Living La Vida Lucy
We're up early this morning because it's market day. The idea was to get up at 7am and leave for the market at 7:30am or so to get the best deals. However, we are Living La Vida Lucy and there are people to see!
It begins with a visit from Jenna, Lucy's next-door neighbor. I believe this visit had something to do with octopus and getting Lucy's daughter Adrianna help with changing airports in Milan on the way home later today.
The Jenna visit accomplished, we're now almost ready to leave when Antonella rings the bell. Her family owns the hotel down the street (along with several others in the area, plus a magnificent yacht; with handsome men and beautiful clothes in every direction). She invites us for a coffee and a bit of breakfast. Even though we have already had breakfast, we do not turn down an invitation from the elegant Antonella. Cappuccino is served on their new rooftop spa overlooking the Mediterranean. A waiter brings some pastries as well. The water below sparkles in the sunlight, Vesuvius looming in the background. Lucy garners an invitation for later this evening for a champagne rooftop spa christening party.
Finally, we get to the market. Traffic is chaotic, yet we somehow find a parking space. There's a guy who will “protect” your car while you shop for a euro or two, but is paid only upon departure. Lucy has a regular guy, but this parking spot was a little closer. Lucy also shops with a regular jewelry woman from Africa and a linen specialist from more north in Europe, who give us great deals. It's one of the best markets I've ever been to, but maybe that's because Lucy skips the cheap stuff for cheap prices and goes for quality stuff for the same money. Some vendors lay out their wares on the ground between the stalls, but disappear in a wave as the police stroll by, only to return again when the coast is clear.
I bought a gorgeous lacy blouse, some kick-ass platforms, a metal cuff bracelet, and a luscious leather bag to match. Before we left, we stopped at the grocery area of the market and admired the zucchini flowers and the big cheese. For a snack, it was fried pizza – a fried dough pocket stuffed with mozzarella, ricotta, and tomato. We had to share it.
We got back just in time to drive Adrianna to the airport. After making sure that she was on her way, we stopped at Lucy's little hole-in-the-wall favorite pizza place. It was on sort of a dodgy corner next to a mechanic shop, but it was busy (all the workers were eating there) and fabulous. Who knew eggplant on pizza could taste so good?
When we got home, we got to meet Lucy's friend, Celeste to go find me a phone card (bust, didn't know I needed a passport), see the tiny castle on the lake, and visit Nunzio's winery. I actually have no idea how Lucy and Celeste found this place, but Nunzio (this young guy) makes some great wine from local grapes. We tasted a bunch and Lucy and Celeste ended up with a case each (18euro for 12 bottles, and they are good!), plus Susie and I were gifted a bottle each of his new white. Yummm.
After a tour around their peninsula for great views and stories, we got back to Lucy's, said goodbye to Celeste, and Lucy made some shrimp pasta so we would be well fed when we went to Antonella's. After dinner, we walked down to Antonella's hotel and watched the lights come up on the water, had some fine wine, and met a very sweet Irish couple who were on their honeymoon. Sweet Antonella just invited them to join our party and for me, it was great to get some tips for my upcoming visit to Dublin. Antonella's hotel is Il Gabbiano (www.ilgabbianohotel.com). For 90euro/night you get a fabulous room overlooking beaches or ruins, breakfast, and a hot tub on the roof with a view of Mt. Vesuvius.
Let's see… how many people did we meet today? What kind of great food did we enjoy? How many amazing views did we see? That's Living la Vida Lucy!!