March 02, 2007

Italy Travelogue: Day 4

Coastal roads: Monte Argentano

We were checking multiple times on the internet about the fog condition in the Treviso airport and the flight information. Luckily the flight was on time. We went back on time to Rome, but my mind was craving to go somewhere else. We sat with our host to plan our tour for the following two days. He reserved the last day for landmarks inside Rome and asked what else we want to see; ocean or mountain? I said both. I wanted to go to the dramatic cliffs and scenic beauty of the Amalfi coast. But sadly that is hours away further to Napoli and we scrapped the idea because with kids on board it’s difficult to indulge in a really long drive and stay the night there. There are always places unexplored for the tourists and the experience of our host came handy, who drove 40000 kms in two years to explore Italy.

We took the coastal road SS1 towards north relishing the scenic views of the coastal line. We touched Civitavecchia and went further towards a town called Orbetello. Then we proceeded towards Monte Argentario, a mountainous peninsula in the province of Grosseto in Tuscany region.

We went into one of its two villages called Porto Santo Stefano, which is actually a small port. The beauty of this place is unimaginable (see picture). We had some local food there. The Pizza was terrific.

Then we went up to the mountain via spiral road to have a glimpse of the beauty of cliffs and ocean. The road ended at some point of the mountain. Sadly we had to come back but nevertheless we did not miss enjoying the scenic beauty of the whole route again.

We had a dinner invitation at night so we were hurrying home. At some point of time we took the E80 highway, which was very boring. And the famous traffic jam while entering Rome did not elude us adding more misery to the kids. We finally made it to the dinner, only half an hour late, but our lives a bit shorter in the process.

The tour does not end here for the day. We went out at around 10:00 pm to see the night life of Rome. We stopped at the famous Trevis fountain. It is said that it looks more beautiful at night, truly so. It’s a marvelous place with hundreds of people trying to have some quiet romantic time amidst chaos. I did not through a coin in the fountain to ensure my return to Rome as I am determined that I will come here again.

The only drama in that place was the police was scaring away the Bangladeshi street hawkers and they were running around. At first it may seem a little eerie to hear a Bengali folk song from a dark corner. Don’t worry there are plenty of the Deshi Bhai’s around there earning their living and be sure you will be stared at and even engage in a friendly dialogue with them. We left the place early.


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