Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Back in Livorno and on to Montenero, Italy

It was nice to get back to a familiar place. I could easily find my way to the albergo and was given my same room. Most of my time so far as been spent trying to find a place to stay starting on Nov 3 - two days away. I was trying to find something on the way toward Matera because it is just about at the opposite end of the country from where I am. Then I thought I'd try something on a main train line. I tried Florence, Orvieto (really wanted to stay there), Rome, Naples and finally Arezzo, which is the place I stopped for an hour between trains.

Some had openings but their prices were crazy - well over 200 euro a night. My limit has been around 50 euro a night and it has been averaging close to that. For my last few weeks I decided to go up a little, to around 80 euro if I had to. Still little choices - especially when I searched for places that will allow dogs.

I found a place in Naples although most people say it is dangerous to stay there. It is on the water where the ferries come in from Capri. He didn't have room this week but I booked one of his mini apartments for the week of Nov 15-21. I thought it would be a good base to get to other sites in the area.

I had written to a few people - they have to approve you before you can book a room - and two got back to me a little late. One has a place on the Amalfi coast but it is near Naples so I won't take that. The other has a room starting tomorrow in Florence but I had just sent in my request - and money to stay in a place in Arezzo. If I am denied for some reason, I will then hopefully have the Florence room available. I tried 3 different websites to find places but www.airbnb still seems to be the best for me.

Now, I will have reservations for all but my last week in Italy. I am hoping to spend the last week in Sicily.

OK, I am sure I have bored you will my mundane problems. I did take time to walk to piazza grande, back to my trusty information office and bought another 3 day Livorno pass. I used it to go back to Montenero, the town at the top of the funicular I missed on my last trip here. The last time I went up the funicular/incline - and then waited - and went back down, not knowing there was a lot to see at the top of the mountain. This time I got off.

Today is All Saints Day so schools and many businesses are closed. People were buying bouquets of flowers to put on the graves of their loved ones and they were also going to church services. So, this was a perfect day to visit Montenero because there is a famous church there. This church houses a 14th century image of the Madonna, who is called the "crying Madonna" because people have seen tears coming from her eyes. People go here to pray to be healed of various health problems. I did see the Madonna but did not see tears.

A church service was going on so Seymour and I went in. The church was filled with statues and paintings but the most interesting part was at the alter. Besides the statues and paintings, there was a very large gold background that looked like enormous sunbeams behind the paintings. I wish I had a picture but I am sure you could google this church and see some images. It is called "The Sanctuary of Montenero". The outside of the church has been updated over the years so it isn't exciting. They added a courtyard and have buried some notable Livornese there. Here is the outside of the church.

Here is another building just in front of the funicular

Here is a view from there down to the valley and ocean.

When I looked closer, the ships looked like they were floating, but that is all ocean. There are at least 3 ships in the picture below.

So, we finished out afternoon at McDonalds again - no reason except I am now addicted to fries again - and headed back to our albergo/hotel to continue looking for places to stay.

A new couple came to our albergo for the night. They are from Colorado and are doing a bike trip around Europe for 3 months. They bought bikes in Germany and will sell them before they leave. They go home around Nov 20. Nice youngsters! Here they would call them "ragazzi".

Tomorrow I may go to the beach again - gotta use that Livorno pass!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. Hi Susan, If the locals seem to think that Naples is a dangerous place you may want to take that into consideration, especially if you are going to stay there for about a week. Also, in what way is it dangerous? Let us know exactly where you are staying if you do go there. We do worry about you! Love, Sharon and Art

  2. Okay, I posted a comment and it disappeared after it said it had been posted, so here it is again. If the locals think that it is dangerous to go to Naples you may want to take that into consideration especially since you plan to be there for about a week. Let us know exactly where you will be staying as we do worry about you and Seymour. Love, Sharon and Art

  3. I will send you the info on where I'm staying. I showed it to Dai, here at the albergo and she thought it looked fine. I think you just have to be alert. Love you guys