We had a chance meeting at Rome airport on our arrival with our Roccamandolfian Raffaele and Antonietta who had flown in from Sydney (we had flown in from Doha).
A few nice warm days in Rome visiting family and having nice walks in the ‘Parco della Caffarella’was just what we wanted.
We visited the ‘Fosse Ardeantine’ the graves of 300 people killed in a reprisal during the war. We had read an interesting book the ‘Scarlet and the Black’ about the German colonel and the Vatican priest Hugh O’Flaherty.

We got back by train to Isernia and then by bus to Roccamandolfi on the 20th May. It was much cooler there and we had the fire going most nights. We packed up several boxes with things we had stored at the house for the last 5 1/2 years and deposited them in the garage which had previously housed our van during winter. We made a detailed list of everything in each box which was a pain staking job.
They will be dispatched to a container in Milan and then on to Genoa for the 46day trip to Perth later in the year.

We spent a lovely last time in Joe’s house and met with Antonietta and Raffaele to enjoy several meals together and to gather leafy mountain greens at the top of “Campitello Matese”. We had a nice meal together with Joe’s cousin Maria and Ada another friend.
When we had serviced the van and had everything sorted and ready for shipping we set off for Sezze and a round of visits with all my cousins. We had a couple of relaxing days by the sea and hosted a party for about 60 of my 70 relations there.

It was sad leaving both Roccamandolfi, Sezze and Mary in Tuscany as we were not going to be back there for a few years.

On our way up the coast two weeks later my cousin Alessio welcomed us to the wonderful seafood restaurant “La Rosa dei Venti” at Orbetello where he is the Maitre’D. Being right near the coast the seafood was very fresh and delicious. We then made our way up to between Panzano and Greve in Chianti, half way between Siena and Florence to visit our 93 year old friend Mary who had a lovely replacement Ukrainian carer named Oliena and an Australian friend Sue from Melbourne who was also visiting her.

We enjoyed meals and scrabble games together and on Mary’s recommendation we all went to the tiny quaint village of Volpaia for a memorable lunch under the trees and overlooking the Tuscan hills. We also had two amazing English women to lunch. One 80 and the other 84 who had driven over from England. They entertained us with their travel stories as they had been to nearly every part of the globe (save China) and had driven all over Australia last year. They remimded us of the “two fat ladies” (although only one was large) who were popular with their cooking show years ago.

Mary lives in the middle of forest, vineyards and olive groves and we saw wild boar and deer close to the van but luckily no snakes.
At night we could look out of the window of the van and see lights in the distance down the beautiful valley and even a few fire flies blinking by. We were very sad to leave Mary after four nights and hope that we can meet her there again one day.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.