Monday May 23
Today is a travel day. We are driving to Colle d’Anchise, the birthplace of my paternal grandparents. After we said goodbye to Teresa, we left for Messina and took the ferry, or traghetto, to Villa san Giovanni, the closest town in Reggio Calabria.
Driving through Reggio Calabria we noticed that the area was very industrial with some new construction, with a lot of tunnel work through the mountains, as well as agricultural and mountainous.
When it was time for lunch we stopped in a small town called Torano, bought gas and asked the locals for a place to eat. We got lucky and found this little place called Ristorante Marchese Giose, where the owner waited on us and the food was delicious. Usually if locals are eating somewhere it is definitely good. The prices were really low, affordable for Italian workers, and great for us. The three of us had rigatoni pomodoro (yes pasta pomodoro again), water and bread for 18 euros. Included was a complimentary appetizer of melanzane, mortadella and bruschetta. This area of Italy is not touristy and seems more affordable for the average Italian to live.
We arrived in Colle d’Anchise around 5pm and the GPS did not recognize the address of the agriturismo where we had reservations, so we arrived in the center of the village and asked someone for directions. Just by luck, he was going fishing near the agriturismo and told us to follow him. It was great!
The little village looked nicer than I had expected and the surrounding hillsides were beautiful. When we arrived at the agriturismo, La Piana dei Mulini, we were met by one of the owners, and the room exceeded my expectations by far.
Everything was great and we decided to have dinner there later, since there really was nowhere else to go. The dinner was excellent and we decided to go the even smaller village of Longano in the morning and then return to explore Colle d’Anchise.