As uttered by Scarlett O’Hara. So true.
Laura and I had both slept well, although I did wake up once at 3am when I heard a noise outside (I am such a city girl) and I was unsure if there were cinghiale (wild boar) roaming about, or moody carabinieri (police)! We were raring to go and make the most out of our day and left the house not long after 8am.
We headed straight for Pescara from the house. Only thing was, it was raining, something I have only encountered once before on my Abruzzen visits. We grabbed our umbrellas, put them in the car boot (trunk) and hoped the weather would be better at the coast than in the mountains.
Forty minutes later, as we drove into Pescara, the rain had turned into a downpour. We wanted to park in the old town so that we could walk across the pedestrian bridge as Laura had not seen or walked across the bridge before. The road layout had changed so we had fun trying to find our way around, but after a couple of wrong turns and lots of laughing (this is why we get on!), we managed to find our way.
We parked about ten metres from the bridge, grabbed our umbrellas and braved the rain…….we were the only people on the (normally packed) bridge. This is what would give away our non-Italian status. We were battered by the rain and the wind, but laughed and remarked that as we are British, we are used to such weather.
My photographs do not do this feat of engineering justice. Check out the photos of Pescara pedestrian bridge online and you will see what I mean. Half an hour later after we had crossed the bridge
and traversed the seafront, we were rather bedraggled and had soggy jeans and ballet pumps. There appears to be no drainage system along the seafront in Pescara. I think they are so unused to rain that they are not prepared for it. The water had just sat on the pavements and was around two inches deep. I suggested we head for my favourite bar to get out of the rain.
Glad to get out of the rain at this point, we ran into the bar, ordered two americanos and settled into a cosy corner to people and rain watch. Bar Campione is utterly charming. It has an old world vibe about it, but is not pretentious in the slightest. You are seated and served by staff dressed in formal clothing and I love the mix of clientele. It certainly is not snobby.
I had only sat outside before on previous visits so it was really nice for me to check out the bar’s interior. Laura and I adored the rich, patterned wallpaper and mahogany mirrors. It was like stepping back in time. In fact, Laura likened it to being straight out of an episode of Agatha Christie’s Poirot. Fabulous place, fabulous price too, only 3 euros for both of us.
By the time we had warmed up, the rain was easing off. We headed off to the shops. Within thirty minutes, in a lovely shop called Promod, I had found, tried on and bought a new coat. Fast work, even for me. After exploring and browsing shops for another two hours, Laura had found a gorgeous watch.
Feeling very happy (and the rain had stopped now) we decided we needed food and we wanted to go somewhere pleasant to top our morning off. Where better to go than my old favourite, Marechiare da Bruno, which is on the seafront. Again, this restaurant is more old-fashioned with proper white table linens, silverware and glasses, but lacking in pretention. We were seated at the back overlooking the beach.
Initially, we had wanted to eat pizza, but were told this was only available in the evenings. Our initial disappointment did not last long and we ordered a bottle of the house white, Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, a bottle of sparkling mineral water, two scaloppine ai funghi (veal escalopes with mushrooms) and two insalata caprese (mozzarella, tomatoes and basil). My goodness, to say it was delicious was an understatement. The veal was tender, the sauce melted in the mouth and the salad….the mozzarella and tomatoes could not be any fresher. Now, some of you may remember my aversion to tomatoes. I discovered it is just the seeds that I cannot digest. These tomatoes had barely any seeds so I could just scrape the two or three there were off and eat the rest. So glad I did! We finished off our meal with an expresso. Again, a very good price for such pleasant surroundings and good old-fashioned service. It was only 20 euros each.
We walked back to the car, happy with our purchases, happy that the sun had come out and happy that we had experienced some fantastic Italian cuisine and hospitality.
I should add that on the way back to the house, we made a little stop at a large shoe shop known as Pittarello. My goodness, it is a mecca for shoe lovers. We both decided as our ballet pumps were soggy (that old excuse) we both needed a new pair of ankle boots. Ahem.
Back at the house, early evening, I lit another fire and I then cooked Laura a fresh spaghetti dish. We had another bottle of wine and just sat around the table talking about a million and one things and crying and laughing for the rest of the night. It was one of those perfect days. Grazie Laura, per essere mia amica! xxx