After two hot and sleepless nights at Casa Giulia, we left for the beach.  The boys and I would stay in Mattinata for two weeks.  Luca would work in Salerno and come on the weekends.   Mattinata is a small seaside town in the Puglia region on the Adriatic sea.    Despite its small size, it has everything you could need with several mascelleria (butcher), general markets, farmacia (pharmacies), frutta and vendura vendors along with other shops.   Yes, that’s right, no super Walmarts here.  For each type of item you want to buy, you visit a different shop in which the shopkeeper assists you and is actually knowledgeable about his or her product.  What a concept!   I am happy to report that I have purchased fruit which does not have those annoying little stickers on each piece. 

View from Mattinata Center

In late afternoon, many people head towards the center to do their shopping or simply walk around.  This is typical in all city and town centers from what I have seen.   The streets and sidewalks are narrow.  Thankfully, at 7:00 pm the center is closed to traffic.

Our bungalow

We’re staying at a complex of small bungalows and apartments.  There is plenty of space for the kids to play outdoors.   The boys are really enjoying their time here playing with their cousins, Vincenzo and Ludovica.  Vincenzo, Duilio and Russell are working around the language barrier as only little boys can with grunts, growls and laughter.   Duilio and Russell are already picking up Italian words while Vincenzo is saying English words.  Russell likes to exclaim “l’acqua per favore” loudly since he has mastered that phrase. 

Ludovica and Russell

La Spiaggia (the beach)

The beach

Each morning we head out to the beach.    Instead of sand, this beach has smooth stones of varying sizes.  Nice for avoiding sandy bottoms but a killer on our tender feet.    The water is warm so you can comfortably swim for hours.   (Sometimes swimming is the only choice because it is so hot.)   Similar to many beaches in Mexico or the Carribean, vendors roam the beach selling clothes, hat, jewelry and coconut.  One oddly cheerfully guy from somewhere in eastern European sings “coooo-co, coccobello” as he sells slices of coconut.   I always think to myself that he must be from somewhere really bad if he’s happy to lug around coconut on a scorching hot beach. 

Duilio playing biliardino

Duilio has become addicted to biliardino (foosball).  I suspect he’ll be a champion by the end of the summer.   He’s crazy competitive.  I don’t know if that bodes well or not….

Fashion Note:  “Cheeky” bikini’s and speedos are required attire on this beach.    An important note is that it is a family beach so we’re not talking twenty-something bodies.  Get the picture??  Mama mia!

We’re truly are gypsies now.  We’re abandoning Casa Giulia in Cava and will move from place to place in August.  It wasn’t what we were looking for.    I don’t know where we’ll be next week, probably somewhere in Salerno.  We’ll move to Luca’s parents for a week, perhaps a week in the mountains then a two week stay at a lovely agriturismo (like a B&B except they also grow something like grapes or olives) near Salerno.