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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Trading Places

The days spent at La Playa Blanca near San Stefano di Camastra were completely wonderful and just what we had hoped for. The poolside being nestled up against the seashore was perfect for sunning and relaxing.   The village itself was authentic Italy, not touristy in any sense of the word and quite charming in its own right.  We ended up eating at the same restaurant every day because we liked the menu and there were not too many choices to begin with.  The last night we were there I was overheated and overfed.  It was super hot and humid, even by my standards, and I just felt worn out.  We had decided that three days on the coast was probably enough and decided to try something completely different for the rest of our week.  We looked for a place up in the hills, near the vineyards that advertised agriturismo, a type of tourism that combines elements of the local customs.  In our case, we landed at Al Poggetto, a renovated farmhouse that has horses, dogs, and chickens.  The drive away from the coast and into the center of the island was lovely.  We were pleased to find this place as the directions were rather ambiguous.  Follow road S38 until you find us.  Upon arrival, we were not disappointed.  The climate had changed quite a bit.  While still pushing 90°F (30C), the humidity was gone and a much more arid climate was surrounding us.  We saw a lot of cactus on our way up so this wasn't that surprising.  The dry air felt great after the humidity of the coast.  Lucrezia, the manager, spoke beautiful English (and turns out French and Italian as well) and was delighted to show us around.  The old house has much charm and we are delighted with our junior suite complete with a nice sitting area, outside terrace, huge bathroom and nice sized bedroom.  The house itself is filled with lovely nooks and crannies along with a quirky collection of items that add to its charm and character.  (A power failure occurred just as I was writing this so perhaps this place has a bit more character than we thought!).
The heat of the afternoon and the cozy loungers sitting out drew us to the poolside. We were delighted to learn that this pool was fresh water as opposed to the salt water one on the coast. It was refreshing and cleansing in the heat of the day.
It's quiet here as it was on the coast, but we've traded the natural sounds of the waves crashing against the shore for the barks of dogs and the neighing of horses. It is fun to be in a new place which will fill up our senses in completely different ways. The nightmare of Trappeto feels far, far away...thank God!