Ciao tutti! Hello all my internet friends! So this post is gonna be super packed, since I’ve been pretty busy these last few days. There have been a lot of opportunities to see places, meet new people and just immerse myself in la bella vita. Let’s start with last weekend:
A while ago, my friend Teo suggested we all go to see Avicii at a place called Acquafan in Riccione since it was really cheap. At the time, I wasn’t sold on the idea in the sense that I didn’t particularly care if we went or not. However, as the date approached, I was there texting Teo every day asking what the deal was. In the end, we were able to get ourselves organized and thanks to another friend, we also had a place to crash after the concert ended (which was totally necessary). On the 10th, Michele and I took the train down to the seaside town of Riccione to meet up with Teo and the others – we spent some time by the beach and then headed back to the apartment to cook typical Romagnola Piadine, which are like Italian tortillas heated on a flat pan and then filled with cheese, arugula, meats – basically whatever you feel like. Anyway, fast forward to the concert – we were just 5 of the 16,000 in attendance in this huge water park. Of course, all the rides and wave pools were closed, but it was still nuts to look behind you and see a giant mass of heads bobbing up and down. Here’s the video so you understand.
The following Monday found Michele and I back by the sea in a town called Cesenatico. We had scored a really good Groupon deal for lunch at Il Faro, a restaurant on the water – we were a little hesitant because we had heard that customers who use Groupon in Italy aren’t received so well, but from the moment we arrived the hostess and servers were totally welcoming. The menu included: a welcome glass of prosecco, a glass of wine each, antipasto of seafood, giant pot of fresh mussels in red sauce, a primo and secondo each, dessert, an espresso and limoncello each. Basically, we had to be rolled out of the restaurant. The food was delicious and the fish was super fresh; I had pan-seared bluefish for my secondo and it tasted like ocean, not like the inside of a freezer.
Following lunch and brief sunbathing session at the public beach, we headed back north to (The Most Serence Republic of) San Marino, a “microstate” on the eastern side of Italy, near the Apennine Mountains. I had never been, and obviously I wanted to add another country to my “Places I’ve Been” list. San Marino isn’t very big, but it is pretty high up – from the various look-out points, you could clearly see the Italian coastline and the Adriatic sea. However, San Marino itself is pretty touristy; many tourists, especially Italians, go there to buy crossbows, brass knuckles, guns, samurai swords and other various weapons that you can’t get in Italy. Each store has at least one or two types of weapons on display – it was a little like walking through Chinatown in New York, to be honest. Lots of great imitations of expensive products and tourists milling about, stopping to look at every window even though it’s all the same junk.
Finally, there was Ferragosto – the famous Italian vacation day in the middle of the larger Italian holiday! While I love Italy and Italians, I still maintain that there seems to be at least one holiday a month, when they don’t have to go to work. Ferragosto dates back to 18 B.C. with Augustus, who wanted to add another holiday to the Roman calendar (case in point – even back in the B.C.s, Italians invented holidays so they could party instead of work). If you want to learn more about Ferragosto, here’s the link to the ever-trustworthy Wikipedia page. Admittedly, my Ferragosto was all about the relaxation – but then again, so is my whole month of August – and Michele and I decided to hit up some beach clubs in yet another seaside town, Marina di Ravenna. Getting there was a big enough hassle – we took a wrong turn at some point and suddenly the only way to get to the town was to load your car on a ferry and cross a canal. We finally made it (and miraculously found parking!) and the night went off without a hitch. There were even some really low-budget fireworks! We bounced around a lot of clubs, since they were all along the lungomare, which was this sand path along the water, and all the clubs were free to enter (thankfully). When we’d had enough, we returned to the car, passed out for about an hour and then began the drive back to Bologna.
And so, that was my eventful week spent traveling back and forth between the Riviera Romagnola. On Monday, we head south to visit my cousin near Pescara, so keep an eye out for new entries with all my adventures in Abruzzo! Alla prossima.