This was our last week in Italy… a bit sad but also good to get home and get back into my usual routine with the gym, music, and get back to work with a renewed confidence and relaxed brain. It’s been a truly lovely time, and I’ve been able to settle down and get myself into some better thinking habits. Will I stay in that now when I’m home? I’ll do my best.
Three weeks was long enough to be able to relax and have enough time to explore places and enjoy the local area, but also long enough to miss home! I’m happy about that, because it’s a sign that you’ve created a good life. Your everyday life is supposed to be something you want to go back to, even after a fabulous holiday.
I got some good activity this week too, although not as much as last week. I’ve been less organised to track my activity this week. But I got in around 10k or more of walking most days, either walking in villages during road trips, or to town and back.
Here’s a summary of my activities this week:
Monday – morning walk 2 km + PT + more leg strength + push-ups
Tuesday – morning walk 2 km + PT + village walks about 6 km + push-ups
Wednesday – morning walk 2 km + PT + sumo squats + evening walk about 6 km
Thursday – morning walk 2 km + PT + push-ups + village walks + evening walk, about 8 km
Friday – morning walk 2 km + PT + “airport walk” about 5 km
Saturday – slow slow day!
Sunday – morning walk 5 km + PT
I went for a nice morning walk, about 2 km, down the olive tree lane and up and down the road below. A beautiful morning light!
Later I got in some sumo squats and Bulgarian split squats – always good to do them although I think I need to work on my form on the latter.
My husband went for a run, and as usual I kicked off the day with a morning walk, about 2 km. There was some nice haze this morning, or perhaps I was out a bit earlier than usual. Beautiful views as always.
I walked about 2 km, but this day in total I walked almost 10k. After breakfast we went for a road trip that was meant to be small, but we were away most of the day. As usual, it included coffee and walking in various villages, this time Lettomanoppello, Roccamorice, and Roccacaramanico.
Our main plan was to visit a particular village halfway up the mountain, Roccacaramanico. This village is worthy of its own blog post, but I’ll mention here for curiosity that it’s a tiny village on the top of a hill, it has only 3 inhabitants (according to an article from 2022, they used to be 6 in 2001), and they claim to have beaten the Guinness world record in snow fall with 340 cm in one day in 1961.
No cars are allowed in this village. You can of course drive up but have to park outside the village and then continue on foot. There’s a little square with stunning views over the Majella mountain, and a little tavern where they have some pasta dishes and taglieri (which is a goodie plate full with mixed local sausages, ham, cheeses, and tomatoes).
We did some nice walking here of course. In such a small village there isn’t much of distance, but quite a challenging walk anyway with all those cobblestones mixed with pine needles, and a light decline. On the side of the square you can walk up some stairs to some old or at least beautiful lookout, and we went halfway up but then it was mostly blocked for some restoration work.
Sadly the tavern was closed, which perhaps could have been expected this time of the year (or perhaps the time of day), but we had a nice walk and it was good to see the village again. We saw some people having lunch on a patio, and there were plenty of other living creatures there too.
On the way down, we found another little forest area for walking, which we’ll explore more during another trip. It looked nice, with a little bar where they normally have ice cream and arrosticini, but now it was closed.
A slow day on the terrace, with work and Italian class on Zoom. But as usual I kicked off the day with a walk down the olive tree lane.
In the evening we went to town for some grappa in the bar, which meant a lot more walking, and I ended up on about 10k in total.
Almost our last day in Italy for this time. I started with – no surprise – 2 km walk starting along the olive tree lane.
This day was mostly about preparing luggage, and mentally preparing to go from 25C and sun to 12C and rain. But we squeezed in some more walking and other good things too. In total, I walked 11k this day.
Since we didn’t have much food left in the fridge and it was our last day, we decided to go to Penne for lunch and then put my foot to the test by walking up to the top of Penne centro storico – the town (like many in this region) is built on a hill and to get up to the nicest areas you need to enjoy some steep inclines and steps. From past trips, I remember Penne was particularly challenging so I was very interested in giving it a try before going back home.
I had no problem whatsoever to get up. But what goes up must come down!
I was quite nervous going down here because it was uneven and I didn’t know if it would be slippery with the grass. Since learning I have low bone density, I’m more worried about falling (as if I needed that). But with strong legs, good shoes (I had my Altra Lone Peaks) and some good focus on where you put the feet, it’s no big deal.
I was very happy about how easy it felt to walk up and down in Penne. There is another interesting village in the area we normally visit, which is abandoned but recently at least partially rebuilt, and it has steeper inclines and is a quite difficult walk so we skipped it this time because of my foot. But after having walked in Penne, I realised it would probably have been possible, at least towards the end of the trip.
Travel day, not fun.
I took a last morning walk down the olive tree lane – you recognise the area by now! It was a bit more cloudy this morning but very warm and pleasant for a walk.
Before leaving we had coffee and a good chat with the agriturismo owners, which I always enjoy. They are such lovely people but this time they’ve been so busy while we’ve been here so we haven’t seen much of each other. Next time we’ll come during another time of the year, maybe in late spring.
Most of this day was spent in the car and at the Fiumicino airport. Quite much walking was done there too.
We arrived home about 4 am, to find that the heating had shut down (sometimes we need to reset the boiler) and we had 12C inside the house. There’s always some excitement around this house! I went to bed wearing leggings, night gown and a jacket.
I had slept some in the car on the way down from Dublin, and slept a bit more, but my husband didn’t really. We were both absolutely knackered during the day. I barely did my PT exercises, only the heel raises.
But – it was Saturday which means music night in the pub. It was good to be back!
After a good night’s sleep, plus one extra hour because it was time to turn the clocks backwards, we both felt much better, and went for a walk & run. My husband is going to do a half marathon in a month so he went for a run while I enjoyed a lovely walk. It certainly was the coldest morning walk I’ve done in a while, but it was calm and dry and I really enjoyed it! We had 5C (41F) outside our house. Compared to like 22C on Friday morning in Pianella, this really felt like winter.
But I’m happy to be back walking on these roads. I walked about 5k and felt good.
There were plenty of people out walking or running, and I love how most people you meet (especially the elderly) cheerfully greet you with hello or good morning. This morning it made me feel welcomed back to West Cork!