My plan for day three was to walk over to Marina di San Nicola, where the illustrious remains of the Villa di Pompeo are.
Walking through town, I passed another market, this one daily.
Having looked at a map before leaving the apartment, I knew that if I walked south along Via Roma, all the way to it’s end, I would end up on a small road that was reserved for bicyclists and runners, along with those who preferred to walk leisurely, like me.
Well, I was at a cross walk at Largo Anna Magnani, which is part of the main piazza, and had just begun to cross the small street, when I was struck by a car. The driver was an older gentleman, who had been driving slowly, (Thank God!), but because of a car which was double-parked on a bend in the road, he did not see me in the cross walk, nor did I see him approaching. Of course, I fell to the ground.
People immediately came running over to help, and began yelling at the poor man, who looked like he was about to cry. I got to my feet, quite quickly, and once I began telling everyone that I was all right, things calmed down. It was only later, during the day, when the pain began to set in. And by the time that I went to bed that night, it really hurt! Right after I was hit, though, I felt nothing. So, I convinced everyone that all was well, and continued on my way, choosing not to call the police or to wait for an ambulance. I simply wanted to continue on with my exploring.
As it turned out, I did go to see a doctor on my return home, and had fractured my coccyx, which explains the horrible pain that I felt the for remainder of the trip, but – oh well, it could have been worse!
Foolish as it may have been, I continued on my walk to Marina di San Nicola.
Even though I was a bit jumpy after my encounter with the smart car, I continued making my way down Via Roma. Please note: this is a very safe walk. And even though I have heard many tourists talk about how crazy Italian drivers are, I have been traveling to Italy for the past eleven years (twice a year), and have NEVER had a run in of any kind with a vehicle, before this.
I found the road that takes you to Marina di San Nicola. There was a paved sidewalk, to begin with, and then when that ends, a short distance down the road, a large gravel walkway begins on the other side of the street, alongside of the railroad tracks.
You take this until you reach the small community of Palo. At this point, the gravel path ends and for a few minutes you walk along the side of the road. There is hardly any traffic on this stretch of road as the only place that cars can drive to, is a luxury hotel, La Posta Vecchia, which is housed in the old Antica Posta.
After passing the entrance to the hotel, the road continues, but now it is closed to all vehicles.
I expected to see some kind of signage once the bike/pedestrian road ended, but there was nothing, so, I did the only thing that I could think of to do, which was to head towards the sea. If you want to avoid the major roads, there are a few narrow walkways reserved for bikes and pedestrians which lead directly to the shore. Taking these, you pass private residences and summer rentals.
Once at the seaside, you are rewarded for your efforts tenfold! Not only do you get a glorious view La Posta Vecchia, the luxury hotel, but you also get to see the beautiful castle, still privately owned and lived in, which is next to it. I decided to walk along the walkway towards the La Posta Vecchia, for as far as I could.
I then turned around, and took the walkway along the beach south, until I reached what at first appeared to be it’s end. It wasn’t. I continued up the paved path that led up a sandy hill.
I found myself standing on top of part of the Villa di Pompeo. As i walked along, I discovered mosaics underneath my feet, ancient archways, and remains of rooms that only one’s imagination could restore to their former glory.
After a light lunch at one of the bars along the beach, I continued to explore more of the city.
After my usual drink at the Bar Nazionale, I went to a restaurant right on the end of the main Piazza, called Ferdinando E Rosina. At the suggestion of the waitress, I ordered the Zuppa di Pesce – fish soup. She warned me that it was quite large, so I should not order an antipasto or a primo piatti. And boy, was she ever right! This plate was large enough to feed at least two people. The huge bowl was literally overflowing with crab, lobster, scampi, shrimp, clams, mussels, branzino, octopus, and other things that swim which I’d never even seen before. It was delicious! For dessert, I opted for some plain fresh strawberries, which they served with some lemon squeezed on top. It was perfect! And it made for a great end to a bizarre, but fun, day!
next up: Cerveteri