We have been here in Casamicciola for three days now and have managed to visit most of our favourite places, frequented the usual shops, bars and restaurants and found a few new ones.
We made sure to visit the garden, La Mortella on Tuesday, when it is open. As usual we took lots of photographs as there are always beautiful new flowers to record and the place itself is always compelling. At this time of year the tropical plants are in full spate, some of the pathways are submerged in jungle and there are flowers that defy belief. What we took as empty pots of sand and water in spring are lush with what look like a cross between a water-lily and a nasturtium. In the ponds the tropical water lilies are in full flower, each vibrant colour and waxy form more enticing than the last. We had recently seen many lilies in the glasshouse at Kew; here they are flourishing outside, despite the fountains and waterfalls. Even specimens of the giant lily have been moved out of the glasshouse here to take their chances in the crocodile pool. The hibiscuses are in full bloom and all the pathways are lined with fragrant jasmine, honeysuckle and what looked like a deep purple wisteria. The garden was busy with tour groups, but we managed to find a quiet table in the tea rooms for a cuppa.
On day two we visited the Castella, taking a taxi there so we had the energy to explore the steep passages of the citadel. On our arrival in the square at the foot of the causeway we were greeted by a lorry full of the tall filigree metal archways of electric lights used in the festival at Lacco Ameno. The archways were being set up along the causeway, so a festival must be afoot. We wandered out to the base of the citadel, paid our entrance fee and began to explore, winding up the steep cobbled streets. There is an elevator to the top, but there was a long queue for it in a dank tunnel, so we decided to walk. It is like St Michael’s Mount or the old town in Ibiza, but without obvious residents. The cobbled streets are punctuated by museums and churches, some partial ruins others well maintained, giving the weary pilgrim a chance to pause for breath. Indeed the views from the various terraces and balconies are spectacular. There was a gallery of modern art and a café with views across the Bay. By the time we came out we were both rather hot and weary, but glad we had made the effort. We walked back into town along the sea front and could not resist a pizza restaurant in a glasshouse with tables outside under bright umbrellas. I had a classic Neapolitan pizza and John chose pepperoni, both had thin crusts with puffy charred edges, oozing molten cheese, not the food of supermodels me thinks. After lunch we wended our way down the main shopping street into town and caught a taxi back to the boat.
Today we woke to the sound of heavy rain drumming on the deck above and thunder rolling round the hills. Time to catch up with the blog. It is due to clear up this afternoon, if so we will go for a walk along the sea front to Lacco Amino.