Rome is just over the horizon. We’ve driven across the state onto the Adriatic Sea, across from Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro. It is blazing hot – the grapes hang like turgid udders impatient for attention, in sensational and tender anticipation – udderly ripe, udderly prepared, udderly hanging . But, there are no udder bars. The olives here are as large as we’ve seen anywhere in Italy – the grove by our hotel with individual trees that are centuries old, some trunks six feet in diameter of knotted, twisted and time bleached wood.
We are off the beaten path – this last leg of our journey. The pool is twenty feet deep and the size of a city park – with date laden palms, olives and Sophia look alike but slightly augmented Italian ladies bathing in the blistering sun – ripening figs in the distance. The sea is beyond the olive orchard to the East – a rock and pebbled beach. There is Leschmaniasis here and so we are required to hose down with repellent before landing on the beach. The last place I encountered such a thing was in Bolivia, also carried by the sand flea.