Everyday Living in Italy

Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Sabaudia, Lazio, Italy
It was so refreshing to sleep every night with the doors and windows open facing the sea, lulled to sleep and awoken by the sound of waves crashing gently against the shore all through the night, the fresh sea air the only scent. I woke up several mornings and peaked out from our balcony to find a mountain scene that had taken shape as the sun began to rise behind us. Our hotel faced West which made for some pretty spectacular sunsets and gentle, quiet mornings. As always, Lena was in love with the salty waters, the waves, the smell, the sunsets over the water, the sand, the sounds. I think she would live on the beach if given a chance to.

The day before, Paul's children and their friend Benjamin had found a rope firmly planted in the sea floor . Covered with sea weeds and baby crabs, snails and probably some other creatures, the rope had been there for what seems to be quite some time. Aaron had made me promise that I would join them, and kept asking me all morning just to make sure I kept my promise. I convinced Lena that it would be fun, so after lunch we got into our swimsuits, sauntered down to the water's edge, and slowly climbed into the chilled waves of the Mediterranean Sea. Later we found out that the sea was actually called different names in different areas. This particular part called the Tyrrhenian Sea. After getting over the initial shock of what turned out to be cold water, we swam to a shallow spot 50 feet out from the shore. The children knew the exact spot. We tugged on that rope for a good half an hour in between tossing sand at each other and pretending not to care that some of us were freezing. It was a very enjoyable swim altogether, even though it was very cloudy and it actually started raining as we were trying hard not to get pinched by the tiny crabs embedded in the foliage along the rope . We never did get that rope out. There was talk of a heavy anchor or a chest of gold weighing it down deep beneath the sand.

Cleansed from the second saltiest waters I've ever been in, we climbed into Luke's rental car with Michael and Lauren headed for Sabaudia. We had been thoroughly warned that the town shuts down every afternoon between 1 and 4:30 for a sort of siesta time. We took our chances and decided that if nothing was open we could at least see the sights. Luke gave us a quick tour, pointing out the two towers that helped make up the skyline of the quaint town by the sea. One, a bell tower for the local Catholic church. The other a remnant from a more fascist time in Italy's history. The rain poured down more heavily as we climbed out of the car and were left in town to fend for ourselves.

Thankfully, not everything was closed. We found a quaint little artisanal Gelato shop open on a street corner. They also made delicious crepes filled with Nutella and coconut . We visited the church, glanced at some shops that were closed, walked along several parks, and eventually settled on Bar Italia. They were open, they had places to sit out of the rain, they had a restroom, and they served warm drinks. It became our place while we were there. We came back for a visit at least three more times, including twice in one day.

Sabaudia sits behind a lake that is next to the sea. There is actually a series of small, narrow lakes along the coast near the town, the last one being Lago di Sabaudia. It makes for some very breathtaking views with a mountain offset slightly to the north of Sabaudia, a bridge that crosses over the lake that leads back to the sand dunes, and eventually the sea. From the mountain you can probably see both bodies of water on a clear day. Some friends of ours hiked the mountain on a different day. We opted instead for another day in town.
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2017-09-23