Friday, August 5, 2011

Crowds, Critters, and Construction

An Italian bumble-bee struggles with a broken wing on our Terrazzo--our Agosto hideout
It's Agosto and most of our summer visitors will be fleeing the Italian crowds soon. The population of Scalea truly triples with vacationing Italians returning to their holiday apartments. We are planning to photograph the teeming night-life in Scalea before the month ends--but normally we quietly avoid crowds and go to select events in our village. Even here, things can be hopping until 1:00 AM on a week night. How do we avoid the crowds? Some tips for all of you who may be planning to tour the Calabrian coasts in the high season:

  • Get up early. By 9:30, it's already too late in the stores. (Italians stay out late and tend to not get up early unless they have to).
  • If you want to be at a beach in relative peace, go where there are no big hotels within walking distance of your beach, and show up when the Italians leave for lunch and a nap (1-4 PM). (Although we arrive early to get a good spot, and just enjoy the time between 1-4).
  • Drive back roads and find routes around the main corsos.
  • Arrive for lunch right at 12:30 or 1 and beat the crunch at 1:30.
  • Find places to eat on the back streets. We find few people eating out for lunch this year (economy?) and more going out at night. If you get to a restaurant at 8:00 you beat the main gang that arrives to eat dinner at 9:00. 
It's more fun (now and then) to be with the tourist crowds here because at least they are Italians, but because they are Italian, the driving is absolutely nuts and supermarkets are crazy.
Doug's been busy with his long lens on the terrace. We have a pair of lizards who live there. (Liz and Zard). Pictured below is Zard. These critters are all over Calabria and are so very cute! The bumble bees (first picture) here look at first glance like giant flies. Not as cute--although they do have a bluish glaze on their wings. We also have hummingbird moths that are smaller than the ones in Oregon. Butterflies also look for a drink here--mostly swallow-tail relatives.

Zard was kind enough to pose long enough for Doug to change to a long lens.

The swifts are gone for the season, but the dove family is still looking for accomodations for a third brood. We tolerated the first two but Doug came up with the idea of blocking their efforts with a big ugly rock that I changed into a little lamb.

This critter is an Ibis from Egypt but I keep thinking a bird landed on the table.

The neighbor's house is coming along very nicely! I have to say that I like real terra cotta roof tiles better than these modern look-alikes but you can't beat those hefty ceiling beams!


  1. Very nice colours with the flowers and the lizard.


  2. The picture of Zard is great. But I cannot imagine: How big is he really?

  3. Oh, he's not so big--about the size of a fat pen with legs.

  4. Lovely photos, just called by to wish you a Buon Ferragosto :)



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