Wednesday, July 13, 2011

TRAVEL DIARY: RENDE

Hello friends! I'm back with more of my travel notes from Italy! Today we are heading just a bit north from the family's adventures in Sicily to the town of Rende where my father was born. This was by far the most special part of the trip, and a place I hope to return to very soon...
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Rende is perched on top of a hill and surrounded by a few other towns just like it - all very small - with nothing touristy about them at all. In other words, sheer perfection. We immersed ourselves in the real Italy (no other Americans in sight!) and enjoyed every second of it...
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Every little detail seemed enchanting (especially all the worn doorways) and - to give you an idea of how small the town is - we literally ran into relatives on the street while wandering through on our first night! In true Italian style, they showed us to the home my father grew up in, and gave us a little history lesson on the famiglia... complete with a tour of the cemetery where we discovered generations of LaValle, Storino and Principe lineage.
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And of course the churches (this one was my favorite - the color of the walls made it glow inside)
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The rest of the time was spent simply falling in love with this little hilltop town...
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I even picked out my future vacation home...
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Definitely my favorite. While the actual city of Rende is quite large for the region, the hilltop area is referred to as 'Old Rende' and maintains its quiet charm, which was just my style. I can't wait to go back someday, visit with the family, and enjoy the simple life!


*travel notes: we stayed at the b&b alarcon where there are currently only two rooms available, but more are planned, and the couple who runs the place were kind enough to pick us up from the train station! we dined at the hosteria de mentoza two evenings (there are only a few restaurants in town) and enjoyed what i'd consider to be the best food we had on the trip!