I got a very interesting email from one of my favorite Italian family members in Venice, my mother-in-law's cousin's wife.
In her mail she told me her first impressions about her first holiday in Calabria back in the early 90ies. Read what she wrote:
(...) I'm so fond of all Calabria that coming there on vacation for me now it's like coming back home. I feel so comfortable and enjoy all the aspects of the surroundings. But, it hasn't been so since the very beginning. Let me tell you my first terrible impressions of the first time I arrived there.
It happened in 1992, after a never ending journey by car. The house had been closed for many years and we arrived in July. It was hot of course and no air conditioning nor ventilation in it. Many times I slept in the beach-chair on the terrace. Along with the bad impression I had of the constructions which always seems so uncompleted and ruined, most of the time we hadn't water for showers or cooking. We had to spend part of the day stocking bottles and bottles of water for the main necessities.
I was desperate and wanted to go home. Much probably I wasn't in the mood to accept those things cause we mostly spent our holidays in the mountains in Suedtirol where everything is so accurate, clean, tidy, you know what I mean.
Anyway I couldn't help it and we finished our vacation.
Next time I'll tell you how I changed my mind.
The 'house' she is talking about is the appartment of my in-laws in Vibo Marina, 4km from Pizzo. Here, my husband spent the first 6 years of his live. When his parents, originally from Northern Italy moved on, they kept this home as the family's holiday residence.
I really appreciate this story as it is so true. I had the same experience back in 1996! I spent the first summer in Calabria with my husband (boyfriend at that time). It was an adventure for both of us! He hasn't been back there for years.
Of course meanwhile many things have improved, we got aircondition and water is secured. Even the construction ruine of 30 years in front of the house is finished and painted since last year.
I am curious to read the prosecution about how she felt in love with Calabria. Thank you for sharing!
picture 1: taken 2006 at restaurant Go, view of Vibo Marina, picture 2: taken 2005 at my family's house, view of Vibo Marina's port