December 31, 2012

Sailing to Procida

Sunday after church we had yet another adventure!  Thanks to some friends from church, we were able to get hooked up with a group who were going to the Island of Procida.  We met at the Support Site and boarded a small bus--hindsight made us realize we should have followed the bus, as we drove right past our exit, but oh, well!

Anyway, we boarded sailboats and sailed to the island, maybe a 20-30 minute ride?  I stayed in the bottom with the little guys while the older kids and Ted rode up top with the others.  It was quite chilly and breezy, but of course they loved the adventure!

The island is beautiful.  The colorful buildings are so typical of the area.  While in some respects we were reminded of Capri, there were some differences: lots more sailboats where we docked, for one thing!  It's not as obvious of a tourist destination either.  But walking through the streets had a similar feel.

The movie The Talented Mr. Ripley (or something like that) was filmed in large part on the island.  We walked to the top of the highest hill, where there is a monastery and a former jail (which somehow reminded me a bit of Alcatraz) that apparently housed Nazis during the war!  Great overlook--we enjoyed the view for quite awhile before heading back down.

Then we sailed back to the mainland, to the city of Monte di Procida, where we warmed up in Stappo, a restaurant, with some appetizers and wine--we even were greeted and toasted by the mayor!  (Click here to see a video done by the local web channel!  You can see our kids on the sailboat at about 1:45 and a shot of Zaden and me in Stappo about a minute later. About halfway through you can hear the mayor's address, which was translated for us, so you can hear some of what we heard!)  We were given a lovely gift--a hardback book with photos of an area "Art Explosion" from 2011.

Then we went to a street festival, where we were treated to zeppolini (fried dough balls with bits of seaweed in them--YUM!), pasta, and soup (they were raising funds for a child who had been in an accident and so gave the food away for donations), and wonderful music from this band pictured below.  We were especially fascinated by the drum/tambourine (or, as Tobin dubbed it, the "drumbourine!") and its player, who was most enthusiastic!

The music was incredible, and the people of Monte di Procida are so very warm and welcoming and friendly.  Oh, how I wish I could speak fluent Italian!!  The girls and I visited the few crafty booths, and I bought earrings for Charis and bracelets for Kenna and myself.

We boarded the bus feeling very happy, full, and tired!  We waved to our house when we passed the exit, drove an additional 30 minutes to the Support Site, then packed everyone up and drove back home, where we promptly crashed.  Thank goodness we had the sense not to plan anything for today!

We have been so blessed with amazing sightseeing opportunities and are thankful for the new friends we are making here in Napoli!

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