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In Naples

Tuesday 04 June 2013

After a wonderful breakfast of omelets with artichokes, we went to tour the area. Fr Michael took us to the ruins of a Roman amphitheater in Capua; Santa Maria Capua Vetterie; sort of a smaller colosseum, where one of the gladiator schools ran, and where Spartacus trained. Unlike the Colosseum in Rome, these ruins permitted visitors to walk in the subterranean parts of the amphitheater; right down where the animals and humans would have been getting prepared for their time in the ring.

Of course, on the way there, Sophia his Garmin GPS had us going through a farm, filled with corn. We came up to a small hut where some farmhands came out to see what dumb tourists were lost and driving through their field. One of them hopped his bicycle and led us out of the farm and onto paved streets once again. One hardly ever sees an SUV here, but this was one time we wish we had one.

We then drove up into the hills of Naples to a small mountaintop village called Caserta Vecchia. We parked at the base of the village and walked up. Tucked on the hilltop is a village of about 200 people, and everything was made of stone. It rained off and on all day long, and though this ruined the views, it also kept the tourists away. This is a website on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casertavecchia. The other website is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Maria_Capua_Vetere

That evening, we met Fr Kingsley and Carol Joyce at Christ Church, Naples. He is the Chaplain to the congregation, which is Church of England; Diocese of Europe. He is also a retired British Army Chaplain, so we hit it off well. Also there was a young Naval officer who is transitioning out of the Navy and into the Priesthood, attending my seminary: General. It was a wonder evening at their favourite Italian family restaurant with lots of food, drink, jokes and camaraderie. Here is their parish website:

Wednesday 05 June 2013

When Elizabeth returned from a morning doctor appointment, we all piled into the car and headed to the Almalfi Coast. We took hairpin switchbacks beyond counting, and ended up in a little hilltop village overlooking the coastal drive, and the expanse of the Med below. We stopped for lunch at a restaurant with a terrace overlooking the entire coastline. We ordered a late lunch with the house wine, and enjoyed the food, the view and the company.

After, we went into the piazza and wandered down a side street. We came upon a small shop selling locally sourced and hand painted porcelain items: plates, tables, Christmas ornaments. I didn’t want to be carrying things all over Europe, so wasn’t too much interested, and then the owner showed us how many orders he had for shipping to the US; in fact, 90% of his sales are shipped. Well, that had us sunk, and Elizabeth and I determined we would return when my sister Debbie is along to help me select things.

We also stopped in a few Churches, which tended to be Franciscan, and we lit candles for our loved ones. One tidy little Church Fr Michael and I thought we could purchase and run as a retreat centre. As we walked, we saw the steep ravine leading to the Mediterranean Sea, and gazing across could see houses and a church on the other side. Coming upon a hillside hotel/restaurant with another stunning view, we stopped for a moment to enjoy the stillness and the view. We agreed that, if Adam and Eve had been permitted a return visit to Eden, just for the afternoon, it must have been like this. Our drinks and snacks were finished, it was dusk and we had an hour to drive, but no one wanted to.

The website is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ravello

Posted by stbrides 14:56 Archived in Italy

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