Tuesday, July 10, 2012

An extra day of vacation!!!

Tuesday, July 10

This is not the entry I planned on writing today. I thought I'd be back in San Francisco by now, not in an anonymous corporate hotel outside Frankfurt Int'l Airport. But, if you're going to travel, you have to be prepared for delays. Or not, judging by the heat raised by my fellow displaced travelers.

Briefly, because being delayed isn't worth writing about, Karen and mine's Lufthansa flight out of Florence was delayed 50 minutes, long enough that despite running from terminal to terminal, we missed our direct connection in Frankfurt to SF. The United plane was still at the gateway, but the doors were closed. They had given our seats to standby passengers, or more likely, others who had missed previous connections.

I'm guessing that almost every time an airplane door closes, there is somebody on the gate side of it who just got there and will miss the flight. We don't think about them, we are happy to have a seat and be on our way. That person, (a businessman, a family, an old woman, a first time flyer,) now gets told all the things they have to do. They have to go talk to an airline representative, they have to wait in line, they have to leave the gate, leave security, they have to wait in another line. They might have to stay in a hotel, they won't have their luggage, they'll have to wear the same clothes another day. Then comes all the consequences, like paying for another day of parking, explaining to their boss why they missed work, telling their aunt that they won't be there for a birthday party.

The first thing that happens when you buy an airline ticket is you sign all your rights away. Read the boiler plate next time, before you click the "I have read the legal disclaimer and agree to it's terms." It says you are buying a ticket, but the airline doesn't actually have to fly you anywhere. They can give your seats away, they can over book, they can loose your luggage. It's all in there, we just assume the ailine will act in good faith and take us where we want to go and in a timely fashion.

There's dry warnings about bad weather, acts of God, mechanical failure, political uprising, personnel problems. Delays are a given, they know it, and we know it, too, but nobody plans on it. It happens all the time. Just not to us right? We're good people, and bad things don't happen to good people. Yet, here we are in the back of a long, long line with other good people, waiting.

Americans are so funny when they're put off. They demand their rights, they want to speak to a supervisor, they want to file a complaint. "Somebody did something wrong, and it must be righted!" They get louder, instantly acquiring a mob mentality assuming other frustrated passengers want the same thing. Power in numbers, raise your pitchfork high, if we join together we can beat the system. All the while fuming and getting angry at the person who's most trying to help them, usually a young woman with a headset and amazing keyboard skills, who really wants you to get on another flight so you will leave her alone.

You want to talk to a supervisor? Sure, but they're even more practiced in the art of obfuscation. They have reams of scripts to placate an angry customer. This situation happens thousands of times a day, and the airline knows how to deal with it. You don't, it's your rookie season, and the rest of the team knows all the drills. Their goal is to get you on another airplane, as conveniently as possible for them.

The facts of departure times are simple. The plane leaves on time, unless it can't. Boarding time starts a half hour or more before take off. At 15 minutes they start counting empty seats, giving upgrades, and finally, taking standbys. They don't hold the plane for late connections, they don't reopen the door once it's shut. When a plane leaves late, it creates a whole world of problems and much more work for their employees, who need to get paid. It's not in the airline industry's best interest (profit/loss) to have a plane leave late for any reason.

Do you care about their problems? No, why should you? Is the fact that there are no more planes flying out tonight, or that all of tomorrow's flights are booked of any interest to me? Why does she think that an early flight with a 7 hour layover at JFK is a good idea? An agent was telling the family in front of us in line that they could fly to San Francisco via Tokyo! Another family with two small children was asked to split in half for two different flights. I guess I'm happy for the airlines that they are doing so well in the bad economy, but I'd like to go home now.

Now, just imagine yourself squatting on a wicker basket full of chickens on top of a train in India, or standing in an old school bus while descending a mountain on a goat path wide dirt road in Ecuador. Hitchhiking across Nevada at night or sleeping on a concrete bench in the bus station in White River Junction. A night in an anonymous hotel with soundproof windows under a landing strip in Frankfurt isn't so bad. Hot shower, AC, an awesome breakfast buffet, (one of the best breakfasts of our whole trip, says Karen). It could be a lot worse.

Apologies for the rant, but I have lots of free time.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ten more road rules

Sunday, July 8

Meshugga Beach Party, the last show of our tour

This post is really short. We had a very long drive today, and aside from three AutoGrill stops, nothing happened. The last show of the tour is finishing up now, in the outdoor Tiki Bar area at Surfer Joe's Diner in Livorno. I'll post video links, many more pictures and final thoughts when I get home.

It's been fun! Thank you dear reader for following along on our tour.


Below is an addendum to one of my first posts in this blog, 10 more things to remember about touring in Italy.

    1. Everybody smokes, deal with it.
    2. Eat whenever you can, you don't know when the next meal is coming.
    3. Hurry up and wait.
    4. Hot water and AC are gifts from heaven.
    5. These days we take being connected for granted, but it just can't be guaranteed, and the feeling of being disconnected can be source of anxiety.
    6. What, you thought this was a vacation?
    7. Yes, you will be doing laundry in a sink / Yes, you will be wearing stinky clothes.
    8. Don't judge a club by location.
    9. A crowd may very well show up at midnight, that's Italy.
    10. Patience, with everything and everyone.


Of course the restaurants are closed, it's lunch time.

July 7, 2012

Gabrielle, the butcher of San Salvo

The first stop this morning happens less than a minute after we leave the hotel, at the supermarket next door. We just had breakfast, but need to pick up lunch items. As Karen and I are walking by the butcher, a small woman commands our attention. She offers up a sample of porshetta, a slow cooked pig. I know it's a pig because it's decapitated head is on the cutting board. It's so juicy and delicious, and Gabrielle is quite a salesperson. We buy a pound to share for lunch.

Pineto is about an hour north, the last in our trifecta of Adriatic beach towns. As soon as we enter the town, we meet Manolo, the promoter of tonight's show. He's on an old cruiser style bicycle and asks us to follow him. To get the beach area, you have to cross under the railroad tracks, the first tunnel is too low for the van, so Manolo leads us another 1/2 mile down the road to a newer tunnel. The Hotel Felicioni is right on the beach and has a pool.


Manolo leads the way

Since we arrived so early, we have a full five hours of free time. Lunch by the pool is a priority and the pig is first to go, paired with a foccacine, a round, moist Italian bread with a hole in the center. After that, we all split up and go different directions, but it's a small town, so we keep bumping in to each other.

Karen and I go to the beach, but Stu is already lounging under an umbrella in the Hotel Felicioni's private section. We park our towels with him, and wade out in the water for an hour. The water is such a pleasant temperature, the bottom smooth and shallow. When we get out, I ask Stu to tell me his life story, it's pretty damn rich, what a guy. We figure out the reason he's in Italy is that he answered an ad on CraigsList eight years ago to join The Aquamarines, and that started his return to drumming and his involvement with surf music. That's how life works.


Danny and Tony in the pool

Mel walks up looking like the quintessential American tourist– aloha shirt, straw hat, slathered in sun screen. We are from California and the whitest people around. Danny and Tony stroll up after a bit.

Karen and I split of again to walk around Pineto, which is easily completed in less than an hour. There's not much to it, a beach resort town, it looks like it has been built up since the 60s. It nice and clean, and there's lots of shops, but as is the Italian way, most are still closed in the late afternoon. There's a huge wedding going on at the church downtown, I can't imagine wearing a tux or suit in this heat. We run into Mel again.


Your faithful blogger

We meet in the lobby at 7; we can walk to the club, but Lorenzo has to drive the van. The Pineto Beach Paradise is a basically a hut bar surrounded by an acre of open space with palm trees. There's vintage VW combis and bugs parked about for atmosphere. The pallette stage backs up to the train tracks, and every 15 minutes the local thunders by. You know our drill by now: set up, sound check and eat. The menu tonight is panchettas and lamb skewers.

We don't start until 11, so we have time to walk back to the down town area for a gelato. At this time of night, the main street is closed to cars and full of pedestrians. A teenage Metal band is playing, it looks like one of the kid's mom is playing drums.

By the time we get back to the Beach Paradise, all the tables are filled. Its turned into a lovely, clear, evening with a nice breeze. But, sadly, tonight we will be nothing more than background music for the conversations at the tables.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Italians are just like everybody else, just more beautiful.

July 6, 2012

It took a long time to get motivated and leave the hotel, we didn't get rolling until 2. It's about 50 miles to the next town, so we had to kill a few hours. Unfamiliar as we are with Pescara, we drive back down to the beach area and the Ippocampo. The lunch prices were reasonable and those who wanted to go swimming could dive into the Adriatic. Well, you wouldn't want to dive, it's shallow; it seems like you could walk to Bosnia. Also, because it's so shallow, it's warm, and the only refreshment comes from the evaporation when you get out. Except it's really humid so that doesn't work either. Anyway you slice this watermelon, it's wet.

San Salvo is just a bit south from Pescara, and we drive directly to the Beat Club. The club is across from the Adriatic, separated from the beach only by a road and a wide pedestrian strada. We load in and get situated on the stage, one side has open windows that face the beach. Meshugga has been hammering out a new song called "Torah! Torah! Torah!", they give it a workout during sound check.

Our hotel, the Miraverde, is only a couple miles away, in an industrial section of town. I guess the "green view" is of the recycling plant out our back window. It's a new construction, businessman's hotel, which means it has zero charm, but does have modern rooms, lots of hot water, and AC. It's nap time.

We have high hopes for another great night, as the club seems to be in a perfect location. After dinner, we walk down the beach strada, everybody is out tonight. All ages– old folks walking slow, little kids on scooters, teenagers holding hands, parents pushing strollers. There are some small amusement rides lit up with red bulbs. The huge gibbous moon is smokey and orange as it rises. Karen and I share a gelato though it hardly cools us, in fact it seems to be getting hotter. Even at the seashore, there is abolutely no breeze. I've got my white Levi's on, and they are already soaked.


Frankie starts at 11, aside from the usual collection of hardcore surf fans, the place is empty. It's unbelievably hot on the stage, I'd say in the high 90s. For what it's worth, we are sounding really tight now, hitting all the cues and stops, a huge maturation from our loose performance at the Surfer Joe Festival nearly two weeks ago. Once again, the TomorrowMen don't bother with costumes, lest we need to be teleported to a hospital for exposure. About four songs from the end of the set, the club owner turns on the air conditioning, and the climate change is remarkable. Revived, I attempt some desperate measures to bring people into the club, standing on the window sill to play. It's all for naught, despite the rockin' best efforts of the TMen, the huge crowd prefers to stand outside the club and listen for free.

While Meshugga starts playing, I get a chance to talk to the artist who designed the poster for tonight's show, Ratigher. It seems like he is well known in Italy as a graphic novelist, and his works have been translated into English. He also plays in a hardcore punk band. When I ask him to sign the posters, he draws his scary little monsters at the bottom.


Suddenly, Meshugga stops playing. The club owner has decided that surf music is the reason the dance floor is empty. It must be the music, not the heat, so he puts on some light Euro-disco, and the few fans enjoying the band leave. Lorenzo has a some late customers at the merch table, but the night is over and as soon as we find the misplaced Peugot key (thankfully some one has turned it into a bartender.) We head back the Miraverde for sleep, but mostly the AC.


Friday, July 6, 2012

Earthquakes and Surfquakes

Wednesday, July 4

A rooster woke me up in the middle of a funny dream. Mel, Steve, Tony and I were in downtown Rome. A casting agent for Qunentin Tarantino saw us and asked if we would play the part of a band, similar to The Yardbirds in Blow Up. Our scene is stylishly shot, lit from below our shadows project up onto the walls of ancient building, we're wearing sunglasses, even though it's nighttime. We just mime along to some 60s song. Taranttino's script has something to with the mafia, and I get to watch the next scene on the video monitor. Mel is dressed in his Rabbi costume (with shorts), driving a golf cart and firing at pistol at a criminal, also zipping along in a golf cart ahead of him, through the streets of Rome at night.

Making less sense than that, the manager of the B&B asks 30€ for the small load of laundry we asked her to do. We offer 15, and don't negotiate. 30€ is about $40, that seems a bit much for one basket of laundry, no? Despite the beauty of Masseria Ospitale, I can't recommend it. The regular room rate is 90€, there's no AC and the breakfast small. The stone walls really retain heat, and then there's that rooster. Lecce was pretty cool, though, and it's interesting to think that Albania is only 40 miles away; I wonder if there if ferry service.

It's a long but beautiful drive up the east coast. The Adriatic seems to get bluer the farther north we go. At Pescara, we turn inland and up. The map says that L'Aquilla is at 10,000 feet, but it turns out that is the heights of the surrounding mountain ranges. The weather gets much cooler as we climb, and the highlight is a 10km tunnel. In America they would just blast the whole thing to smithereens. The Aabruzzo mountains are breathtaking, these are the tallest peaks in Italy south of the Alps.k

Our hotel Albergo Osteria, is about 20 minutes outside of L'Aquilla. It's the kind of place that looks really attractive in the brochure and says, "Just a short walk from town" and you book it, and wow, did you make a mistake.. We've all been there. It really is a good place, built since the earthquake in 2009, and we have a car so it's fine.
"Jane" misunderstands our directions, substituting a nearby town that has the same name as the street we are looking for. So, on the way to the club, she takes us a lovely tour of the countryside, and some towns that time forgot. Looks like the last Americans here were soldiers, as there are fallen hero memorials in the town center.
The Corner Bar isn't on a corner, but looks like a roadhouse in Texas, the walls covered with U.S. license plates. We are playing out doors under an awning near the parking lot. Collectively, our blood sugar is near zero, and when two 4 foot long pizzas are delivered, they disappear immediately. For the first time ever, I've seen (and swallowed) a hot dog pizza. It's a crazy night, there are lots of laughs, but nothing particular funny, just strange. Still, it's a nice sized and enthusiastic crowd.
Sorry for the delayed post, we have been without Internet for 2 days.

Thursday, July 5

After cappuccinos and pastries at the hotel, we decide to go to L'Aquilla Centrale. L'Aquilla and the surrounding area was hit with a bad earthquake in 2009. As we drive around town, we see many piles of rock that were once buildings. The earthquake was devastating to the region, clearly this had once been a thriving economy, as there are many high end shops that are boarded over. There are many poignant reminders of the quake– the stairs down to the entrance of the subway have been covered with hand crocheted weavings, room keys to an old apartment building hang on a chain link fence, the residents not allowed to return to their homes. There are more obvious signs too, like scaffolding, braces holding up arched doorways, and empty spaces between building where another had stood. It seems like some rebuilding is going on, but mostly, buildings that survived are braced and still in use, or shuttered and abandoned. It would take an incredible infusion of money to return the city center to its pre-quake state. At this point, L'Aquilla is being held together with bandaids and cable ties.


Our caravan makes small steps toward Pescara, first a stop at a major grocery store. I'm not ashamed to admit that I picked up jars of peanut butter and jelly. I love the food here, but man (this man, anyway) cannot exist on pizza, salted pork, cheese and bread. While the food has been generally excellent, it's not very adventurous. Are PB&Js adventurous? No, but my palette needs some variation, if only to appreciate the native flavors more.

Theres a playground next to the road out of town and we pull over for a picnic. This isn't notable except that I find an weathered message board that still has notices tacked to it about finding lost family members, meeting places, and community relief efforts. Aftershocks of the quake still resonate.

Lorenzo chooses not to take the highway, so we take a two lane on top of the high plateau and avoid the long tunnel. We pass towns built into the mountain side so weathered and off beat, they look like they still are hoping for running water. And, even 50km away from L'Aquilla, there are buildings reduced to rubble.

It's only a 2 hour drive to Pescara, the next few days will all be short drives. Pescara is obviously a beach resort town, as we pass only hotels and B£Bs coming into town. Sorry, I don't know the name of the place I'm staying, but is a big, recently refurbished apartment, filled with Ikea furnishings. We are probably among the first guests to say here.

The Ippocampo Beach Club sits right on the sand next to the Adriatic. It's a family style resort with colorful umbrellas over chaise lounges, volleyball and soccer for the kids, sunburned little children watched by weathered nonnas while the parents drink cocktails. Theres also an outdoor restaurant, a snack bar and several bar stations. Closer to the road is a small covered stage with a sandy area in front of it.


Paolo, the local promoter, instructs us to set up and have a bite, pizza as usual. It all seems very casual. Our bands are supposed to play between 8 and 10, with the chance to go a little later. There's a Jazz festival across the street, so that's why we have to start and finish early.

A nice size crowd is there when Frankie starts, that's a good sign. In America, when a club is empty early, it stays empty. That's definitely not the case here as crowds come late. But, if the show starts out with a crowd, it will only get better. There's even some dancing, something we haven't yet seen in Italy.

The TMen don't even bother with any costume beyond band T shirts, it's way too hot and humid for the plastic pants, vests and my helmet. The crowd seems to really like us, and continues to grow. The temperature drops about 10 degrees during our sunset set, and it's very nice now.

By the time Meshugga comes on, the sandy area in front of the stage is crowded and the audience primed. The dancing starts as soon as the MBP kicks off their regular opening number, "If I Were a Rich Man". It's a frenzy for the next 35 minutes, until Paolo tells the band to take a break; the Jazz concert is staring across the street. He now thinks that the bands will be able to play a little past 10:30.


Paolo has a table set up for 8 on the outdoor restaurant deck. It takes a little while to get menus but we aren't in a rush. It's all seafood, a delightful change from pizza and bread. Danny and Stuart both order the shrimp scampi in cognac sauce, but as it is a secondi dish, it comes without pasta, just six full shrimp staring up at them on a plate, heads, claws and all. Karen ordered the fish, but we are unable to figure out what kind of fish it is; perhaps a small branzino, with black olives in a rosemary, parsley butter sauce. I had a rissotto with fruiti de mar, including baby clams, mussels, shrimp and lots of butter. This is the first time I can really taste garlic as a spice. Tony's dish had the same seafood selections as mine, but over linguini. Steve ordered a gnocchi dish with baby shrimp. I don't know if it's the local style, but everything was drenched in butter. Unfamiliar as we are with the wine list we ask the waiter for a red (Tenuta S. Raffaelle) and a white (Villa Regis), and both bottles are from grapes from the local Abruzzo region.


Surf Music Frenzy!

While we eat, a DJ spins surf oldies, mixed with Laika and the Cosmonauts, Satan's Pilgrims and the Ghastly Ones. Meshugga returns to the stage at 11:15 and the frenzy resumes. The dancing is non-stop, until they finish up with Hava Nagila. Nobody moves as Lorenzo comes to the stage, and in various combinations of Pool Boys, TMen and Meshuggeners, we trade instruments and play all the surf classics we know. It's a wild ascent, a real surf dance party right on the beach. The crowd is having a blast and eating it up. This is the kind of situation that surf musicians dream about. After about 12 classics, we close with "Hot Doggin" and the lights are turned off. It's 1:30, way past the expected end time, and we are exhausted.

Special attenzione is given to our meal tonight as a courtesy to my friend Lynda, author of the excellent Taste Food blog. And thanks to ace proofreader Karen for finer details lost on my caveman taste buds.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Lemme Take You To The Beach, Again


We don't really want to leave the Palazzo Conforti, but hit the road at the decent hour of noon. This gives us plenty of time for the full breakfast, a dip in the pool, a shower and a thorough repacking job. Its going to be a fairly long drive, so it's good to hit the road well rested and relaxed.

Leaving north from Casenza, we will drive across the penninsula through the Spezzano Albanese region. It gets hilly here, and there are numerous warning signs that snow chains may be necessary. As it is about 104 degrees, I don't think chains are needed. As Lorenzo is preparing to change highways, the exit is closed and we have to take a detour. The navigation unit tells us it will only add 12 minutes, but the road takes us over a mountain, followed by steep switchbacks straight down to a river bed, a real test of intestinal fortitude. Just when I think the road can't get any narrower, an 18 wheeler comes in the opposite direction, its back tires sending pebbles down the cliff.

As soon as we see the Ionian sea at Villapiano Lido, we take a much needed air, food and stretch break. From here we will follow the coastal road near the Gulf of Taranto. It's pleasant enough, water to the right, olive orchards to left. As we come into Taranto, we get some of the least appetizing smells In Italy, oil refineries, burning fields and ship yards. Taranto proper looks nice, a beautiful harbor full of yachts.

From Taranto we head due east to Lecce. I expected more hills but it's flat as a panini. Our bed and breakfast is near the coast and luckily we go there first. It's farm country outside Lecce, but most of the fields have gone to seed. We pass solar and wind farms, and their harvest is abundant. Our little entourage pulls up outside the 20ft. stone walls to a tall arched wooden door big enough to allow a tractor to pass. A discussion of the landscape brings comparisons to Kansas, Hypha, or Corpus Christi, but we agree on Tatooine.


Entering Masseria Ospitale, the layout is hacienda style with a big open patio area, surrounded by rooms on two levels. I'm fairly sure the building used to be a working farm, with rooms for the family, workers and farm equipment. Behind the stone walls, the former bunk houses have been converted to suites, small apartments or hostel type multi cot rooms. The stark block structures have been augmented with geodesic half domes, creating a covered seating areas in the central patio and outside the dining room. Overall, it is quite beautiful in a stark way.


A beach area, Torre Chianca is about 3 km from our hotel, so we get our swim suits on head over at about 5:30. It's late in the day but the parking areas are full, as is the beach. It's a nice stretch of soft, white sand. The water is perfect temperature and completely flat. I've heard they surf here in the fall and spring, but right now, its as surfable as a toddler pool. About as deep, too. It's waist deep 100s of meters out.

While we were at the beach, Lorenzo got a call from a journalist checking facts for a story about the shut down of the festival in Cosenza. The police are saying they only asked that the volume be reduced, and that the festival organizers shut it down because they didn't want to pay the bands. This is completely false, they paid us in full, paid for our dinner and hotel stay.

After showers at the B&B, we drove into Lecce. Obviously the streets flow in a circuitous pattern around the old city center, and we drive around and around until we can get into the inside loop where the bar is. Molly Malone is obviously going to be some kind of Irish bar, and when I walk in, I feel like I'm back on Geary Street in San Francisco, as dark cherry wood paneling and booths surround me, Guiness, Harp and other Irish ales on tap. The other thing I notice is that the place is tiny, no place for a band. Tobia, the owner arrives and says we will play outside on the street corner, and given the heat, this is not a problem.

They let us order whatever we want off the menu. It seems that everything has a different name than other parts of the country, but the ingredients are the same. The special here is piadine, which uses a large flour tortilla folded in half, basically a quesadilla. After dinner, we walk up the street for a gelato, and just when I think life can't get any richer, this ciocolatte and cafe mix makes my back teeth spin.


It's beautiful out tonight and there is a lot of foot traffic around Molly Malone. All the bands get a great reaction and the crowd grows as the night goes on. At 12:30, when Meshugga finishes, the crowd is spilling out into the street, blocking traffic, horns are blaring. Sorry, nothing to report about Lecce, it looks like a great place to walk around but we didn't have time.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Are we not Pool Boys?

Monday, July 2

The dogs that sang me to sleep last night are the same that woke me this morning. It must be the full moon. After the wide emotional swings that defined our Sunday, this unexpected day off couldn't happen at a better time.

Karen and I are the first ones up, and we look in the kitchen area expecting he typical light Italian breakfast of coffee and pastry. We are pleased to find that and so much more. Innkeeper Franceso has set out a complete spread with yogurts, juice, fruit salad, cereal, and Nutella. The rest of the crew slowly arises, and are curious to know what the day promises. The good news is that we can stay here another night, so the pool becomes the only item on our agenda.


The Pool Boys, in a real pool

We hang by the pool for at least three hours, when other survival thoughts become topics. Food, laundry. Karen, Mel and I decide to walk to where we saw a nearby restaurant, the other guys drive off in search of a lavenderia. None of us are particularly successful. We get the old, "it's lunchtime, the restaurants are closed" routine, though we do find a cafe for a coke and pastries. As we are walking back up hill, Steve's car passes us, still with the dirty clothes.

More pool time, and naps, before we go to a mall to meet Vilma. A mall is the last place we want to be, but I need a new pair of shorts (black ones to wear with the TMen) and there's also a grocery store. The mall gives me a headache, the fluorescent lights, noise and perfumes are all too much. After a couple hours, we find Vilma, who works a an electronics store. She wants to take us for a coffee at MyPlace, a little cafe where she DJs on Thursday nights. We are joined by JeanLuka, another DJ and festival organizer. Much conversation ensues.

Vilma is still, and rightly so, upset about the shut down of her concert last night. She is forthright in declaring that it was the mafia who were behind the calling of the Police. She is frustrated because they kill entrepreneurship, as no one can try to do anything new, especially for young people. As we are sitting by the street, a fan who was at the show last night recognizes us and walks up. He repeats exactly what Vilma has just said, then asks us to come again to Cosenza.

We talk music and movies for a long time, then head back to Palazzo Conforti for a moonlight swim.

Front entrance to the Palazzo Conforti