Pescara to Aversa

Trip Start Jul 30, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Sunday, October 1, 2006

Pescara to Aversa
Sunday October 1st 2006

Catching the 8am train, we were on our way to Aversa. No easy route, we had to go to Caserta and transfer. This would take about 4 hours. The ride was very scenic with many mountains and sweeping valleys. It is amazing to see houses and farms in what appears to be such a remote area. We reached Caserta and waited for our connection. Strolling around we saw a few postcards of the Royal Palace of Caserta. This was a pretty impressive building that I had seen in picture books of Italy. I had always wanted to visit this place. I could tell by the postcard that the palace and gardens backup to a mountain so I went outside and looked around. The nearest mountains were not very close. I guess we would have to visit the palace on another trip.
After getting plenty of exercise shooing the flies away and watching 3 adolescent sisters beat the crap out of each other our train arrived. As we pulled away from the station... I could not believe that we could see the Royal Palace right behind the station!! There was a fence around it as it was being restored, but we could have taken a quick look while waiting for our train. There was a mountain behind it, but it was not that close.... The palace and gardens are just that huge! We arrived in Aversa about 30 minutes later. There was not much to see and no tourist office. We stuck our heads in to the office of the caribinieri and asked for advice on ware to go. They led us to the front of the station and pointed to a hotel down the street. We went to the hotel and got a room for 65 Euros. The attendant rummaged through his desk and found a map of of the town for us, circling the important site as well as the cemetery and commune. (I had a great aunt that died here, so I was gong to see if I could find her grave or if she had children). We dumped our bags in the room and headed off to the cemetery. Along the way we passed a small park filled with what seemed to be foreigners, many stray dogs and a large pile of garbage (in Italy, instead of putting your garbage out once a week, you have to take it to the nearest dumpsters. As it turned out, there was some issue in all of Naples where the mafia is trying to take control of the cartage and the workers are striking or something). Anyway, we finally reached the cemetery. Just our luck, closed! Of course the signs say that it is open everyday. So we decided to walk around a bit and come back after siesta. There were a few things to see, like the porto - thegate to the city, maqny old buildings and many, many old churches. There seemed to be an old church on every corner. Most of them were in ruins. In one, the door was open just little, I peeked inside and saw where the ceiling had collapsed and there were tall trees growing from inside, behind them, you could still see the murals on the walls. I assume these were casualties of WWII. We made our way to the commune. I knew they would be closed since it was Sunday. But there were no signs, no schedules, nothing! We stopped for a frappe made from coffee that was excellent (Lyn had 2). I asked about the cemetery and they yes, of coarse it would be open later. We made our way back to the hotel where the attendant said that the cemetery opens again around 5 or 6. So we made our way back to the cemetery and it was still closed. There was a guy standing near the gates. He said Sunday is the only day they do not reopen the cemetery. Ok, One thing I don't understand. Such a religious country... people are constantly going to the cemetery. I have seen graves from the 1700's with fresh flowers on them. Why would you close the cemetery in the middle of the day. You think that would be the busiest time, I just don't get it. Anyway, back to the hotel we asked where to find a restaurant (since, oddly enough, we had not seen 1 restaurant while walking around the town, only a few cafes. Turns out there was a restaurant in the hotel. We went there later for dinner. The restaurant was very good and inexpensive. They had large pizzas for 5 or 6 Euros. After dinner we walked out to the street where there seemed to be more people that usual. At the end of the street near the train station we could see a few kiddie rides setup. We headed back up... towards the commune. The street beacame more crowded as we walked. Once we reached the intersection of ... the street was closed to cars and there were people everywhere for the Sunday evening stroll or passengiata along the windows of the shops lining the street. We made a left and followed the street out to a park. Inside there were families walking around ad a bit of commotion at the far end. We walked closer and realized it was the older men of the town playing Bocci Ball. Next to this was a small amusement park. We circled around and found a few vendors on the street and headed back towards the hotel.
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