8th entry – calabria 2009

Thursday morning I left the small hotel early and headed out for Aprigliano. I was going to have to figure out how to get to the Autostrada. Italy now has traffic circles at major intersections and they are a whirlwind to get through. If you miss the exit you’re off in an entirely new directions or you keep circling. I missed the exit for the Autostrada and ended up on the coastal road. I didn’t mind that, because I wanted to see the beach area north of Lamezia. Well an hour ride through the area cured me. The area is typical low-end beach options and not all that attractive. The Lamezia area is industrial and very green, the beach area is sprawled all along the coast.

I got back on the Autostrada and headed north to Aprigliano. The exit is at a pretty, flats town – Rogliano. This part of Calabria is only flat along the coast and Rogliano benefits from the topography of the area. The town is a good size, the road in is manageable and it has a nice centro.

From the Rogliano exit to Aprigliano is a good half hour. I like the road to Aprigliano, it’s the beginning of the ascent into the mountains. It’s also a road I remember and so it was less intimidating to drive it on my own.

The driving on my own was both exciting and scary. I had this very nice small car Fiat Punta, but there was no one there to look out for signs and directions. This is a disadvantage when travelling at 80 kilometers an hour, but I believed I could remember enough of the road to get there without getting too lost.

The first stop I made was at Le Donnici. This is a small paese 10 minutes north of Aprigliano. For the first time I took out my camera and began shooting this really nice church and the flowers off someone’s balcony. It felt great to not be lost and to take pictures.

When I was back in Calabria in 2006, I realized that at home we talk a dialect, an Apriglianese dialect. And in that language Le Donnici came out I Runnici so I would be looking for signage that had the place name spelled with an R. It took me a while to understand that the correct pronunciation was different than what I had heard all my life. This is a relatively small sub-urb of Aprigliano, but it had some beautiful houses in its medieval streets.

The next turn-off was at San Nicola, a small suburb of Aprigliano. I asked two ladies waiting for the pulmine – bus if I was on the right road and when they said yes, I started shooting to outside of the church of San Nicola. Also posted outside the church were death notices. I had to shoot these. The road that is the small village of San Nicola is on the south side of the mountain valley. Aprigliano is opposite it on the north side of the valley.

After taking pictures in San Nicola, I headed to Aprigliano.