Firstly I want to apologise for this post being so late. We had friends staying with us, so they were our top priority and time has gone so quickly. But I will tell you about that in the post about August.
July was hot as usual, not reaching the dizzy heights of the heatwave in June but not far away. We did have a thunderstorm one morning at the beginning of June waking us up at 6am with a mighty bang. This cooled the temperature a little. But temperatures soon rose again so, it was a very hot and dry July.
Our friends Moira and Rosa arrived from the US which was great. Moira now lives in Scalea and is only a few metres away from us, so we have a new neighbour. Her friend Rosa came with her to help and bring one of her dogs as only one dog is allowed per person on a flight. She also helped Moira settle in and of course have a break herself. Rosa stayed for 3 weeks so we met up a few times which is always a pleasure.
One of the times, we all went to a trattoria called Il Gallo Bianco which is on the south side of Scalea, I think I have mentioned it before. We do like this restaurant a lot because they cook simple and very tasty traditional local food and the owners and staff are very friendly. On this occasion they a had small stage and there was a girl who I think was part of their extended family or friends dressed like Michael Jackson. Once we sat down, she got on the stage and played his music on the speaker and then danced to his music in the Michael Jackson style. She was good. It was a nice surprise to be entertained whilst eating.
We returned to Il Gallo Bianco a couple of weeks later when we met up with other friends Jacqui and Kevin as we thought they should know about it. They have a house basically 5 minutes away from the restaurant. They bought their place at the same time as we bought ours in December 2018, but unfortunately due to Covid they hadn’t been able to return until now. So now they can carry on getting their house in the shape and do not have to go far for something to eat especially when family stay.
Calabria is officially one of the world’s greatest places
Festivities return to Scalea
Covid restrictions have eased in Italy, so now religious processions have started again and the summer events schedule has returned. One of which was the patron saint of Scalea, the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel (Festa Della Beata Vergine Del Monte Carmelo). The town was decorated with amazing light displays and then the procession of the statue through the town. We saw this during our first summer here in 2019. You can see photos on my post here https://thecalabriandream.com/2019/08/05/summer-in-scalea/
The lights were unfortunately removed a few days later. It would have been nice if they were up throughout the summer, but I guess they were just for the procession.
During July and August, we dislike going to the shops in Scalea because the town is so busy due to the huge number of holidaymakers. Luckily for us, there are pop-up shops near where we live from mid-July until the end of August. There is a bakery, a mini market and greengrocer. These are so handy and the food is great and I don’t think they are much more expensive. It is good anyway as we do not need to use the car.
Diamante with Giovanni
We met our good friend Giovanni, this time not in Papsidero, but in Diamante as he was staying with his family there. We went on a long walk, as we tend to do with him, which is great. We walked along the coast until we reached the border with Belvedere Marittimo. The views were lovely and he pointed out the plants along the road. There were oleanders which are pretty much everywhere albeit poisonous, wild passion fruit, rosemary and others. We had a drink and a gelato. It was a lovely few hours and this was the first time we did not walk around the old town of Diamante with all the beautiful murals.
Our friends, Rachel and Tony who are now living in Santa Maria del Cedro are settling in and we are helping however we can. If you are a regular reader, you will know that we have a cat called Freddie who just turned up to our door starving one day and now lives with us. Tony and Rachel already have a cat, but a mangy dog turned up to their door, possibly an ex hunting dog. The neighbours tried to convince them to just scare it away, but as they are lovely people, that didn’t happen. So after some medical care, washing and attention, Kimba is some way near to being on the mend. Although she will never be completely healthy due to the life she must have led, at least she knows some love now.
Their cousins Sue and Cam who also own a place in Santa Maria del Cedro, are visiting now. We went to theirs one evening and they made fajitas, we haven’t had those for ages. The meal was very nice and it was a lovely evening. So thanks you two.
Help to buy a car, but not for us
Justin and Michael, our friends from You Tube channel Prego Italia had a major problem with their car. I received a call one day where they were basically abandoned at a garage or car repair shop near Diamante and can we pick them up. Of course we were there like a shot. They later found out that the car was not worth fixing as the cost of the repair was more than the car was worth, it is a Mercedes after all. So they needed another car. I have to say I don’t know much about cars but John does, so a few days later we went to check out the car they had an eye on. Well, John did I just chatted with Michael. Anyway, it looked as if it was OK and after a few days Justin and Michael now have a Fiat. At least any repairs will be cheaper, fingers crossed no repairs will be needed for a good while yet. They bought from a dealer so it came with a full warranty, so they should be good for a year at least.
So it begins
This is our fourth summer living in Scalea. It is still a shock seeing the amount to visitors that arrive in the month of July. The beaches are pretty much filling up, the shops and supermarkets are starting to be busier and the traffic has increased. On the condominium where we live, it is very quiet for 10 months of the year. So when people arrive to the normally empty apartments in middle of July it becomes very noisy as families squeeze into a 1 or 2-bed apartment. The buildings have no insulation whatsoever, so any movement or noise above is amplified for us underneath. They do seem to like to drag furniture around or drop huge marbles, well that is what it sounds like.
We always tell ourselves it is only for 8 weeks of the year but each year it is a shock to our solitude. But it does get even busier in August. Oh the joy!
On that note, I am off to make some pasta for lunch, my stomach is rumbling like the storm that is happening outside.