Posted by: jimndianne | October 23, 2009

Hilltop Villages


Of course we should be staying much longer in Rome but remember, our aim here is not simply to be tourists but to mix in the search for desirable property. So we hired a car for ten days from Hertz at the main railway station and without a proper map (none were available anywhere) we tried to find the easiest way out of Rome. Our first couple of attempts were thwarted because of a huge demonstration/march by the Italian Communist Party, blocking all streets near the station! Just our luck!  However, after going around the entire station area three times our intrepid navigator managed to find the road we needed to exit towards the Abruzzo region to the east.

Within a few hours we were well away from Rome passing through Tivoli in easy traffic. It didn’t take long before we were winding our way through gorgeous mountain ranges, blown 021away by the sight of ancient hilltop towns perched as high up as they could go! On almost every mountain top you see these towns, at least 150 years old, standing proudly, ready as they would have been all those years ago to defend themselves against marauding armies. I took numerous photos of these as they are so awe-inspiring and hope you can see what I saw in the photos below. They just blew both of us away!

Jim is doing a fantastic  job of driving on all these winding roads and although I have my name down as a driver too I know I can’t cope with the giant drops at either side and will leave it up to him in such circumstances.

Found a little Snack Bar for lunch (panini with salami & cheese/chicken roll & cheese) heated in a sandwich press. Cheap and cheerful with a bottle of Minerale water to go with it.  Around 4pm we located a place to spend the night 030 at Hotel Park, Tagliacozzo, with a window view out across to yet  another hilltop village  – sublime!  At €85 per room, including  breakfast, this seems to be about the going rate in a hotel or guest  house.  We discovered an025 interesting piece of information here  after chatting  with an Italian  guest who spoke  reasonable  English.  He told us that 44 people, himself included, who had been  evacuated from L’Aquila were staying in this hotel after the  dreadful earthquake there in April this year. Over 300 people lost  their lives and all remaining citizens have been given a roof over their heads in hotels etc while their homes are all being rebuilt. A dozen or more children were staying at the hotel too enjoying playing with new toys and wearing new clothing supplied to them. Must have been horrendous for them to experience at the time.

The trees are all sporting the most beautiful autumn colours everywhere we look. Can’t stop myself taking photos! There are also heaps of chestnuts for sale from the backs of trucks and acorns litter the ground. The olive trees are fully laden with their fruit just waiting to be picked. 038

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