DAY 39

I got lost!

Only to me would it happen.

Comogli runs upwards from the Mediterranean. My apartment is directly on the ocean. Each block ascends in parallel fashion behind me.

The horizontal/parallel streets are ok. They run normal in a straight line. It is the vertical streets that are the problem. There are streets and alleys running up and down. The alleys, though narrow, are as much a thoroughfare as the streets. The verticle streets and alleys bend and twist all over he place.

I was at an internet shop several blocks up. Took a large number of steps and one long street to get to the internet store. When I left the internet store, I got confused, screwed up. I missed the first set of stairs. Tried several others. No good. Then tried the alleys. Even worse.

I knew I would eventually get out. I could see the Mediterranean below me. I just needed to find the correct opening to get down to it.

I finally did. A major accomplishment!

There is a palazzo a few steps from the internet store. Note palazzo. I am starting to speak like a native Italian.

I sat on a bench. There was a nearby street fair. I wanted to watch the world go by.

I lit a cigarette. Bad, I know. So did some one else. There was an elderly man (like me) sitting on the next bench. Italian. He came over and started speaking to me in Italian. Though I could not understand him, I knew what he was talking about. The evils of smoking.

I let him finish. Then I let him know I did not understand Italian, only spoke English.

His face lit up. He started the tirade again. This time in English. He was proud to show off his ability to speak English.

He sat with me for a while. We talked of his experiences back in 1960 in the United States. He had been in Cuba on business. Flew to Philadelphia and then to California where he spent some time. He congratulated me on the Fourth of July. He knew our history intimately.

I was ashamed. I had forgotten it was July 4, Independence Day. Other than my new found friend, there was no other person or thing to remind me. Additionally, days and dates run into each other when you are bouncing around as I am. I rarely am sure of the day of the week let alone a date.

My friend’s wife came along. He introduced me and they were on their way.

There was a large statue in the palazzo. It was a memorial to Nato A. Camogli. I tried to look him up on the internet. He is there. All over the place. However, every article is in Italian so I never got his background.

I swam a bit in the Mediterranean and sun bathe in the afternoon. To swim, you have to pay. Just like the Jersey Shore and Cape Cod. The beaches were unique. No sand. Stones. Each about 3-4 inches in diameter. Hurt the feet. The water was not clear as it had been in Greece. Murky like Key West used to be.

Then a nap. The sun was hot and tiring. My apartment for some reason cool. No air conditioning. I think it is the three foot walls.

Clotheslines come into play again. I raised the issue with my new friend in the palazzo. He, too, said it was because sun dried is better. I think he is wrong, also. These people have never known the joy of an electric dryer so they cannot compare.

He also told me many of the buildings were built with special pipes to hold the clothesline between windows or buildings. He assured me my apartment had one.

When I returned to the apartment, I checked. Sure enough, there below the window ledge in the living room was a clothesline. It ran from one living room window to the other. There were pipes at each end firmly affixed to the walls. A roller on each.

I had my own clothesline and never knew it!

Dinner was at another sea side cafe. Another excellent meal!

I had a local dish. Whereas the polenta was bad from my perspective, the pasta special dish was not. Oh, so good!

It is called trofie. A small curly thin macaroni. It was served with a pesto sauce. If I ate no more, I had dined like a king!

Broiled fish was my entre. I was taken into the kitchen. There were several glass vats with fish swimming around in them. I picked my own fish for dinner. I could not help thinking I was also passing a death sentence on the fish selected.

The fish was a winner!

I took a walk along the sea side after dinner. The area is like a huge boardwalk. Except that it is about 40 feet wide and constructed with brick and stone from a thousand years ago or better.

Speaking of bricks, there are many in arches under buildings and walk ways. Some one told me the bricks were from the medieval times. He showed me how they were half the size of today’s brick. He was proud to explain how they had held up over the ages.

I desired ice cream. It is gelato here. You buy it at a galateria.
I enjoyed a soft chocolate on a cone.

Gelato back home in Utica is different. It is hard. Great taste. Better than present day gelato.

I figured out years ago when I visited Rome why there was a difference between Utica’s gelato and that of Italy. It is the time factor. My people came to the new world between 1880 and 1920. They brought with them the cooking and food of that time in Italy. Gelato was hard back then.

Time changes everything. From the hard delicacy of yesteryear to the softer one of today. Both good. Again however, I prefer the older.

Never made Portofino yesterday. I get comfortable and say another day. I am running out of days. This afternoon Portofino is on my schedule. A car is not the way to get there. No parking. I have been told to take the train. For one stop only. Then a boat for a short ride to Portofino. Not easy. But I will ge there.

Enjoy your day!

One comment on “DAY 39

  1. Happy Birthday a day early. Your daily presentation of this “trip of a lifetime” is great. May you have a special birthday this year. HAPPY BIRTHDAY

    Tom and Fran Dixon
    Buffalo, NY

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