Cilento Esplorando

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After the first of what would become my morning meditation ritual on the balcony surveying my new territory, I reluctantly pulled myself away to prepare for the adventures of our first full day of Cilento Exploring.

George was already up and showered, so actually it was me holding things up. I sometimes love the particular “spot” I am in at the time, or “view” I am taking in and become slightly reluctant to “move on”. Please don’t mistake this as an inability to change on my part, because I will decide to change the largest things in my life, like where I live, spontaneously. It’s the small moments, the “snapshots” of life where I pause for reflection. This may be the only trait that somewhat grounds me. I consider myself a “citizen of the world” and George is right there with me. Home is where we are at any given moment. . .

So, the shower . . . a small moment in the shower . . .well, this would fit my definition of “camping out”. I knew as I stepped in it would be interesting. You see, we had a great shower, but although we were able to arrange remotely for a kitchen to be installed on the blank wall with pipes, we had not managed to handle the Shower Situation.

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Esattamente. No shower surround. Well, I smiled to myself, the bathroom will always be clean, because it will also get washed in its entirety each day during my shower!

So, a few minutes and a shower-shined bathroom later, we were on to grab some colazione (breakfast) as we planned the days’ events. We drove a couple of kilometers down to Marina di Casalvelino, where we became part of the view from our balcony to join the local crowd at Isola Verde, a cool beachfront bar, for a pastry and cafè. We enjoyed everything about it so much, that this, too, would become a ritual.

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We decided that Casalnuovo Cilento, the very old hilltop town to which we were now technically local citizens (cittidini) of, should appropriately be our first visit. Set high on the hill on the side of Villa Velina that is away from the ocean we wove our way up and down the winding road to Casalnuovo.

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Once on the ancient castle grounds, we spotted our next destination. Out the back, across the valley very high on a hill we saw a small town. Once I captured the magnificent view of it, we used our iPhones to map a route to it and learned it was called Salento. This would be our post-pranzo (after lunch) adventure!

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Cilento Life

So, here we were, waking up in Italy in our very own home for the first time! This would be our first full day in Villa Velina since we settled on the property the last day of our honeymoon, six months prior. Other than the hour that we viewed the property three days before buying it back in June we had never visited Italy south of Naples.

Under the Tuscan Sun has always been one of our favorite movies, due to our love of Italy, but it was never our intention to impulsively buy a property in Italy or anywhere else. In reality, that only happened in the movie version of Frances Mayes story. In real life, she had rationally purchased a home in Cortona only after spending about 20 summers there. We often giggle to ourselves that Hollywood would not have to alter our story, since we just do what is the unthinkable for most normal (normale) people.

Since it was Thanksgiving week, it was well into November and we had the chance to witness the winter weather patterns for the very first time. We have incredibly indescribable views from Villa Velina, which is why we decided to buy it sight unseen after one email conversation with Luisa from Property Organizers.

The very first thing I did upon waking on this first morning was walk out on the balcony and view my “new empire”. From the far right, I could see the valley, some farms and olive groves.

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As I panned to the left, directly in front of me stood Monte Stella, a 3,711 foot high reportedly extinct (hopefully true) volcano. I just stared at “her”, my jaw dropped in childlike wonder. This was just the beginning of a morning ritual for me. The clouds were so dramatic.

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Then, continuing to pan further to the left was our perfect slice of the Tyrrhenian Sea!

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I knew one thing for sure, there would be much sky gazing during my days at Villa Velina!

Ciao!

Jo (Giovanna)