Friday, December 18, 2009

Buon Natale from Santa Domenica Talao

If you read some of my other posts here, you know that our Visa Application is currently at the consulate under review.  I’m having a much harder time not worrying about it than the last time (it expired before we were able to move).  I am sufficiently distracted at work but now that I am home for the weekend, I keep checking the USPS tracking to see if they have sent our visas in the mail yet (self-addressed Express Mail).  So far no luck---jeez they have had it for a whole day now!

It’s time to think about other things.  Since it's the Christmas season--this will be my Christmas post.  My only Christmas wish for myself is to have my Visa before New Years.  For the world, let's really try the Peace thing, OK?  We spent last Christmas in Santa Domenica Talao, so I thought I’d share some of those pictures to say Buon Natale to you:

The days began slowly in December with cloud pictures like these.  We drank our American camp coffee at our usual rising hour of 5 AM (not too many bars open yet) and fought with the gas fireplace that was refusing to warm the 2 foot thick walls very quickly.  If we were going freeze anyway, we took to the streets in the evening to catch the local Christmas Bazaar:

If you want to try a Calabrian Christmas where
you live-- check out My Bella Vita

Decorations are definitely sparser than in the US--Italians don't waste electricity.  I am surprised there was even this much in the way of lighting:


              BUON NATALE da DIANA e GUIDO!

Friday, December 11, 2009


We sold our farm in Oregon in order to prepare to move to Italy.
It is located in central Oregon and its name is Rainshadow after a weather phenomenon explained at this website:
Cascades Rainshadow Effect (It discusses the effect in Washington State, just north of us).
There was no dearth of weather interest there, it just didn’t rain much and thunderstorms were very rare.

Doug and I come from the Great Lakes States where thunderstorms are very prevalent.  We love them and missed them while we were living in Oregon.  We are the kind of people who want a weather station at the house and maybe a weather cam.  We should have been meteorologists.  We hoped we would have thunderstorms in Calabria but weren’t sure exactly what the weather patterns would be.

Well, we weren’t disappointed!  WOW!!  Rain and Storm it did!  This picture was taken from our front
door in Santa Domenica:

Friday, December 4, 2009

Beaches in Southern Italy--Il Mare Tirreno

The weather has turned rather unseasonably cold here.  Ok, it’s December but it doesn’t usually get this cold so fast in Hood River. I felt totally comfortable in my winter coat, hat, and gloves---actually I could have used a scarf.  I have lived in cold climates all my life so I’m used to it, I can survive.  I have even split a cord or two of wood in my time.  Just to prove I’m not afraid of winter, here I am having a great time on cross-country skis in my silly fake fur comfy ski coat:

Regardless, I have always been a person who loves the sun and the water.  I’ve got the wrinkles to prove it.  We decided to move to Southern Italy in part for the climate, the sea, and the beaches.  There are a lot of warm places in the world with beaches,  I haven’t been to most of them.  I’m sure they are wonderful.  Cozumel, Mexico comes to mind, Hawaii and Florida come to mind. OK, that’s the sum total of ALL the places besides Italy where I have beached.  I’m a romantic and nothing beats the Mediterranean for a romantic.  First, a small Geography lesson.  According to the Italian Tourism website, Italy has 7,600 km of coastline and some of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean--the Ligurian Sea, the Sardinian Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea in the west, the Sicilian Sea and the Ionian Sea in the south and the Adriatic Sea in the east. The beaches I have seen and enjoyed so far in Italy have all been on the Tyrrhenian Sea, (probably the hardest word to remember how to spell in the world--the Italian is easier Mare Tirreno) and are at or south of the Yellow marker shown below:

What follows are some beach scenes of Italy we have experienced so far.  I am so looking forward to many, many more:

The most southern beach that we experienced was south of Tropea--Capo Vaticano.  Folks come to scuba and snorkel here.

Next--going North up the Coast,
famously beautiful Tropea.  We also
took Italian lessons here.  That's another

This is me snokeling here (or it appears, relaxing either before or after snorkeling).  Just to prove I don't just look and take photos.  Actually, Doug takes most of the photos which is why you almost never see him in a picture.

Coming closer to home, Grand Hotel San Michele, Cetraro.  This lovely hotel has an awesome beach that is reached by an unreal elevator:

And, we end up at our home beaches below Santa Domenica Talao:

See you at the Beach!


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