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Sunset view from apartment balcony.

Sunset view from apartment balcony.

It’s much easier and more fun to travel in a foreign country with a bit of help from friends. We have many here in Scalea…who smooth all of the rough edges.

Silvio, our landlord, and Angelo wagged all of our bags up four flights of stairs.

Silvio, our landlord, and Angelo wagged all of our bags up four flights of stairs. (Sharon’s photo)

Our wonderful landlords grabbed a friend and picked us up at the train station after our 30 hour sojourn.

How many bags?

How many bags?

When the bags proved too much, even for two cars, several of us walked to the apartment.

Vincenzo and Adriana

Vincenzo and Adriana

Vincenzo, the man who has paved my way in Scalea since I met him on my first trip, seems to make any wish come true. If I need something, he provides it. Two years ago when I asked for a place where all of my granchildren could visit, he found our lovely apartment by the sea with a landlady who speaks English. It has lots of space and quite a lot of privacy for five women living in community. The universe provides, too. When we woke on Monday morning with the realization that we should have a car, I was obsessed with getting the job done. I thought of Vincenzo. When I tried to call him, my phone talked to me in full sentences that were beyond my comprehension of Italian. My guess was that I needed to buy minutes. IMG_0707I left the Monday Grower’s Market (sad face) and rushed to the phone store, knowing that the manager would understand it and translate. Re-charged, I was able to call and leave a message for my friend. My other errand for the morning was to get some photos printed for my sister’s birthday, so while I waited for them to be ready, I sat at the main coffee shop where many of the locals meet.   Presently I felt a tap on my shoulder, “Lynda, come stai?” The universe had provided Vincenzo. Within 30 minutes I had picked up my passport and we were ordering a car at his friend’s rental shop, about 3 miles out of town. Somehow, he convinced Giuliano to bring the car to our apartment when it was ready.

Five women in this tiny Fiat Panda provided lots of laughs.

Five women in this tiny Fiat Panda provided lots of laughs.

Riding back with Giuliano in our rental, I reminded him that I had rented from him in the past. He said he didn’t remember, but when we pulled up near his office and I got out of the car to fill out the necessary papers, he handed me the key and waved me away. “When you return it,” he said. What???? The man doesn’t even know my name! Thanks, Vincenzo.

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Carlieta’s photo

Jessica is another friend I met through Vincenzo. Our schedules didn’t mesh easily this year but still she invited us to her lovely little vineyard/farm in the hills above Scalea. Her hospitality is always warm and welcoming. She gave my friends more insight into life in Italy as well as a wonderful time of food and camaraderie.

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Sharon’s photo

We continued to be watched,

Too big to carry back from market!

Too big to carry back from market!

granted favors, and cared for in IMG_0982our visit here. From the kind farmer who granted my wish for watermelon and delivered it to my apartment to Philomina, our favorite shopkeeper, our new and old friends are the ones who keep us going…and keep us coming back.

Gina and Silvio

Gina and Silvio

And, btw, Gina and Silvio helped us with all of those bags again…delivering us to the station on our last morning. When Silvio left for work, Gina stayed behind, waving goodbye from the platform. Friends to the end.

The Wanderer

TRAVEL NOTES:

Want to rent a car? Giuliano De Presbiteris owns AUTONOLEGGIO in Scalea. Cell 338 8371594

If you need a luxe minibus to carry up to 7 people in style, email angelomarino3461@libero.it or call 328 3147933. He’ll get you from Naples to Scalea, to the airport, to the train station…or anywhere you’d like to go.