Saturday, 15 October 2011

Rainy Days

They don't get me down.

It may have been raining. I may have walked, in what felt like 100% humidity, up a never ending flight of steps, but no, rainy days definitely don't get me down. Particularly not when I'm on holiday.

Today, to celebrate that the sun was not burning a hole in the pavement, I decided the time was right to take a trek to the neighbouring hilltop village and see what was there. Lured on by promises of a food festival, I put my best foot forward and started the walk.

Now, the words 'hilltop' and 'strenuous' should really have been a warning to me. As should the bemused looks from the locals I stopped to ask for directions. But no, on I headed - up and up, and...up! My only companions, apart from a rather mad Polish Canadian woman, were hundreds of ants - no doubt flooded out by last night's deluge. But on I went, past broken streetlamps and crumbled steps, half finished buildings and long abandoned gardens. I was starting to worry about what I would find at the top - and then I got there. And found...a confusing maze of streets leading to nowhere, or so it seemed.

Like all good hilltop towns, Castelmola is built to confuse, and it did. It took me a good 10 minutes to find my way - in what is really a very small place - to anything resembling a public open space. But when I got there, it was all worth it. Not for the view, which was absent. Well, not absent but suffering from an addition of cloud that meant you couldn't see it. But for the place itself. Everything I hoped for from an Italian hilltop settlement - nestled around its church and castle, winding streets and close built houses, it was idyllic.

And as if that - and the food festival - wasn't enough, what more could a girl ask for than to sit  supping her cappucino, eating her torte di mandorle and tasting her Vino delle mandorla (yup, it's Almond Town!) surrounded by penises! Not the idiot dunderhead kind either, the male genitalia kind. Everywhere you looked - and I mean Everywhere - there they were. Coat hooks, lampstands, beer taps, wall decorations, on the menu, on the napkin. Everywhere. Dicks, penises, wongas, knobs, john thomases - the works. All in honour of the fearsome stone minchia in the church next door - which, by the way, I looked very hard for but couldn't see.

Not even the complete soaking, or the slip on the way back down the hill leading to a jarred shoulder and a very bruised behind could put a dampener (so to speak) on it. It just goes to show, if you look hard enough, you can always find something to entertain yourself with. Ahem!

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