Monday, August 13, 2012

Hot August Night

Sunrise on a thunderhead Saturday 
Do you remember the Hot August Night album by Neil Diamond around 1972? Some of my favorite music.  Well, we have had plenty of hot nights this August and also in July. We can't compete with the USA that has set all-time heat records, nor with Israel that has had the hottest summer in the 60-year history of the state, nor with India---BUT, Southern Europe has been very hot since late June.

Clouds have been a rare sight this summer and we enjoy when they arrive!
The forecast was for thunderstorms Saturday. Nothing here, but nice, pretty cloud build-ups to the south, and the air has cleared. Our great 15 mph breeze returned, so maybe things are going back to “normal”. An Irish friend just arrived and he’s sooo thankful to get away from the relentless, record-setting rain that Ireland and the UK have had this summer. Is it climate change or a nasty cycle?!!

This is the month we generally avoid the crowds in the beach towns where there is a tripling of the population during the August holiday. Wednesday we decided to get away from the crowds and go to the mountains for lunch while taking an air conditioned drive where we have not been before. Silly us, the higher we got, the hotter it got – up to 36C/96.8F vs. a high of 30 here at the house!

Di wisely suggested that we should not re-visit a previous find--a restaurant with marginal food and blaring TV near the A3 highway near Mormanno just 45 minutes east of us. We stopped instead at the Agriturismo Aria Fino .  It is a nicely done place, clean--friendly horses and friendly staff that spoke clear Italian. The staff, not the horses :)  

Water in a pitcher vs. plastic bottle was a nice touch
Di enjoys the shade with a nice breeze

We were the only dining customers and apparently there were no guests in the rooms--for the peak of the August holiday. Maybe they do better in the cooler shoulder seasons – we did not question the family.  They served a typical mountain menu heavy on pasta and meat, but no fish.  Such a place is likely to have soup in the winter, so we’ll call to see if they are open come January.

Driving north to make a loop home, we followed a very curvy road from Mormanno to Castelluccio which is a town of about 3-4,000 in the mountains.  In the photo you see there is the old town (superiore) and the newer additions below (inferiore).  They actually had TWO FUNCTIONING STOP LIGHTS!! 

Just 15 minutes further, avoiding the A3 Autostrade, we reached Lauria. It is an attractive mountain town with some good shopping and good views! I still cannot believe how rugged, beautiful and undeveloped the mountains of Calabria and Basilicata are. A worthwhile jaunt.
Lauria (Lor-EE-ya)

Ciao, Guido

Di admired this farm house near Lauria 


  1. Just wanted to tell you Thank You for your amazing blog
    I love to read it at night.
    Also how is Vince doing?

  2. Thank you Teresa. Vince is slowing with arthritis, but keeps chugging up and down all the steps each day. He likes it here and is not afraid of the air tankers this season.



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