How to buy a Place in Italy – Part 20

If you are contemplating buying a place in Italy or anywhere in Europe you must consider the lifestyle of that area. Europeans live different from we do. You should understand that and adjust your expectations. Some things to be considered are:

  1. Car sizes are typically smaller. This is because gas is so much more expensive (about $10/gallon in Italy but cars get 50-70 mpg). There are also many small cities where a larger car will NOT fit through the streets. We like having a hatchback in Italy. You can fold down the seats and carry most things you buy easily. You can find big american cars like Jeeps but they are rare and you need to be well off to afford to operate them.
  2. Cars are usually stick shift. Mountain roads are windy and many do not have guard rails (similar to California). Using your brakes on a downhill can wear them out and cause a fatal accident. Stick Shift (manual transmission) offers lower gears to help slow the car down without breaking.
  3. People in Europe tend to live outside even in winter. Their houses are very small by our standards. Kitchens are small, bathrooms are small and bedrooms are small. Houses and condo’s of 300-5– sq ft are large there. There always are large palatial mansions for millions of dollars but the typical home is small. Italians love to eat outside with family and friends. Balconies and decks are common.
  4. There are typically no closets. You need to buy an armoire (wardrobe) for your clothes.
  5. You usually do not get a kitchen even in a resale. There are furniture stores (Mobile) that sell full kitchens with cabinets and appliances.
  6. A typical day has stores open in morning until about 12:30 or 1 pm. Then everything except restaurants and touristy places close down. They reopen around 4pm and stay open until 8 or 9 pm. During the noon break, families spend time together. They eat lunch, walk together and meet up with friends. If you are looking for something during this closed time, you will not find it. Plan your day with this in mind.
  7. Wine is always cheaper when order as “House Wine” (vino di casa). It comes by the glass, 1/2 liter or full liter carafe. Some restaurants do sell bottles of wine but they are more expensive.

The most important thing about buying a Place in Italy is having fun! Determine what your most important criteria is. Ours was views. Set your budget. You can negotiate as you do here. Understand all your monthly bills (water, gas, electric, garbage and taxes). These can be paid monthly, every 2 or 3 months, semi annually or annually (depending on the area). Once you buy, make friends with your neighbors and store owners in town. Italians are friendly people and love Americans.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Closing a property in Italy, Europe, General Travel, Italy, Money, Owning a home in Italy, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to buy a Place in Italy – Part 19

Well we are back from our second stay at our Italian villa. Life goes on but we still dream of the sites, the people, the food, the wine, the gelato, the beaches … and on and on. In this BLOG we will discuss some of the considerations of buying a place outside the USA. First you need to find your dream place, The internet is full of places for sale. We chose solely on the views. Once you find a place and negotiate your price, you will need to transfer money as a down payment. We did this by wire transfer from our US account to the owners account in Italy. We were working through a realtor in the UK.

Money transfers are a big thing in this day and age of terrorism. Our Homeland Security requires documentation of any foreign account that is over a dollar value even for a day (when we did the transaction it was $50,000). Check the web for current restorations. There is no tax due on this amount (it is NOT the IRS). It just notifies our government that you had an account with substantial funds and the reason. We filed the paperwork and all was well. Not filing can lead to huge fines! In addition the Italian government requires paperwork on amounts over $5,000. We keep our transfers around $4,000 (which lasts a few years).

The next feat was to transfer the amount you will owe at closing. This can be $1000,000 to several million depending on your property. Of course if you take out a foreign mortgage that amount will be reduced by the mortgage amount. We decided to pay cash. The problem we had now was our government requires the person to be present when opening a foreign account. At the time we could not initiate a wire transfer remotely. We would have to fly to Italy open an account, fly back to the US and transfer the funds, then return to Italy for the closing. That would cost an extra $1200 to $1600 in airfare. Luckily we found companies like World First that transfer dollars to Euros and wire them into your foreign account. On smaller amounts they charge a small amount over the World Bank exchange rates. On large amounts they match it. Wiring from an US bank directly would cost a fee plus an extra 4-8% on the amount. If you were wiring even $100,000 that would be $4,000 to $8,000 extra.

In Europe kitchens do NOT typically come with a house (new or resale). People take all appliances, cabinets and sink with them. We had a beautiful tile wall with electric plugs and switches, pipes for water & drainage. That was our kitchen. We bought an entire kitchen and had it installed. It included refrigerator, stove (oven and cook top), sink and cabinets. It fit the wall perfect. We love our kitchen and it didn’t cost anything near what it would in the states. Refrigerators are very small by US standards. You do NOT need a big refrigerator/freezer. Italians use very little frozen items (mostly ice cream and ice cubes). They buy everything fresh each day so the refrigerator doesn’t need to be big. If you are going to buy in Europe, get into the lifestyle. Don’t try to fit our American standards to your European house!

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You will use your foreign account to pay taxes, water bills, garbage pickup bills, electric & gas bills. Most banks have electronic banking so you can control you account from the US. Most also do not translate their pages into English. You have to do some translation on your own and get use to the site. You can also setup auto pay with all bills except taxes and Garbage pickup fees. For us these two are about $500 a year payable half in summer and remaining half in December. The bank website has a special page to pay these taxes.

Tomorrow we will discuss Living style in Italy. Houses are small but people live outside a lot.

George & Jo Anne

Categories: Europe, General Travel, Home Land Security, Italy, Money, Owning a home in Italy, Xpats | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

How to buy a Place in Italy – Part 18

It’s Saturday morning, our last morning in Velina (Campania Italy). We have breakfast at the house and finish our packing. We meet with the owner we bought the condo from and his daughter (runs condo association). Our broken Italian doesn’t allow a deep conversation but we get by. We decide we need screens for the windows. We have seen them in a neighbors unit. George never thought they would be possible because the windows open in and shutters open out. Where would the screens go? They actually go between the window and the shutter but they roll over to one side allowing access to the shutters. Ingenious! We also learnt that we could buy an Air Conditioning unit if we wanted to. It installs under the boiler on the deck. All the hook ups are there and the cool air comes out of the heater units. Easy install!

It is time to close down the place for another year. We turn off power to stove and refrigerator, open the refrigerator door and wipe it down. We cover table, furniture, towel racks and bed in plastic. Finally we shut off gas and water on deck at the boiler. All windows and shutters are closed and locked. We exit and say good-by to our home in Italy. It is very sad to drive through the gates and up the driveway for the last time this year. We both look back to see the house one last time and the mountains.

The highway is only about 2 miles from our town. It is a good road until it is not. This is the road that washed away in heavy rains last winter. After exiting a long tunnel we are detoured onto a mountain road. It is only a 4 or 5 mile detour but traffic is heavy. It seems everyone is headed north plus it is a weekend. Then we are back on the good highway and headed to Agropoli and then the A3 autostrada. The A3 takes us past Salerno and then turns north-west towards Naples. Above Naples it becomes the A1 autostrada (Italy’s main highway). It is a wonderful road with three lanes (which the Italians turn into four lanes sometimes). There are now speed cameras installed everywhere. The days of no speed limits are long gone.

The A1 goes from Naples north to Rome then north to Florence then north to Bologna and then finally to Milan. These superhighways allow you to go 140 KM/Hr (87 m/hr) before the cameras catch you. We aways stop along the autostrada at an auto-grill for something to eat and a break from driving. The drive from Velina to Fiumicino airport in Rome is 4 to 4.5 hours. These auto-grills are great. They serve pastry, sandwiches, pasta, coffee and alcohol. Yes you can have a drink before you re-enter the race to Rome.

First stop is out hotel on the airport property. It is the Hilton Garden Inn. A very nice modern hotel with decent rooms and a good restaurant. Breakfast is included and always good (you can order from a menu or go to the buffet). We check in and drop our suitcases off in the room. Next stop into the airport to return our rental car. The rental rents are in the short-term parking attached directly to the gates. Dropping the car off requires reading the sign as you enter the airport. Each car rental agency is located in one of the garages designated by a letter. We easily drop off our car and walk to terminal 3. From here you can take a shuttle bus or taxi to the hotel.

Back at the hotel it’s time for a drink before dinner. Drinks are served with a variety of nuts, pretzels and chips. Then it’s off for dinner. At dinner we meet another couple that just visited several big cities in Italy. After exchanging Facebook addresses we go to our room to get some sleep.

The next morning we boarded the shuttle bus to the airport. Anyone leaving Rome for the US must go to a new terminal, built by the Americans, for security. After security checks and passport control, you board a bus and are shuttled to the terminal that your flight leaves from. Rome’s airport is a big space with many gates, a good bar/restaurant and many shops. The shops require taking a mortgage out to buy the goods but it’s fun to browse. I always laugh when I see how many people stock up at the duty-free shop. Don’t they know that duty-free doesn’t mean cheap! It simply means you don’t pay duty on it. I priced 18-year-old scotch at the duty-free. It was $75. The same bottle back home at Total Wine was only $56. People love to think they are getting a big deal.

This is the saddest part of the journey. On one hand you are looking forward to getting home and seeing family and friends. On the other hand you are leaving romantic Italy. There is always next year!

Tomorrow we will discuss Fees and costs associated with owning a home in Italy.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Campania, Cilento, Eating Italian, Europe, General Travel, Hotels, Italy, Owning a home in Italy, Rome, Velina | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to buy a Place in Italy – Part 17

Well it’s Friday in Velina (Campania) and we are a little gloomy! This is our last full day here. Tomorrow we will leave for the Rome airport and Sunday take a flight back to Philadelphia. OK, we are not really complaining. We have had 8 wonderful days here and the memories will last our lifetime. This is such a romantic country and our little area of Italy is very romantic. How can you not be romantic when you wake up to the sea and mountain views we have. The people are so friendly, especially towards Americans. The food and wine are so delicious. The beaches are cleanest in Europe. In a short week, we have become part of the Italian lifestyle. We eat slower, enjoy our food and wine more. We are more sociable towards others. We enjoy watching life go by. Everyone here seems to be so happy. This is why it is so hard to leave but we have family and friends that we miss dearly.

Today we ate a big American breakfast at home. Slowly eating as we looked out at our views. When we leave we cover the furniture, table and bed in plastic. A years dust adds up! The plastic we used last year is dirty. Jo Anne has a great idea. We can look for a paint store or hardware store and buy plastic drop cloths. We know of such a store and go there. We are in luck and get 4 drop cloths for 1 Euro each ($1.30). Now it’s Isola Verde time for the Italian pass time of Coffee and free WiFi. After catching up on emails and Facebook, we discuss our day. We saw on the way into Marina Casal Velino a Market on the street. They closed one of the side roads and put up stands to sell all kinds of things. We learn this happens every Friday all year-long.

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Jo Anne buys Due Scarpe (2 pair of shoes) and a tablecloth. We browse all the little stalls. There are clothing stalls, furniture stalls and food stalls. The food is all fresh from a local farm. This was the first really hot day we had. It is too hot to climb ruins. On the way home we saw a Bufala Mozzarella store and stopped in. They had everything made with Buffalo’s milk. Gelato, biscotti and of course cheese. We bought a huge ball of Bufala Mozzarella. That evening we had Mozzarella bruschetta.

Bufala Mozzarrella

Tomorrow we will discuss Saturday and the drive to Rome’s airport (Fiumicino).

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Campania, Casal Velino, Eating Italian, Europe, Italy, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Buy a Place in Italy – Part 16

Thursday morning is no different from the other mornings. We awake to beautiful blue skies, puffy occasional clouds and shimmering sea. We are off, you guessed it, to Isola Verde for breakfast and WiFi. This place has a real following in Marina Casal Velino. It is right on a street directly across from the beach. Their pastries are fresh each day and crispy. Nothing is too sugary. Fillings, like marmalade are just a small amount. The espresso is done perfect. A great way to kick-start your day. We discuss our plans for the day and conclude that a trip to Pisciotta is in order. Pisciotta is a small mountain town not far from the beach town of Ascea (our second beach area). The road up is small, like all Italian mountain roads, but in good condition.

We arrive in Pisciotta and find a parking garage in the center. We didn’t know if we needed a ticket and where the machine was. It turns out, the local Tobacco store (also sells newspapers, gum, etc) sells the parking tickets. You buy it and mark it up as to time in. We walk back to the parking garage and place the ticket inside on the dash. Now we are free to explore Pisciotta. From the center of town, stairs lead up a high hill into the old section. Streets are pedestrian only and very narrow. We discover that local deliveries are done on small narrow vehicles with treads (like a tank) that can go up steep hills and also climb up or down stairs.

We find a restaurant called Tre Gufi (three Owls). It is too early for lunch but the owner invites us in to see the view. After about a hundred pictures we leave to continue our walk around the old section. We decide to come back for lunch here. The walk around town winds and climbs up and down stairs. There are views everywhere. Some of the sea others of the mountains. It is a beautiful and memorable town.

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The Streets

After a long walk around this wonderful city, we need to buy another ticket for parking and place it in the car. The locals tell us don’t worry it is lunch time and the police are eating. We then head back up to Tre Gufi for views and lunch. They let us pick a table outside overlooking a cliff down to the marina. What a wonderful setting.

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Our view and Table

On the way back we stop in Ascea to visit an ancient Greek city ruin of Velia (Elea in Greek – 538-535 BC). This was a huge city on the sea with its castle high up on the mountain. The ruins still show a part of this city. You can see foundations of houses and buildings and a coliseum. It was a very hot day and we had no shade. The climb up to the tower was hard but we were rewarded with a spectacular ruin still in tact and a great view.

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We then head home but first made a stop at the vegetable man to get fresh fruit and vegetables. We ate at home that night and enjoyed our view and sunset. Tomorrow we will discuss Friday, our last full day, in paradise.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Campania, Casal Velino, Cilento, Europe, General Travel, Greece, Italy, Mountain Towns, Owning a home in Italy, Pisciotta, Small Towns | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to buy a Place in Italy – Part 15

We wake up to another beautiful day in Italy. The sun is out and the mountains are aglow. We can see the water of the sea shimmering in the sun light. As most days, we start at Isola Verde for breakfast and our portion of high-test coffee. We sit like the Italians, relaxing and watching those around us. We can see bathers on the beach and waking on the sidewalk in front of us. We connect to WiFi and connect to family and friends. Some may question technology in such a beautiful place but we have a need to stay connected to those we love and miss. The week is half over but we don’t want to think about that just yet. We plan our day. Thinking about the small and large cities around us. Which should we visit today. Agropoli is the largest city nearby. Our bank is located there. We have been there but not to the old city. We have read about an old church and the castle. We decide to make our day trip there.

The Drive on the highway is easy until we get to the part that was destroyed by the rain. We are diverted off onto a mountain road. It takes about 10 minutes longer. We arrive in Agropoli and you need your GPS turned on. We use Tom Tom Western Europe on our iPhones. The streets are narrow with lots of twists and turns. The city is large and you can easily get lost. Finally we arrive in the old town area and look for parking. George finds spaces near the marina at the foot of old town. You buy a ticket (biglietto) at a machine for so many hours of parking. We can not see the ticket machine anywhere. George asks some people nearby and they don’t know. They ask others and finally we discover the machine is about a 1/4 mile away. After getting our ticket and displaying it in the car window, we head up the steep streets toward old town.

These streets are lined with shops that we browse. After awhile the street (pedestrian only) is so steep it just turns into a set of steps.

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You are rewarded for the climb by seeing a beautiful old church and a castle at the top of the hill. It has a moat (which is now grassed and serves as a parking lot and delivery entrance. From the castle are magnificent views of the harbor far below.

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 That evening we had our first guests to our house. We had some prosecco and then went to dinner together. Dinner was wonderful! We ate at a restaurant called Mama Angelina’s in Marina Casal Velino. It was on the street by the beach. We had a seafood dinner. Plates just kept coming. More fish and more fish. Finally we had to say BASTA (enough)! The food, wine and company were delightful.

Later we sat on our deck and watched the starry night. The sky is alive with stars here. We don’t want to go to bed because we might miss something spectacular. Tomorrow is another day … we will discuss Thursday in paradise tomorrow.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Agropoli, Campania, Casal Velino, Eating Italian, Europe, General Travel, GPS, Italy, Owning a home in Italy, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to buy a Place in Italy – Part 14

Now it’s Tuesday in Italy during our vacation. Waking up each morning to these views and sounds (church bells ringing) make it all worth while. It’s like we stepped out of time and our in a different world. Italy is very different from America. It still has all the stuff we gave up along the way. It has real food grown organically. Very little packaged foods and all most no frozen foods. You eat what nature grew here. As you smell and taste the food, you can’t help but wonder why did we let big business change our foods. Our kids don’t even know what a real tomato smells or tastes like. The bread would be enough reason to buy a place in Italy. Crusty outside and soft inside that tastes so good! Everything is farmed and made within a few miles not other countries.

OK back to our story about this wonderful place. We ate the cookies we got yesterday at Franco’s and made some espresso. Italian breakfast. The pastry and cakes and candies here don’t contain as much sugar as in America. They taste good without sugar. Even their milk chocolate is far less sugary than ours. Jo Anne & George are always amazed at how less sugar there is in these products but how much better they taste. George loves Croissants made like you get in Paris. The Italians do it as well. George says the test of a great croissant is after you have consumed it, there is a pile of crumbs in front of you. They are so flakey you can’t help but make crumbs.

Of course each day we journey the mile and a half to the beach to Isola Verde to get on the internet (free WiFi). Communication with family and friends back home is important. Today we decide to drive to the mountain town of Maratea. Our journey starts on a good highway (SP 430) then exits onto a good mountain road and we pass the beach towns of Sappri and Villamare. The water is beautiful with gentile waves and plenty of beach goers. Now the last leg of our journey goes up a mountain road that gets smaller and smaller. You have wonderful views down to the sea. There is not much between you and the sea. Maratea has a protected city center (pedestrians only) like many Italian towns. We park at the bottom of the town and walk up steep hills and stairs through an ancient town. On the mountain high above the city is a huge cross (the 5th largest in the world).

Finally we climb to the city center. It is relatively large with plenty of shops, restaurants and banks. Many people are strolling the streets.

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                   Cross high up on Mountain                                        Old streets and stairs                                      City center fountain

We have lunch at a wonderful restaurant in the piazza. We start with fried zucchini flowers (done lightly fried like tempura). Then we shared a risotto and mushroom dish to die for. Of course we had water and local wine. After all this is Italy! On the way back we stopped at another beach town called Palinuro. Then back to the highway and home. We ate the left over pizza from Monday evening. We had some more wine (the bulk wine we bought). The day was good and we slept well that night. You can’t help but be romantic in Italy.

Tomorrow we talk about Wednesday in paradise.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Campania, Chocolate, Cilento, Cooking, Eating Italian, Europe, General Travel, Italy, Maratea, Mountain Towns, Velina, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to buy a Place in Italy – Part 13

It’s Monday and another beautiful day here. The clouds are huge but there is blue sky everywhere. It is so refreshing to wake up each day and see the sea and these huge mountains. We met a woman on the beach yesterday who has a fiancée that owns a pastry shop at the beach (Franco’s Bar). We went there to taste his pastries. They were fantastic. Our breakfast was an espresso and some small pastries. We met him and he was fantastic. George and he hit it off immediately.  He had a tray of cookies made up for us. In Italy everything from laundry to pasta and cookies is gift wrapped. It had a nice bow and you felt like you were taking a present home to be opened and enjoyed. After we went back to Isola Verde for another espresso and free WiFi.

As we were sitting there a man next to Jo Anne told her to look out at the sea. There was a very high but thin water-spout (tornado over water). You could see it splashing up the water. It hit land to the south of us and dissipated with no damage. George wanted to stop at a local wine store and see if they had bulk wine for sale. They did! It was in huge barrels with a spout in front. They fill plastic bottles for you or you can bring glass containers and fill them. You pay by the liter (2 euros). Cheap and good wine.

We returned home to try our new wine and have some lunch. We enjoyed it on the deck seeing our fabulous view. We then went to our mountain castle town Castel Nuovo. We walked around the castle and the small town inside. Then we drove down the windy mountain road to the beach. This time it was Ascea. The water is green by the beach and dark blue farther out. It is mesmerizing to watch. Was this a dream or were we really on vacation?

That night we returned to La Campagnola for pizza. They make it in a huge wood burning oven. It was so good. They make thin crust Neapolitan style pizza (like in New York City). Another day came to and end with a smile from both of us.

Tomorrow we talk about Tuesday.

George & Jo Anne

Categories: Campania, Casal Velino, Cilento, Eating Italian, Europe, General Travel, Italy, Small Towns, Velina, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to buy a Place in Italy – Part 12

It is Sunday August 31 and we are looking to explore more small cities along our coast. Our beach is in a cove. If you go north-west from here you go out on a peninsula with many small towns. It eventually ends at Agropoli, the largest town near us. You can also take the inland highway to Agropoli (it is faster but not as scenic). We started our day by having breakfast at home. espresso coffee and eggs and great Italian bread. We also had some fruit and tomatoes. After breakfast we went to our favorite WiFi place on the beach and had another espresso. With our internet needs met we left and took a small road that winds in and out along the coast toward Piopi. We had been to Piopi last trip so we didn’t stop this time but continued on to a new city called Acciaroli.

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This town has a small beach and many restaurants and hotels. It looks like it caters to a wealth clientele. After walking around the town and taking many pictures we got into the car and proceeded along a very windy road around the tip of the peninsula to Santa Maria Castelabate. Like so many Italian sea towns there are two towns. One on the sea with beaches and the other high up in the mountains protected by ancient castle walls. When pirates came the early Italians had towers along the Mediterranean coast. They would light a fire in the tower to tell the next tower the pirates were coming. They could warn people hundreds a miles away very quickly. The people would then grab their valuables and move from the beach town to the upper fortified town.

It was a very hot day and walking around this beautiful city made us thirsty. We stopped a beautiful small bar (see picture below) for a drink and a break from the sun.

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Our friend Jan told us about a clothes line that hangs on a deck railing. They had bought one for their house in northern Italy. We looked but couldn’t find anything like it. As we walked down the small streets in this town, we saw a small hardware store. Inside we could one of these clothes lines. The only one left (it was pink but who cares). After buying it, we saw them everywhere!

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We continued on to Agropoli and got on the highway toward home. This is the road that was washed out last year. Parts of it are closed and parts are one way only. We know the mountain road that parallels the highway at a much higher altitude. It brings you back down to the highway just before a tunnel that takes you through a very large mountain. That evening we had dinner at our favorite restaurant La Campagnola. We had a wonderfully fresh salad and some pasta. The head waiter knows us now and treats us very well.

Tomorrow we will talk about our Monday adventures in paradise,

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Beaches, Campania, Casal Velino, Cilento, Europe, General Travel, Italy, Small Towns, Uncategorized, Velina | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to buy a Place in Italy – Part 11

We had 8 days in this wonderful place plus a day to drive back to Rome. We would spend that last night at the Rome Airport and fly home the next day. Friday was our first day in Velina (Campagnia). We spent it mostly as I said in my last post. Saturday was our first full day here. We got showered and dressed and headed for our favorite breakfast place, Isola Verde, right on the beach. It has free WiFi so we can stay connected. They serve espresso of course and all kinds of pastries fresh made. This is the Italian normal quick breakfast. They make croissants as good as France. Wonderfully flakey and delicious. You have a choice of chocolate filled, marmalade filled, cream filled or plain. The marmalade was excellent. The filling is very small, not lobbed in. It is also not overly sweet. Delicious and refreshing. They also have wonderful cakes and cookies. This place is a bar so we come in the afternoon for a gelato or wine or prosecco. There are tables both inside and out. We always sit outside with the palm trees and a view of the beach and water.

We decided we wanted to spend time on the beach and in the water. In Italy there are free beaches but you must have your own umbrella and chairs or you can pay admission to a beach club and get chairs and umbrella right on the beach. We decided to go to  club not far from Isola Verde called Lido Azzurra Beach Club. It cost 15 euros (about $20) and we could order food and drinks right on the beach. Imagine sipping your prosecco on the beach in a glass (not plastic). We had pizza and prosecco. The sand was white and hot. The water was cool and refreshing but not cold. There were no rocks on the beach or under the water. It was paradise.

We met the couple in front of us on the beach. They were from Naples. He spoke limited english and we spoke limited Italian but we managed to communicate and get emails addresses and Facebook addresses. A woman a few rows down came over and in perfect english asked if she could help translate. She was both an American and Italian citizen. We became great friends, met her fiancée (an Italian) and had dinner together later in the week. When we got back to the car we had a parking ticket 25 Euros. George made a stupid mistake of reading the sign as parking fee for 8 to 1 as 8am to 1pm but Italy uses military time so it is paid parking from 8am to 1am. We had to go to the police department get the form stamped many times and for some unknown reason they reduced the fine. You can’t pay the police! all payments are made at the Post Office. We had to find it and wait in line (about 10 people ahead of us). We paid the fine and got a receipt. All was well and it was a small price to pay for being in paradise.

Later back at our condo we met our neighbors. They were a family from Salerno. They suggested a restaurant for us to try called Anna dei Sapori. We went there that evening. The food was typical Cilento food and delicious. We ate outside by an ancient house that was their restaurant. They were so friendly and waited on our every need.

Tomorrow we discuss our Sunday adventures in paradise.

George & Jo Anne

 

 

Categories: Beaches, Campania, Casal Velino, Cilento, Eating Italian, Europe, Gelato, General Travel, Italy, Velina, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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