It’s a Sunday morning as we get ready to leave Bologna. Shay checks the weather report for Salerno hoping that the weather goddess has taken pity on our plight and granted us some sunny days on the Amalfi coast. Last night they were forecasting thunderstorms for what we were hoping would be the lounging beach part of our trip. Alas, our luck hadn’t changed. We found a taxi for the train station, we arrived in what felt like plenty of time. But as we are getting cappuccino we hear the announcer call our train. I chug my coffee, and abandon my orange juice. We do not want to be late. We get onto the train. Allora there is some confusion with some passengers about their seats or bags. They will not step aside to let us get our seats. But we are on the train. Things are worked out. We take out seats at a table. We are seated next to two other people. One clearly a symphonic conductor. He is listening to music, studying a sheet of music in front of him, and wildly waving his hands under the table as if he is conducting his feet. It’s a four hour train ride to Salerno. We’re heading south past Napoli. When I first started planning this trip I knew that I wanted to go to Southern Italy. I had heard so much about how different Southern Italians were from Northern Italians. I wanted to find out for myself. We did a quick study of the Amalfi it seemed like Salerno wasn’t as big or as busy as Positano or Sorrento. Plus we could go sailing with someone named Fabio “Let’s go there!” I booked us an adorable B & B and Shay booked our sailing. In the colds of February dreaming of sunshine and sailing warmed our hearts and ignited our spirits for the Italian south. After many stops and many seat mate replacements. We see Mount Vesuvius from the train.
We are here. Southern Italy home of Limoncello, Pizza and beautiful blue waters. Most people disembark at Naples. But we are going to the end of the line. At the start of our journey I had made the suggestion that maybe we should reach out to Fabio to see if we could possibly hop on this evening sailing. Shay had forgotten and so she messages him as we are getting into the B & B. It is sunny but spitting a little bit of rain. Great potential for a rainbow. We get into our B&B and the host hasn’t realized that we would be using the pullout couch. I contact Isabella to find out where the extra sheets and things are. “No need to worry.” She will come herself and set up the bed in “awhile.”
We’re hungry and a little tired. We look up some potential lunch places everything seems to be closed or on the brink of closing. We take a gamble and make our way to a pizza place. We ask for a table and there seem to be plenty of people in the restaurant with no sign of closing. Google lied, they aren’t closing. We order pizzas and pray that perhaps we’ve heard back from Fabio. No luck.
After lunch we’re both in need of a nap. This is a habit that I have gotten into while in Europe. Have lunch then take a nap. But, Shay is still resting when I sneak out to walk around a bit and find some gelato. Salerno is busy on this Sunday afternoon. People are out for pre-evening walks. I walk down to be by the water. It is windy and tiny sprinkles are falling from the sky.
The sea looks calm and I imagine that had our sailing been today it would have been a lovely evening for it. We really booked this stay around that activity. Which was a rookie mistake. I’m walking back up the main drag of shops, and restaurants when I see smoke bombs from the distance. People are marching a few blocks away, and can’t make out what their flags mean. Rather than stick around to find out I head back to the apartment. Europe seems a little volatile at the moment. When Dan and I were in Tuscany we saw some Anti-European Union signs. Italians wanting to leave the EU. We also saw some signs of Tuscani wanting to leave Italy. An idea that seems completely foreign to our American mindset. The difference being that Tuscany was there long before Italian unification in 1863. Still in our age of globalism it’s shocking to see this type of thing. The last time populist and fascism ruled Italy there was a world war that broke out. It’s easy to forget about the importance of European politics with our own political crisis at home.
Back at out B&B Shay is taking a bath. This is the only place that I’ve stayed in Europe with an actual bath tub. It’s a luxury here, and we picked up some bath bombs just for this occasion. When Shay emerges from the bath she still hasn’t heard anything from Fabio. We weigh our options for the evening and come up with some ideas for what the day could look like tomorrow if it’s raining all day. Shay has to work tomorrow from 12:00pm-3:00pm We decide to have a chill night because let’s be real Salerno isn’t known for it’s nightlife. We watch Netflix and make a plan to go to the market for salad makings later. As we are getting ready for bed the rain starts. We do not have thunderstorms in the Pacific Northwest very often. Even though the rain is putting a bit of a damper on our plans I’m enjoying the light show.
The next morning we wake up and it’s still raining. Shay had heard back from Fabio finally. He was sorry he hadn’t received our message sooner but he was out on the boat all day. He said not to worry that it may just rain in the morning and then pass us by for the evening.