Saturday 31 August 2013

Adapting to Italian Summer Living (2)

Santa Maria spiaggia
In my earlier blog, Cilento Fairy Tales: Adapting to Italian Summer Living (1), I talked about how we keep Il Sogno cool during the summer months. Today I'm giving an insight into how we survive the busy summer months, especially August, when the Cilento is flooded with Napolitani.

Santa Maria, San Marco, Ogliastro Marina, Case del Conte & even Castellabate itself are all full of 'second homes' & holiday apartments. The 'second homers' will first visit at Easter and then sporadically at the weekends until the beginning of August, when
they come for at least 3 weeks, if not the whole month.
That is when the real craziness starts.

Our rules for surviving this craziness are:-

1. Stock up on bottled water before the end of July -
    whichever brand is on offer during August will fly out of the
    supermarket like there is no tomorrow & supplies will run low
    pretty quickly.

2. DO NOT even attempt to go to the beach; not only is it
    impossible to park unless you leave home at 8 am at the
    latest, playing sardines with overweight Napolitani
    who spend a lot of the day stuffing themselves with huge packets
    of crisps (even toddlers are given a whole packet to themselves)
    is not my idea of a fun day.

Beach umbrellas abound on Marina Piccola

3. Get to the supermarket before 10 am - after that it will be
    impossible to park in the car park & if you were foolhardy
    enough to even try, there is no guarantee that your car will
    not be damaged by the time you return to it. For most
    southern Italians, a car is merely a means of getting from
    A to B, is meant to run until it dies & the more dents &
    scratches it has, the better.

4. Adopt the Italian 'rules of the road': only ever let 3 cars pass
    when you are either waiting to pull out at a junction, waiting
    at a roundabout, entering the Autostrade from a slip road or
    entering traffic after a 'pitstop'. Even local drivers have a very
    'blinkered' approach as regards looking out for oncoming traffic
     - some often pull out from side roads without even slowing
    down. And the number of 'Sunday drivers' increases
    dramatically (I'm pretty sure many of them only drive twice a
    year - to come on holiday & to go home again a few weeks

5. Buy in lots of Magnum Minis for the freezer. We have to accept
    that getting into town for a gelato probably won't happen for
    most of August - again because of the parking issue. Those
    holidaymakers who were parking up at 8 am will still be parked
    at 9 pm or even later - the beachfront Lidos & town restaurants
    will be packed out most evenings.

6. Avoid going out between 6.30 pm & 7.30 pm - that's when the
    roads are busiest & the Polizia Comunale come out to direct the
    traffic at San Marco roundabout & merely help add to the chaos
    rather than keep the traffic flowing.

7. Stay up the mountain as much as possible; take 2 or 3 showers a
    day to combat the heat; relax on a sunlounger with a good book
    & end the day with a glass of wine or two.

Perfect way to end the day


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