Thursday, February 24, 2011

Finding Worth

Spring was very definitely in the air last week...
We decided that our Nile cruise is on--after a month of waiting the "deal" requires us to make a decision, so we did. This post isn't about Egypt though, it's about traveling and why people do it and what you can expect if you visit us in Calabria. We are going to a very famous tourist area in Egypt because we have never been there before. When you have never been to a country, you feel you must hit the "high" points. Ergo, when we first came to Italy we crammed in Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre, Siena, and Rome. We did all the usual tourist things, except we didn't go to as many museums as is probably the norm, preferring people watching. We are very glad we made that trip--you don't want to live in Italy and have to tell people you've never been to Rome--but I reflect on that trip and realize that it's just not like us to visit a whole bunch of places making them notches on the belt. What do we enjoy when we travel? It seems to boil down to what Doug said he enjoyed the most in Venice. He would get up very early (as we do) and go down to a bar to get us both some coffee. He watched the locals getting their children off to school, their stores open, and taking their coffee at the bar around him. 

It's fun to go somewhere new and watch life unfold--be an observer--not someone with a stake in what unfolds. It's relaxing to watch without accountability. It's not the same as living in a place and meeting people with whom you will share accountability for how life unfolds. For this style of travel, it's best to be somewhere reasonably devoid of other tourists.

If you relate to this type of travel, you will enjoy coming to Calabria. It's part of the last of the old Italy, the way you think it is in Tuscany (but it's mostly not). There are few museums and the ones that are here are likely to be unadvertised. If you were to look up our area in the Lonely Planet, you would be told to pass it by because there is "nothing" here.  Yes, I say, go ahead and pass us by. You are leaving it all to those of us who can see what is here and what it's worth.


  1. Whilst I agree with you that Calabria is unspoilt I do not think it is the last of the old Italy as there are a few other secret hidden gems as well if what others say is true. Your Mimosa is looking beautiful.

  2. Yes, I agree--better to say it a bit less absolutely. I fear I tend toward the hyperbolic statement...

  3. I forgot to say that's not our Mimosa. Just one in town.

  4. No not exaggeration at all but maybe we should keep these facts secret :) Have a good weekend, hopefully it is warmer than here in Lazio where the Tramontana is blowing!

  5. We agree completely with what you are saying. Santa Marina and the surrounding area is similar to that. If you look around you can find the little gems and it feels like nobody else has ever found them because they don't ever feel touristy. We hate crowds of people and the beaches around us are such a tonic to go to, although we obviously avoid them in August when everybody is on holiday in Italy! Lonely Planet doesn't have much to say about our area either and we guess that is why people tend to pass it by too. They don't know what they are missing! Enjoy your Nile Cruise. John & Toni

  6. How I wish my area was like yours. That why I relish winter in Positano when the villagers have it back to themselves.

  7. Thanks John and Toni.
    I looked up where Santa Marina is located a while back. We'll have to check it out some day.

    Scintilla, I'll bet winter there is wonderful when the sun comes out!!



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