We arrived in Brindisi and made our way to the quayside by the marina. Yes, you’ve guessed it, the morning fix of coffee and a small cake. The café/bar was called ‘Betty’ Hmmmm. I went to wash my hands and as I left the washroom a beautiful lady introduced herself in Italian, shook my hand and then followed me back to the table where she greeted. Sergio. It turned out Sergio had arranged to meet Monica. She had travelled from Lecce to join use (Sergio really) and had recognised me either from my blog or the fact that I stuck out like a sore thumb amongst all the chic Italians.
We started our ride South West at 11:00hrs arriving at Villa San Giovanni to catch another ferry at 17:00hrs. The ride was soleful (sorry bad pun, soulful) from the heel to the toe of Italy then to Messina, Sicily and on towards Catania. We are staying on the side of the only active volcano in Europe, mount Etna at an organic farm owned by Diego. It used to be a vineyard and orange grove which is being restored with help from Alfio, Orazio and volunteers from the WWOOF programme. I stayed here 2 years ago and it’s interesting to see how the place has developed with more buildings restored, livestock and water and power projects. They are almost self sufficient.
For our meal this evening, everthing was sourced from the farm and neighbours. We arrived to see the dough going into the brick bread oven, watched our salad be picked, saw the free range chickens that laid the eggs that went in to the quiche, drank the local wine and finished with honey in it’s comb. The conversation was stimulating as you would expect from a group of people who don’t have a TV and are fascinated by every aspect of their work and environment.