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Frankie’s Grandfather’s Village

Caulonia

IMG 8305.Driving to Caulonia we drove east to the Ionian Sea passing throughIMG 8369 Crotone and then driving down the Ionian coast first through Catanzaro where the holiday traffic was so bad we moved 1 mile in 1 hour. The landscape is aired, but green. Lots of grass and evidence of recent fires I would say similarr to San Diego. Most prevalent are olive trees and prickly pear cactus. The sea is bright blue and white sand beaches covered with umbrellas (thousands).IMG 8306

.We made our way directly to the hilltop village of CauloniaIMG 8310surounded by rolling hills of olive and fruit trees. The village had some new construction lower on the hill and got more historic as we climbed. Streets soon grew very small and we found a place to park to continue the tour by foot. Streets are huge stones 18″x36′.IMG 8313

Again homes were very old some painted with years of history showingIMG 8315on the paint and some natural cement. Locals navigated in cars, motorcycles and the classiic 3 wheeled scooter/truck. We found two mens club areas where older locals were hanging out and playing games. I would guess the village had 1000 homesIMG 8319. Check-out photos below

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IMG 8356Caulonia has a community seaside called Caulonia Marina I guess the marina implies by the sea since there was no marina. We found the beach boardwalk through a narrow tunnel from the road where there were IMG 8354condos and one hotel called Helios. We were in luck and they had one room. It’s pretty warm and no air conditioning. Hope it cools off at night. Here’s were the story turns interesting. We told the man at the front desk that Frankie’s grandfather was born here. Frankie gave him her grandfather’s birth cirtificated to look at and the mans jaw IMG 8357dropped. It turns out that the man (owner of the hotel) has the same last name Cirllo. He studyied all our documents and spent time thinking and calculating. By the way he doesn’t speak any English but we are doing a pretty good job of communicating. Later we arrive at the front desk and he has his daughter who speaks a little English was with him and she said we might be related and maybe tomorrow her father could go to where historical records are available to see what we could find out. What’s the chances?.

It turns out the hotel also has a beach resturaunt and beach disco.. We had a very nice dinner at the hotel then walked onIMG 8360 the boardwalk and retired around 11:30. Window open and cool breeze IMG 8362and then at mid-night not one but 3 beach discos turn on the music and the streets are full of cars and people. Good thing I’m a sound sleeper and Frankie can wear ear plugs. A decent nights sleep in spite of the music. I guess we should of went dancing since the music went until 5 AM.

With the late nights here people don’t wake up to early. We left the hotel for our next stop at 10:30 and still hadn’t seen Frankie’s possible relative Mr. Cirillo. We did leave our card and email address so maybe something will develop. Caulonia is a very nice place and we would come back if we had relatives here.

Off to the western Tyrrhenian coast of Italy in the next update

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