Friday, October 2, 2009

In Hot Water

I was wrong! There is more than one perfect hill town in Italy, and today's was called Calcata. Just like Civita, the cliffs are crumbling and the buildings on the town's edge are tumbling into the abyss. Also like Civita, the only access is on foot so it is blissfully free of cars and scooters.

Back in the 1930's the government ordered it evacuated for safety reasons and in the 1960's the hippies moved in and claimed the vacant structures for their own. It has a Paia kind of feeling to it and you can buy hand crafts, beads and fragrant oils. Unfortunately we had a delicious lunch there. Unfortunately, because they had a "pay what you think it is worth" policy. I hate it when people do that.

We drove through a number of beautiful (but scary to drive through) hill towns on our way back to our hotel, and made a final stop at some ruins where many cars were parked. We were delighted to find a spring of hot sulpher water bubbling from the ground and flowing through small Roman aquaducts to bathing pools. We stripped to our skivvies and soaked away the tension of the drive. It was the pefect end to a perfect day.

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