June 4, 2019
Another beautiful day in Italy. We had some thoughts of going to Rome but decided against the long bus trip – 50 miles and lots of traffic, so it takes almost 2 hours each way. We have seen the sights in Rome before but would like to have a longer time there than just a rushed few hours. Since it is embarkation day for the next segment, we would need to be back by 5:15 for the lifeboat drill.
Here’s the port in Civitavecchia.
Today we opted for a tour to Bracciano Lake and a wine tasting which was a perfect 5 hour tour.
He first thanked us for “not going to Rome” as almost everyone does from this port. He also spent some time on the poor economy in Italy. Our lecturer, Adam Tanner, indicated that it is probably the worst situation in Europe, worse than Greece. In the south of Italy, unemployment is up to 60% and about 200,000 young people between 18 and 35 have left the country for higher education and better opportunities. And as many as 100,000 retirees have left in search of places to live that have lower taxes. So the country is really far from recovery. Pretty sad.
He also talked about the effects of climate change on their farming industry. Many of the crops need to be harvested earlier and the weather does affect the farmers dramatically.
The trip to Bracciano Lake was just beautiful. There were rolling hills, lots of farms and sheep, olive groves, vineyards and hazelnut trees.
Luca said that the area was used for filming many of the “spaghetti westerns” of the past.
We passed this castle but didn’t have a stop there. Beautiful.
We drove around the lake to the small village of Anguillara. We wandered through the village to the top of the hill where the church stands. It was closed but we did see the charming homes, beautiful flowers and of course, the lake.
We then traveled back around the lake and Luca and our driver Tony stopped so we could get a picture of another castle. This is the one that many celebrities, including Tom Cruise, use for their weddings. Luca said it is bad luck, though, none of the famous couples are still married!
The winery we visited is called Cento Corvi which means 100 crows. We only had 19 people on this trip and we were the only ones at the winery. They served cheese, artichokes, olives, bread, two kinds of ham and olive oil and we tasted 7 different wines. We chose one white and one red to buy and take back to enjoy on the ship. They were all pretty good.
The winery itself was very nice and we really enjoyed relaxing there.
Back at the port and had a relaxing couple of hours before the lifeboat drill. The ferries here have comic characters on them!
We have a 10 hour tour to Florence tomorrow so a relaxing afternoon was really good!