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From Salerno to Sicily



In good spirits you start a new week, only to soon discover that a few days will be spent being sick. We both get a hefty stomach flu. The end of the week ends positively when we finally arrive in beautiful Sicily.


Being sick in the caravan

At the beginning of the week we decide that after the storm in Salerno we want to drive further south on Wednesday. On Tuesday evening Rudolf already feels a bit tired, but in good spirits he still makes macaroni for two days. Then we will have dinner again tomorrow evening after a travel day. In the night from Tuesday to Wednesday he goes ‘ghosting’ through the caravan. In the dark looking for a tub, running to the toilet, you know it. The whole caravan enjoy! So we won't drive any further on Wednesday. I decide to go to the Lidl for a while, just in case................ yes and I shouldn't have thought so of course. At the end of the Wednesday afternoon, the stomach flu virus also strikes me. Only considerably worse than with Rudolf.


And then you wish you had a little more space. Space in bed, space to sleep separately, space to change clothes, or being sick in the caravan is less fun. And if you're sick together it's even worse ha,ha. Fortunately, it is a violent, but short-term virus and Rudolf recovers again in the course of Thursday and I am on Friday. (although I'm rickety in the car)


Looking for a pizzeria with Google Maps

On Friday we will drive a bit south. We end up at camping Mimosa, not recommended, but for one night it is doable.Since the macaroni is ultimately no longer preserved, we are looking for a pizzeria. Google maps is also very useful for this. Rudolf spotted a few and in good spirits we drive there at 6pm. Arriving at the first pizzeria, the employee says they won't be open until 7pm. There is something else on Google maps, but that aside. In good spirits, Rudolf from Google maps asks the route to the second pizzeria. Google has quite a bit of trouble with that. Through a remote part of the port she wants to lead us to the second pizzeria and because Rudolf misses turns, Google gets completely confused. Finally we arrive at the second pizzeria, which is on Google, but not in the street. Either this one doesn't exist (anymore). Then right through the town to the third pizzeria. Google doesn't always take one-way traffic into account either and you can imagine that it causes a nice thunder in the car. The third pizzeria is reached and it turns out, it's a bit kitsch, but a lot of Italians get there and that's always good!. Two delicious pizzas for only €10.50. With Google maps you go a long way, but a piece of healthy geographical sense of direction is also useful.



Tourist Trap haven Villa San Giovanni

From Salerno to the south (Reggio Calabria) runs a good motorway. It turns out not to be a toll road, but the road is surprisingly good. This mainly saves in the toll costs, because there are not for the last 400 km to Villa San Giovanni where we take the boat to Messina. In 2004 we drove this route for the first time, round trip, but then there was no highway. In 2017 we only drove the route north, we had then travelled by boat from Genoa to Palermo.


When you arrive at the port of Villa San Giovanni, people are mainly waiting for foreign tourists. In 2004 we were guided and we were well helped, but after the help the person in question asked for extra money for this. Fortunately, Rudolf didn't have money with him at the time, but it's a real tourist-trap. And they are quite cheeky and tough in appearance, and not easy to get rid of. When we went back from Messina in 2017, we left the caravan a little earlier and I already bought the tickets and we didn't fall into this trap anymore. We were very curious what it would be like now.


Sure enough, as soon as we came driving, a male came running from the side to supposedly help us. We told very clearly that we could do it ourselves and the employee behind the counter had to laugh about it.I don't know if that's why, but we did get a hefty discount on the caravan crossing price. Instead of €72,- we only paid €39,- for the caravan. (+ €35,- for the car). It is well arranged in the harbour, there are several lanes where you can buy your ticket from the car. Please note, after you have bought the ticket you have to drive a little further through the town and that is not always well signposted. Just like often in Italy, but more about that another time.


It seems like we are just going to Texel, even the crossing only takes 20 minutes. Where you arrive in the middle of the city of Messina and continue driving right through the city with your caravan. Of course, the three of them next to each other on two lanes and double parking can also be taken into account. The adventure in Sicily can begin.


Savoca

When you think of Sicily, you don't immediately think of Savoca, but parts of the movie The Godfather have been shot in this village. It is only 5km from the campsite with a climb of 400m, so Rudolf seems like a good idea to do this by bike. He knew that! It was sweating, sweating, sweating for him. Not for me? You might think so, but my electric bike (Imove) is a little better suited for these climbs than his bike (Tenways). Let's be clear, these are not bikes to use in the mountains we are now behind haha.


Halfway through Rudolf has sweat on his head, gushing off. And I, now I'm the one trying to help him. Normally this is the other way around. He's really through it for a while. He doesn't want to turn around, it's even more 1.7 km. Google maps leads us down the back of the mountain to the village and that's a good thing if we see what we should have climbed past on the way back.


The village has only 1600 inhabitants, but is one of the most beautiful in Sicily. Also one of the best known. Bar Vitelli has remained completely in its old state, just like in the movie. You can take pictures there, but not film them. Unfortunately, the bar is closed on Mondays, so we can't sit inside, but we can admire the original terrace. Through the village we cycle / walk further up to the San Nicola church. Also featured in the film, as is the ‘wedding walk’ to church. The view is beautiful, well the church was also closed so then enjoy the surroundings.



While we visit the village of the movie The Godfather, a big boss of the Cosa Nostra is arrested in Palermo on the same day (Monday, January 16). He was already 30! Year in hiding. He just sat here in Palermo and spent years using his network to go into hiding. Fortunately, there are now no more practises like in the 80s and 90s in Sicily with many murders and bombings. They have adapted and now operate more in the upper world, in politics, healthcare, the waste industry and in the legal economy. Perhaps even more damaging to the economic society in Italy in the long run. The bike ride down the mountain is very easy, it can't be otherwise. Within 15 minutes we are back by the sea. The sun is shining, the weather is nice, time to have lunch and relax.



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