We left his Villa and entered the larger Villa, a lovely park, enjoying a picnic on the grass in the shade next to the Lago and the Tempio di Esculpio. Then downhill to the Piazza del Popolo


and across the Ponte Margherita to the Piazza Cavour (they are digging up the middle of the plaza,) around the star-shaped moat of the Castel (under the Pope’s emergency sky bridge) and down to the river at the Ponte San Angelo to walk back here along the river, which as usual we had to ourselves with a few bums, the seagulls, a mother duck and her ducklings and (a first for me) a river otter.




In preparation for our trip to the Bay of Naples tomorrow, I am starting South Wind by Norman Douglas.




Venerdi. We are on the high speed train to Napoli! Fantastic. We enjoyed a lovely al fresco dinner with our friends Amy & Ernie and the girls last night in the di Rienzi in the piazza in front of the Pantheon. Unique and magical (and they sprung for a 55 Euro bottle of Barolo in honor of my recent birthday!)



This is going to be an adventure, going to our island today.




Procida! (“PROshida”). It was an adventure. When we got to Napoli it was predictably a hot and humid madhouse, and the taxi took a long time through gridlocked traffic to get us to the Stazione Marittima by the Castel Nuovo. Then there was more bedlam, standing in line to get ferry tickets. It seemed like everyone at the head of the line was enjoying a long heated argument with the ticket agent. But when we finally got to the window they had three tickets for us on the 13:10 boat to Procida, and here we are, at La Rosa dei Venti: our window looks out upon the blue Tyrrhenian.


Our whitewashed cottage with the red tile roof is perched on a cliff directly above the water – M. & I walked down some narrow steps to get to a volcanic rock ledge. A little wavy for swimming today, but the prognosis for tomorrow? Buono.



We could have done it the easy way but we opted for the rewarding adventure, taking-in all the island had to offer. Just before 8 p.m. we took a 3-wheeled micro-taxi with our driver Antonio to the far side of the island, to Marina Chiaiolella for an amazing seafood dinner at Il Galeone, with fresh-caught octopus


and swordfish, followed by gelato and local limoncello, and a hilarious micro-taxi ride back with a talkative driver who knew far more English than we knew Italian. A quick walk with flashlights down to see the coast lights and we were ready for a good night’s sleep and a great day tomorrow.




Sabato. After a continental breakfast here in the garden of the hotel, we walked down to the port


to discover our options for further travel, and found a good one. Tomorrow morning at 7:30 we take the early boat to Ischia, and then at 9:20 we sail on the Capitan Morgan to Positano and then Amalfi, by way of Capri. Spectacular, no? We should be in Amalfi tomorrow morning, as if by magic – the magic of the waves. After this fortunate series of events, we had a picnic lunch on the rocks below the hotel, and then ventured off on the narrow roads, flattening against the stone walls as cars and motorcycles zoomed past, to reach ‘Il Postino’ beach next to the old Cimitero,



a lovely little cove with lots of boats moored at anchor, with dark sand and clear water. Unfortunately there was a lot of floating plastic trash in the water, but it was warm and pleasant once you swam out past it. We’re back now – I’m sitting in our patio drinking a cold Nastro Azzurro. The narrow lanes of the island are beautiful, with little vineyards, lemon groves, tomatoes – and lots of flowers common in Southern California: lantana, morning glories, oleander, hydrangeas, bougainvillea, iceplant and agave. Two cats share the patio with me.



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