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Rodi Garganico

September 17
Written September 17-19 and Oct 6

Dear Family and Friends,
Monday morning was cool, but showed some sun.  Our drive from Ascoli to Rodi was planned for three hours, but we knew it would take more, it always did.  The stop in Rodi was inserted to break up what would have otherwise been a six hour drive to our next REAL destination, a farm in the far south.  The route choice was to stay on autostradas for the most part  theday and go on back roads starting the next day.  (I was not sure there was the choice of autostradas down there.)

Monday evening:  Our three hour drive took somewhat over four.  The autostrada was fine, except when a car fire closed it around Pescara and we had to exit with no concept of where to go.  Gertrude the navigator just wanted us back on the (closed) autostrada.  No one at the toll booth would help and it was anything but obvious how to continue. Eventually we were headed south again, no thanks to the schrubs left to grow growing in front of key road signs.  Oh well, it only cost us about an hour.  We survived.

Once we left the autostrada, heading toward Rodi Garganico, the roads were empty, the countryside was dry and flat, and we really had that off-the-beaten-path feeling.  After 45 minutes of such roads, we hit the twisty roads that surround Rodi.  These would have been scenic, if we were not hurrying to reach the hotel before the end of the lunch hour.

We did make it in time to the Park Hotel Villa Americana.  Anna, the owner, checked us in without much English, and  promised us her son would be able to speak our language "later".  The room was not ready yet, but Marianne and the German-speaking maid clarified that we would get lunch first anyway.  Anna then proceeded to bring us to the hotel restaurant where we joined a bus tour group at the mid-day meal.

The meal turned out to be pretty good.  Marianne had a whole fish, I had some cheese, and we shared a giant platter of grilled vegetables.  Pretty healthy.  Red and white wine were on tap, literally, apparently without limit.  Pretty unhealthy.

After our heavy meal, Marianne and I walked down to the port and back up through the narrow passageways of the historic old town.  Although most places were closed for the post-lunch rest, it generally seemed like a pleasant place.  Definitely old Italy.

We walked around some Monday evening and settled for wine and pizza not far from the hotel.  We actually tried a real restaurant, but could not get the waiter-owner's attention, so we left after 15 minutes.  A lesson: never eat where the waiter is grumpy.

On Tuesday morning, I went for another sunrise walk.  A nice walk, even if the photos were not extraordinary. 

Conclusion on Rodi Garganico: A small seaside resort that has seen better times, or a fishing village that is surviving, or an up-and-coming yacht harbor, I can't tell which. Perhaps in the summer season, it's a happening place, but in Mid-September it was very, very quiet.

Then, we were off to Masseria Selvaggi, in the neighborhood of Martina Franca, way south.  Another story.


John and Marianne


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