After a very straightforward crossing from Corfu we arrived in Roccella on Tuesday morning, 2 October and began to settle in. We have booked our flight home for the 24th and so had three weeks to prepare Windependent for our departure.
The marina here is quite big, seems well protected from the weather and is really well organised, with fabulously friendly and helpful staff. There is even a Community Centre for the live-aboards and free use of pedal cycles to get to town and back.
There is a large and growing ‘live aboard’ community of folks who will either stay here the entire winter or, like us, return home for all or part of it; so there is a fair amount of socialising to do. As soon as we’d arrived Valeria invited our immediate neighbours for drinks and we’ve been making lots of new friends. There is a big weekly BBQ at the ‘community centre’ and we’ve had a couple of BBQs on and around our boats.
Roccella town is about 2 km from here, hence the bikes. These aren’t always available but the walk does us good, 5 km to the supermarket and back for a start! . There are a number of hiking trails around town but the dominant feature is the castle, sometimes known as the Palazzo Carafa and the fortified tower or Pizzafalcone, on the hills above it. We took a walk up there on Saturday, it is only open between 4 and 8 pm at the weekends and covered around 10 km.
The castle is being heavily redeveloped with a large EU grant and it appears it will be a museum of some description. It is a very impressive building dating from the fifteenth century when Roccella was the seat of a Marquis, although later, in its heyday, Roccella was a Principality!
The weather is still very hot during the day, cooling at night and we’ve even had some very heavy rain. Most evenings there are clouds along the coast which makes for some amazing sunsets; the sun disappears behind the castle hill but lights up the clouds from below with some spectacular results.
But now we are preparing to return home for a couple of months and are doing our final preparations for a couple of months away from home. We have just one more day before flying on Tuesday.
Although we are really looking forward to seeing friends and family in the UK we’ve found a great bunch of people here in Roccella and so, even before we leave ,we’re looking forward to returning!