Friday, June 25, 2010

Down South Part I

We all had decided to go on a trip down south. My friend's boyfriend (now fiance) has family in the region of Campania in the province of Salerno. The little town is called Perdifumo. We had searched out information and train tickets at one of the local travel agencies in Urbino.

Our day began with a bus ride to Pesaro, which is an hour away on the Adriatic sea. From there, we had to catch a train at Rome's Stazione di Roma Termini. Unfortunately, there was a delay in the station, and we had to wait for our train to leave. It turned out to be an hour wait, and because my friends and I had not bought our tickets at the same time (there was a group of five of us), I was forced to travel on the same train, but in a different car. During the wait, I took the time to go get something to drink and to get a sandwich out of one of the vending machines. For those traveling, I do not recommend the food from these machines. But desperate times call for desperate measures.

Waiting in the train station was torture. Outside it was unbearably hot, but if you wanted relief from the heat, inside the train did not help either. The train was not sitting in the station idling, therefore the air conditioning was not on. Fortunately, one of my friends had eventually come to find me in my car and stayed with me. That would make the trip much more bearable.

Once the train had left the station, it was yet another five hours until we reached our destination. We had decided to stay in a hostel during our weekend stay, and were just outside of Perdifumo in a town called Agropoli. It was night time when we arrived, and getting to the ostello, hostel, had not exactly been thought out before hand. We began to wander away from the train station, and happened upon a little old lady. We asked her if she had heard of the ostello, and when she said she knew where it was, we were relieved. She was so kind, and offered to drive us there. Somehow, we had all managed to pile into her tiny car. Without her, we probably would have never found the ostello.

Upon arriving, my friend's fiance, M, called his uncle and told him we had arrived. His uncle was given the address, and he came to pick us up to bring us to Perdifumo. It was quite a long, windy road, as the town is located high up in the mountains. Looking down out of the window, nothing was to be seen except pure darkness and very faint light in the distance from other little towns. Once we arrived in town, we were fed. There was an enormous banquet table that wrapped around one section of the restaurant. There must have been at least thirty people - all of whom were family and friends of M. There was so much to eat. Plate upon plate came from the kitchen, and then we were expected to eat dessert.

After dinner, we went to M's aunt's house, and we were introduced to even more people. We had a chance to walk around the town, and watched the "practicing" of a scene that was to be played out for the Festa di San Nazario. San Nazario is the patron saint of Perdifumo, and festivities would be held during the weekend. Once the dress rehearsal was finished, we set out for the drive back to the ostello. Upon arriving, we made our beds with the sheets we had been given when we had checked in earlier that evening. The sheets were crispy clean, and from the windows a gentle, cool breeze blew in. Within a few minutes, I had managed to dose off to sleep.

Editing: The town's patron saint is San Nazzario, not San Gennaro. While writing about this I must have been thinking of the festival held here in NYC. My apologies...

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