Friday, October 8, 2010

saying good bye to Auntie Teresa

On September 9th my aunt Teresa passed away. The memories of the times spent in Italy in that little house overlooking the crystal clear waters of the Ionian Sea from one balcony and the mystical mountains from the other balcony will never be just a memory. We had some wonderful times with my aunt when we would go to Montepaone for the summers. She would always make it special for us since she had no children of her own. My uncle and my aunt were a great couple. After he husband passed away she lost interest in many of her daily routines. The house she once loved she just abandoned . She would just sit on her steps outside waiting for all the other widows to sit and talk for hours about anything and everything. This became her life. It made her happy just hang with the women on the ruga(the little street ).
When I would go visit her the last couple of years . I would find her wondering the little streets or just sitting in the little chair made out of wood and stray looking as if she was lost. Then she would notice me and she would laugh and with in a split second she would cry. When I last saw her in June I knew I would not see her on that little chair again with her friends.
After her funeral I returned to the house which was left to my family and started to clear all the years of clutter she had left behind.
Now I have started to sit with the ladies in the ruga who tell stories of my aunt in her last years, and stories of my mom and dad and of all the Monteponese that are departed.
While in that house and town I noticed how happy I was . It is the simplicity of life that these wonderful people have showed me and I miss that now that I am home in the States. Auntie Teresa lived that simple life . I know today that is why she never wanted to leave that little house in that special little town in Calabria.
My brother and sisters and I will be traveling to Italy more often and never take for granted what was left to us.
Our family home passed down from our parents who also owned the house with auntie Teresa.

Calabria is always been the most special place on earth for us.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Friends in Calabria

Four years ago I meet David of Steiman and Gentile a Bus touring company in Calabria. I knew after hiring this family business that I would not use anyone else. They are wonderful, caring people. No matter who the driver is they are always careful while driving. (You all know what driving is like in Italy. They drive like crazy people!!!!)
Every tour group I have taken to Italy, always comments on the drivers.
This year David invited my family and my friends to his house in Staletti. This beautiful town is 20 minutes from the beautiful grounds of Cassiodoro where we were staying. David, his mother, and his girlfriend Anna had a wonderful pizza night for us. It was a perfect night . The stars lit up the sky as we ate outside in the fresh mountain air , while the moon reflected on the beautiful sea beneath us.We enjoyed the local wines and cheese of the are along with wonderful conversation.
I am glad my sister and my friends were able to enjoy themselves with the many friends I have made in BELLA CALABRIA!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Calabria, Sicily, and auntie Teresa

We just got back from another trip to bella Calabria. This time we stayed at a palace called Cassiodoro in Staletti province of Catazaro. There were 10 of us in all. We each rented flats on this beautiful manicured grounds. It is located about 2 miles from the sea. Our room had the most amazing views of the coast. This location is very family friendly and was very relaxing. We would spend the day at the beach and with the temperatures in the high 80's is was very refreshening to come back to the beautiful breeze this location offered all day. The owners were right you do not need air conditioning at the place.

My stay in Calabria is always bitter sweet. I go visit my aunt who health is in decline. She hardly knows who were are . It is sad to find her roaming the streets of Montepaone looking for someone to keep her company. If she could only remember she has company all the time. This time I took my sister with me who had not been in Italy for 10 years, and only now could she understand what was happening to her aunt Teresa. We would go visit her 2 more times after that and said our goodbyes . Who knows if we will ever see her again in her little home and town of Montepaone.

Since I was traveling with another family I decided it was time to take them to may friends place is Lipari. La Villetta. We all loved it here. The people , the beaches and ofcourse the food.
I went back to Stromboli with them. This time instead of the volcano spitting out lava, we were finishing up our drinks at the bar when we hear a load explosion ! People were running out of stores, bars, homes looking scared and confused. I was just trying to pay the bill, when I asked what happened? The young girl at the cashiers desk had tears in her eyes and said she though that the volcano had finally exploded. Lucky for us it did not. Well we did not get to see to much lava that night as our boat docked on the waters in front to the volcano. Like my friends said "We got to experience the real deal "

Lipari was great. It was very hot and we were ready to go back to Calabria to our breezy apartments. On the day before we departed, we walked to the town of Staletti. If you are looking for granita look no further than Bar Jolli. They travel form all over for this granita.It is the best.