We flew back to Rome at the awful hour of 7am from Dublin and to a lovely 26degrees where we were met at the airport by city taxis and taken to our B and B to collect our heavier luggage and were then dropped at the main train station for our journedy of 2 1/2hours to Boiano. Our friend Liberato picked us up and we went directly to Roccamandolfi where we had dinner with him, his wife Giulia and their little girl of eighteen months Caterina who we have seen every six months from when she was 3months old. It was interesting to see her development from small baby to a happy, smiling toddler.

We went and uncovered the van in it’s nice dry garage on the 13th May ready for our Summer tour to Greece, Turkey and across Italy, France, Spain and to Morocco. It took us a week to organise our things and then have everything taken up to the van again and have it serviced in Campobasso and buy a few more useful things for the van.

We didn’t realise that onthe 16th May the “Giro D’Italia” cycle race was taking place on the neighbouring mountain “Campitello Matese” so we went into Boiano, half and hour away to see the parade of all the support and promotional vehicles.
We took our friends out to lunch to “La Locanda” in a small neighbouring village and had the usual four courses of a lunch.
Needless to say no further food was required for the rest of the day.

We really appreciate our base in Roccamandolfi where the mountains are beautiful,the air is fresh, there are no other tourists but the town is well supplied with five bars, a couple of pizzerias, a nice restaurant, a few general shops where you can actually smell the nectarines and tomatoes when you enter the doorway. There are many birds singing in the morning and in the afternoon you can hear the cuckoos across the valley. Ocassionally the wolves howl from across the mountains and we saw a fox crossing the road as well as the shepherd with his flock of sheep.

One afternoon we went up the mountain to an open field where they celebrate Ferr’Agosto (the biggest holiday in Italy)on the 15th August. We were lucky enough to be there on a couple of occasions where people camp out and BBQ and generally enjoy themselves.
We are sorry to be leaving our lovely friends and Maurice’s favourite little girl here Roccamandolfi. A great place for a relaxing holiday with lovelyl mountain walks.

We made our way leisurely to my relatives in Sezze on the 21st May stopping to buy some delicious fruit and fresh buffalo mozzarellas on the way. We spent a nice ten days with my relatives mainly eating and making merry with one trip to the coast visiting Nettuno/Anzio which I had heard a lot about because from the landings during the war in 1944.
We also attended a small cousin’s end of year production which was nice to see. She was an enthusiastic butterfly and another cousin was the group’s teacher for the last year and who organised the whole thing.

We made our way to the ferry in Bari on the 1st June for the ten hour trip to Igoumenitsa on the Greek coast to start our month long exploration of the mainland and a couple of the islands.

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