So there we were at last report riding our BMWs through the mountains of south central Italy trying to find lunch in the Gran Sasso National Park.
We found our way, Giovanni my wife and I to a small village called Castel del Monte (castle of the mountain) where we stopped so I could get gas, there was none in the park of course, which offers no services at all for some reason, and Giovanni could make a call and we could all get lunch.
Traveling with Giovanni means stopping to answer the phone as a matter of course. He is Terni's busiest cardiologist and in a city of 120,000 that means a lot of patients who always expect him to be available in his private practice. By the end of our ride through the mountains with no cell reception (another reason he found to lambaste the entire Abruzzo region of Italy- backward and southern) he had thirty unanswered calls and a dozen text messages.
I was starting to get pissed off at the Abruzzi too. The picture above I took at a barbecue joint where they put the trash and recycling bins, overflowing of course right across the middle of the fabulous view of the mountains instead of hidden in back...the Abruzzi would be great if the were no Abruzzesi, people from Abruzzi, Giovanni grumbled. Castel del Monte:
I like to post food pictures in the restaurants where we eat but this place pissed me off from the start. It is unfortunate but in places of low tourist interest when my wife and I come into a room and speak English heads turn. They turn even harder in sudden double takes when I speak with the waitresses in perfect Italian but most professional people collect themselves enough to affect not to notice. The woman at this restaurant affected to follow what I was saying as people at other tables threw us sly glances, but when I asked for water I got none. When I asked for dipping oil I might as well have been speaking Urdu and when I asked for roast potatoes I got fucking salad. The food was great but my mood was foul. I joined Giovanni in despising Abruzzo, the region and it's inhabitants. And he still couldn't get a cell signal. "Va fa un culo l'Abruzzi," he muttered. A pity because the place is quite lovely.
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