, home of the famous Franciscan order. We spent the afternoon touring the cathedral and the town before moving on to Perugia where the next day we toured the Baci chocolate factory…..yummo.

Assisi, Italy
they look like brothers to me

One of our longest drives then saw us arrive in Verona where the temps were reaching the high 30s even through the night.

Arena di Verona
Aida best viewed at less than 37 °C

The city itself was remarkable with it’s medieval heart but the big draw on this day was the Arena di Verona where we had booked for the 3 hour long Aida and it’s cast of thousands.

Arena di Verona
Aida best viewed at less than 37 °C

Although the performance was spectacular we were sitting on stone seats with no back support and melting in the intense heat so had to leave after 2 hours .

Arena di Verona
Aida best viewed at less than 37 °C

We thought camping out at nearby Lago Trasimeno would cool things down but unfortunately this was not the case. Being only 20 minutes from Cortona we invited Alessandra (our cooking teacher from a few posts back) to come for dinner. She arrived with her daughter and we had a wonderful evening catching up and telling stories of our travels since we had left her last.

Lago di Garda
Lago di Garda

Onto Lago di Garda where even swimming in the lake brought little relief from the heat, it was time to head for the hills…or in this case Dolomites.

flying the colours

Trento welcomed us with cooler temps in the 20s so at least we would be able to sleep at night.  We also noticed as we headed further north and up into the mountains the towns got more quaint and German looking. When we reached Corvara we were still wearing t-shirts, shorts & thongs until we jumped out to set up and realised that it was now 11°C, what a difference 2000m makes!


On our drive to our current stop of Schneeburg we have passed the most breathtaking scenery and it is only going to get better as we spend the next few weeks traversing the alps while driving along the Italian, Austrian and Swiss borders. But before we get to that we may just stop by Lago Como and see if we can spot George (Clooney, not Karsai).


Some Housekeeping

Last post I mentioned that I had moved the site but unfortunately some issues arose and I have decided to move it back to WordPress. The good news is the experience gave me some great ideas for re-organising my images and blogs and has given me some clear ideas for moving forward. Bad news is when I transferred the last blog post back here I lost the comments for that post, sorry about that.

Those of you who subscribe will notice some new categories and menu additions.  Those of you who just follow our travel posts from Deb’s facebook notices/emails will notice little difference except for a cleaner look. So if you wish to be kept advised of posts to some of the new photo categories please subscribe.

Lastly I would like to apologise to the subscribers who received an email when I transferred the last blog post back here as I turned off facebook notification but forgot to turn off subscribers notification.

Don’t forget you can click on any of the pictures for a full-screen slideshow of all images in the post.


6 Replies to “Mangia bene, ridi spesso, ama molto (Eat well, laugh often, love much)”

  1. Your travels are AMAZING, how will you guys ever settle back in Oz? Keep safe and enjoy the dream. xox Ted & Chris

    1. Thanks Christine but I’m actually looking forward to seeing all you guys again and enjoying some good Aussie caravanning.

  2. As Always.. it makes me smile from ear to ear knowing that my mate and his amazing wife are living the dream ( to steal a phrase from GFK). Keep enjoying every moment ! Love you guys!

  3. It all sounds like the most amazing adventure, wish we were there with you. You should lead a tour group……I’m in!!!!

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