Since I met my husband, we've been going together to Italy about every other year to see his family there. Usually on the off year, he'll make a trip there without me, but we've pretty much agreed that we'll go together every other year. So it was kind of a given that our 2013 trip would include Italy, when I decided to do the marathon in Berlin, that just put the whole trip together.
So my husband's family lives in Nicastro, which is part of a large city in Calabria now called Lamezia Terme. We spend most of the visit there just going from house to house, seeing friends and relatives, having coffees with them, sometimes cookies or very strong alcoholic drinks.
We stay with his aunt, uncle and cousin in a room that's kind of like their attic, complete with a mini-kitchen, and our own bathroom and porch.
This is perhaps my favorite view in the world. It's looking toward the borough of San Teodoro from the porch off our room. You can see the Norman castle ruins sitting on the hillside:
This is turning to look toward the larger city of Lamezia:
The view at night (imagine a lone incessantly barking dog, and imagine feeling like you've eaten too much, and it will be like you're there!):
Another night view:
Flowers along the road on the walk to church:
Ceiling in church:
Scouts in church, including a kid directly in front of us wearing a t-shirt in church:
And not just any t-shirt, this t-shirt:
Death announcements posted outside:
The church in San Teodoro that his family attends (and we join in when we're in town):
Along the tiny little streets walking back home after church:
The sign outside the Nicastro castle:
Looking up at the castle from the road. I think I've only been in to walk around the ruins once, maybe in 2007. Several men in town have keys, but it's not open to the public ever, but sometimes tour groups have permission to visit it.
As we walk home from church, you can see the other church that's higher up the hillside, we've only been there a couple of times. Once was a special service for some visiting nuns from Mexico, we had so much fun talking to them in our very broken Spanish:
Nicastro is filled with houses like this, standing in total ruin, just waiting for us to buy and renovate and move in:
Unfortunately, some others have the same idea. A renovation in progress:
Have I mentioned that I love this view?
Since I love puzzles so much, on one visit to family and friends (sometimes I can't remember if the people we are visiting are relatives or not, everyone seems to be related, but I'm never sure how outside the immediate family), I got to join in on a puzzle:
The last time we were in town, this little guy was about two years younger. That makes a huge difference at that age, obviously, but the funny thing is that last time he was also wearing a shirt with English words on it that made absolutely no sense:
This house needing repair is for sale:
The main cathedral in Lamezia:
Stair streets, houses in progress:
Another view out to the sea:
The sea on the outskirts of town:
Lamezia at sunset:
Sunset over my husband's cousin Anna's house:
The castle by sunset:
The Nicastro castle at dusk:
Visiting friends' kids. The older one liked his US puzzle, the younger one was pretty unimpressed with the little animals we brought (an armadillo, a raccoon, other US animals):
Not many pictures over the span of many days, but most of the time is just spent sitting and talking. I love it so much there, despite the language difficulties we have.