It was nice to be back in Rome and the spring weather had started with temperatures of 24-25degrees for the first couple of days. We went with my cousin to have a delicious meal at a small trattoria and then to the Frida Kahlo exhibition which was superb with explanations in both Italian and English and old footage of the artist with her husband Diego Rivera and Trotsky who was staying with them before he was murdered.
It was held in the “Scuderi del Quirinale” opposite the president’s residence where special guards wearing helmets are  chosen when they are  least 2metres tall.
It had rained by the time we arrived in Roccamandolfi after our friends had picked us up from the train station and deposited us and our bags at home. We went to them for lunch and had lovely seafood pasta and met their lovely little 3month old daughter Caterina.
As soon as we got to the house Maurice lit the wood stove to warm the house after being empty for 9months.
We picked up Van Mauriceson and were treated to another lunch by the people looking after the van.
The change in weather was enough to give me bronchitis so I spend a day and a half then in bed and started with antibiotics.
We enlisted the help of one of the locals who had a tractor with a tray on the back to help us take all our goods including mattress/seats etc back up to the van which was parked high above the house where we stayed.
It was so much easier then lugging everything back up ourselves.
Spring was well in evidence already (although there was snow further up on the mountain tops) with trees full of new leaves and lots of blossom. On the 15th April it got really cold and snowed for a couple of days.
Maurice had never seen xnow falling so it was a novelty for him but he said that it was nice to see but after 2days he had had enough of the cold weather – it got down to 1 and 2 degrees – too cold for us.

Old habits die hard in the villages in Italy where the middle aged and older men gather in the bar (with the two of us) to drink coffee and (beer sometimes at 9o’clock in the morning)  play cards.  Wives are nowhere to be seen.  They are probably in the kitchen with their aprons on!

We moved off to the relatives for Easter on Thursday 17th hoping for warmer weather closer to Rome which we did get although we had a little bit of rain. On Good Friday we went up to the village of Sezze and watched the procession of hundreds of people who took part in the production of the Passion and various snapshots from the bible.  Each group stopped at various locations and recited pieces from the bible.  It was very professional and luckily it was not too cold.

After Easter Sunday lunch we had an impromptu afternoon visit to Naples for coffee  (2 1/2 hours from where we were nearer Rome) where we walked with some of our relatives for 3-4hours.  We love Naples – a very interesting and multi racial city with beautiful architecture and views of the bay of Naples and across to Vesuvius.

After a week of eating and drinking  (apart from a doctor’s visit to confirm Bronchitis and get more antibiotics) we headed down to Bari to catch the ferry on the 24th April to Dubrovnik and then on to Montenegro.

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