Welcome to October in Scalea! This month we did a few trips. Visited a new place to eat. Saw the ship Vespucci, ate an amazing celebration cake and basked in the very warm sunshine.
Macelleria Braceria Miceli
We were invited by Tony and Rachel to a place we hadn’t been to before. It is called Macelleria Braceria Miceli (butcher and grill). They are open in the evening from 8pm, out of season we think only Fridays to Sundays. This is a new concept for us, but we have seen a number around Calabria so we were intrigued. It combines a butcher and a grill. When you arrive, you are shown to your table. Then you leave your table noting the table number to view the options in the butcher section. You tell the butcher your table number and choose what you would like from the display. There are various meats to have either in steak form or on the bone, but also dishes that are created with meat, cheese and rocket or other vegetables. Then he takes the food you’ve chosen to the grill to be cooked. You then return to your table and choose your sides such as chips (fries), a variety of grilled vegetables and drinks.
The food is very good. We all chose different things and everyone was happy. The quality service was sporadic depending on who was serving. But we enjoyed it and we all were very full.
We went on a Saturday, it was quiet at 8pm when we arrived, but later it did get very busy. It is a popular place for locals. We think we were the only non-Italians there. It was a great find Tony & Rachel, so thanks.
The weather in October was amazing. I actually can’t remember a rainy day. It was great for us. Plants and fruits were still acting like it was summer. We were still getting strawberries, albeit a lot smaller and flowers were lasting longer. Lemons and mandarins are late though. We had one lemon ripen in October but nothing else. The mandarins are still dark green. We were told by an Italian called Giuseppe that they are waiting for the cooler weather as it does not feel like autumn (if definitely doesn’t). The temperatures in October were mid to high 20s°C all month (around 77-84°F). This means that the local farmers are hating this weather because the autumn/winter fruit are hold back ripening, so the normal produce in the markets are not there.
The sunsets were amazing and because it was starting to get darker earlier full of reds and oranges with little haze.
One bad thing was that the mosquitoes were out in force in the evenings and mornings. We were bitten quite a lot. I think my body may be getting used to them as the bites are not as swollen and red as they used to be. Hopefully I will get to the point that I don’t know when it happens.
As it is autumn there were plenty of pumpkins, squashes and mushrooms, it seems like the hot weather hadn’t stopped them. We love to eat seasonally as much as we can.
Visit to Vietri sul Mare with Justin and Michael
One day I had a call from Michael and he said that he and Justin were going to Vietri sul Mare the following day to get ceramics for their home and do we want to go. As you may have read in previous post, I went with Moira in September and it was a complete wash out, so didn’t see anything. I really wanted to go, John couldn’t go as he had to wait for workmen to turn up. So I went with them.
This time the weather was beautiful. It was great to see it in the sunshine with not even a threat of rain. It is a beautiful colourful place. Pretty much the whole town is decorated with ceramics. There are many ceramic shops (which is what the town is famous for) and it was nice to go into them to see what they have to offer. Shops are decorated with ceramics on the outside with many items for sale in the inside. There are all kinds of things like tiles, murals, tables, knickknacks, crockery, lights, decorations and more in all colours imaginable.
Justin and Michael bought what they wanted, a dinner set that they created with mix and matching plates of the same design but different colours and a ceiling light for the vestibule outside the bedrooms of their home. I bought a Christmas bauble, which I tend to do when I visit places if they are available and when I remember.
From there, Justin drove us to the next town along the Amalfi coast called Cetara. It was a lovely little town on the coast with lots of bars and restaurants. The view from the sea was beautiful. We decided we would return one day with John and have lunch.
We then returned to Scalea and went back to theirs, where John joined us. He then told us that the workmen didn’t show, so he could have come. This type of thing happens a lot here, so John wasted a day which was very unfortunate.
Morning in Diamante
One morning, John and I decided to visit Diamante again. It is a nice place just to wander around and it is not far away, around 30 minutes, probably less. It feels like a mini holiday when we go. There’s a lovely promenade along the coast with bars and restaurants. We decided to stop at one to have breakfast of cornetto and a drink. John had caffe macchiato and I just had water. As I said the weather was so lovely. So we wandered around going to different part of the old town to see different murals.
Afternoon in Sapri
For another trip, John and I went to Sapri. We went by train as it only takes 30 minutes and if we take the Regionale (the local trains) is only €5.80 each return.
Sapri is located in the Campania region just north of Basilicata and has a horseshoe bay with a harbour. The town surrounds the front of the bay and has hills covered in forest surrounding the town. It is in the south of the Cilento coast which is famed for excellent food especially buffalo mozzarella, wild countryside and beaches.
The train station which was featured in the Bond film No Time to Die, is under 10-minute walk from the beach, so it is not a large town. Wiki says the population is just over 6,000. Walking though the town was lovely with different styles of architecture from modern flats to older churches and palazzi in green piazzas.
When we got to the sea, we looked for a restaurant for lunch and stopped at one called Tintobrace. We were happy we did. We only had one course with wine. I had Irish beef tagliata with rocket and tomatoes and John had calamari with potatoes. It was the best beef I had in ages, so tender. John was very happy with his calamari too. Actually, we did have dessert, I had fruits of the forest cheesecake and John had his favourite, tiramisu. It wasn’t cheap but we enjoyed everything we had so much, it is nice to have a treat. As I said before it is rare that we eat out with just the two of us. After the meal we had a wander round to see more of the town and sea, stopped at a bar until it was time to take the train home. I think we will return.
Ship Amerigo Vespucci visits Scalea
Scalea hosted the Italian Naval training ship, Amerigo Vespucci which travels the world. It was in Scalea in 2019 and it was amazing to see it again. The mayor and selected guests went aboard and there were a couple of boats taking people for trips to get closer view of it.
Partial solar eclipse
On 25th October there a partial solar eclipse. I read it on twitter about half an hour from when it was supposed to end. So I thought I’d quickly try and take a photograph of it. I just used my mobile and a welding glass that we have and this is the result. Tiny but at least I can see where the moon was.
We Ordered a Personalised Cake
The end of October is Justin and Michael’s anniversary. They kindly invited us to their place on Halloween, so we thought we would surprise them with a cake. We bought it from Mary Loù Pasticceria in Scalea. I took a printout of what we wanted written on the cake just in case they can’t read my writing. As they are so friendly there, it was easy to order. We had to pay a deposit and paid the rest on the day of collection. I asked for Halloween decorations along with the text saying happy anniversary Justin and Michael in Italian. We pretty much left it with them.
When we collected it a few days later, it was so beautiful. We were so happy. The decorations were amazing with pumpkins, bats, a brain and skeleton hands. Justin and Michael loved it too.
We had a lovely evening with takeaway pizzas from Il Corsaro and the cake which was beautiful. It was so light and very tasty with a Nutella cream in the centre. The pizzas were also yummy, and the boys love Pizza Bomba from there. They saw me have it once a little while ago and liked the look of it. It is now their favourite, and mine.
So now we are approaching the end of 2022, I wonder if the weather will continue to be warm. Let’s hope so. It would be nice to save some money on these ever-increasing fuel bills. I will of course let you know.
Until next time and thanks so much for reading about our lives in Scalea.