autostrada del soleprologue-4 – italy 2014

autostradaLet me put up a tentative itinerary.

We arrive in Palermo on Saturday, August 30 and drive the three hours to Modica on the A18. We’re in Sicily for one week. We’ll go to Agrigento, Siracusa, Ragusa and the amazing Scala dei Turchi beach.

On Saturday, September 6 we’ll find our way onto the A15 and head up to Messina to get the ferry to cross over to Villa San Giovanni on the Reggio Calabria side. Autobahnsymbol2I’m hoping we can spend a couple of hours in Reggio; the lungomare is phenomenal. The second week, we’re in Belmonte Calabro for the first half and Naples for the second. We’re driving the A3 between Reggio and Calabro. We will visit with my relatives in Aprigliano and Pietrafitta and go to Pompeii when in Naples.

The third week we’ll be in Rome. Half-way between Naples and Rome, off the A1, is Cassino. Here the Axis and Allied forces fought the Battle for Rome. I want to see the WWII cemetery at the bottom of the mountain and Monte Cassino – the Benedictine monastery – at the top. (It was the Allies that bombed the monastery.)

Traveling the Autostrada, I don’t hear the electronic jazz Kraftwerk created all those years ago.
Wir fahr’n fahr’n fahr’n auf der Autobahn  (Like the rest of us, the boys have gotten old.)
But let’s not dither, there is no fusion, no syncopation, no elegance to the Italian autostrada. The pastoral lassitude of the German landscape is replaced by the spikes and tunnels of the Aspromonte.