Trip Start Jul 01, 2007
Trip End Nov 25, 2007

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Flag of Italy  ,
Thursday, September 13, 2007

A short train trip from Verona and I'm in Rimini on the Adriatic coast. My cousin Gianluca and his girlfriend Manuela have lived here for around 5 years (both come from Matera down south, which I visited in May).
Since I last saw them unfortunately Manuela´s father has died. He had had cancer for some time but seemed to be getting a bit better when I visited them, but regressed again soon after. Manuela´s mother is also visiting when I arrive and we spend an afternoon looking through the old quarter of town.
Rimini comprises the old town (which was founded around 300BC) and surrounding new town, and a coastal resort comprising kilometres of lidos, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, etc. A lot of conferences, exhibitions, conventions, etc are held there and there is a university so many young people come here to study and work.
It´s most famous son (at least to modern people) is Federico Fellini, and the area where he was born and raised has naive-type pictures painted on the outside walls of many houses.
I use my time in Rimini to rest and recuperate - Gianluca and Manuela give me their bedroom to use (I protest but it is useless) and I have unlimited access to the internet (what bliss after internet cafes and all their limitations and cost), so I catch up on emails and updating this travel blog.
Gianluca is working during the day but in the early evening we go out for a drink, then either eat at home or go to a restaurant. Manuela is looking for a job so is home a fair bit of the time. One night we go out for dinner with some friends of theirs (Ana and Antonio) to a restaurant in an Agriturismo. Antonio has recommended it and orders a whole lot of food from the waitress. I am warned there is going to be a lot of food, and it starts coming in waves - half a dozen antipasti, 3 types of pasta, a gargantuan plate of mixed grilled meat as well as donkey with potatoes, wild boar with mushrooms, etc (I can´t remember all the details, there was so much). We are all big eaters and do our best but are stopped in our tracks by the sheer volume of food (it tasted very good too).
Next day Manuela asks what I would like for lunch and, my stomach still feeling the effects of last night's meal, I say ´just something light´ and carry on with my internet activity. She goes out shopping at the market across the street, then comes back and I hear her busy in the kitchen, and a little while later she calls me to have lunch.
Manuela always complains that she can´t cook, but she puts a whole fish on my plate, and after I have eaten this, she brings a huge pot of mussels on the table cooked in broth with garlic tomatoes and herbs (looks like several kilos worth) and we proceed to work our way through them. They are small, sweet and delicious. By the time we have finished it looks like we have shellfish middens on the table.
The other food item of note is a small icecream shop run by several mature ladies. All the components are bio-dynamic and they only use seasonal fruit, so the signboard shows what flavours are available when. The icecream is delicious.
My time passes pleasantly and quietly and I sleep in every morning and start catching up in a small way on my accumulated sleep deficit.
Rimini is near a lot of interesting places - Ravenna, which has fantastic mosaics in the cathedral, the Republic of San Marino is around 20kms away on a hilltop and is the the smallest country on earth, and there are many other beautiful, historical towns nearby.
However, I have no time to visit them as I have to meet a couple of friends from Australia, Alice and Alicia, in Split, from where we will go to Dubrovnik in Southern Croatia and visit the islands off the Dalmatian coast.
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