Adventures With Dino And Family – Part 6 – Christmas in Italy!
As a long term traveler, I was admittedly anxious about how spending the holidays away from my family would affect me. When constantly moving from place to place and people to people, feelings like loneliness and isolation find sneaky ways to creep their slippery tendrils into life’s quiet moments. On top of that, holidays have a history of being a playgrounds for ‘downer’ feelings, but for this holiday I couldn’t have found myself in a more lovely home, surrounded by more lovely people.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Last you heard I chopped my foot with an axe and was on the road to recovery. They say time heals all wounds, and while I can’t attest to it healing all wounds, I at least can confirm it healed my foot. Well, it healed enough anyway. Once I regained my ability to walk comfortably (more or less), Dino took us to my favorite lookout spot in Castel San Giorgio.
From atop a large hill housing the S. Maria Del Castello (and an abandoned insane asylum), you’ll find a breathtaking view of Mt. Vesuvius and the local towns winding around the hill speckled landscape.
That evening, Dino and Grazia took us to the small town of Cava de’ Tirreni for a bite and a beer. We grabbed some local street food and visited a craft beer house called Birrotecca. It felt so good to get out of the house and walk around!
Aubre and I later had our own little excursion back to Cava de’ Tirreni. We spent a lovely day strolling up and down the arcade, grabbing snacks and drinks along the way.
Our last holiday outing was a trip was to Salerno, and it couldn’t have been more perfectly timed. Every holiday season the city decorates its streets (and parks) with a spectacular array of festive lights!
While we were very excited to see the city all lit up at night for the holidays, we had a whole day ahead of us to explore everything that Salerno had to offer, beginning with an a impressive view from the harbor!
With the sun down, we were eager to see the city light up! We decided to wait for this beautiful moment in the Municipal Garen. It was very festive with christmas music and decorations!
Christmas with Dino was a crazy big family celebration. I say celebration, but it was more like a 2 week long series of feasts and merry times. We had the pleasure of dining time and again with his immediate and extended family. The food was unbelievably scrumptious and unending, no exaggeration. One lunch at a family member’s lasted 7 hours and had more courses than I have fingers! They were still bringing out food when we finally left!
Dino, being Dino (as defined in the Traveler’s Dictionary),
did not let us escape his hospitality without gifts. For Aubre he made a leather notebook cover complete with a pencil holder. For me he crafted a leather pipe stand (that clips to your belt loop) AND he gifted me his grandfather’s pipe!
This guy is unbelievable. I love him and his family dearly, and I count myself one of the luckiest humans alive just to have met them, let alone forged the friendship that we have. He also gave me the one ring to rule them all, but I think the ring knew its true master for once we parted ways it was discovered again in his workshop.
Together we all rang in the new year, and I couldn’t have been happier to be surrounded by the people I love.
Tune in next time to see which archeological sites we explored before heading off to Rome!