Revive My Soul
Many people go to church, especially here in Italy, to connect with God. I find God in Mother Nature; when I am smelling her sweet fresh air, gazing at her blue waters, appreciating a beautiful flower, feeling and hearing the wind. My soul went to church this past weekend, when we went to Martino Club Hotel, located midway between Rome and Naples on the Mediterranean coast.
Our friend Teresa has a car, and a beauty at that! An Audi A4 convertible, just like Michael’s car at home. She offered to drive and thanks to Wanda, her Audi navigator, we easily found our way out of the city and into the blessed country side. Salto di Fondi, where Martino Hotel is located, is an easy drive south of Rome (there’s a link on the right). I left the driving to Teresa, gave Michael the front passenger seat so he could co-pilot, and I happily took the backseat where I could feel the wind rip through my hair.
A friend of Teresa’s, Simon, recommended the hotel and has known the owners, 4 brothers who’s first names all begin with the letter “A”, for over 25 years. The resort was started by their father, who has passed away, along with a resort in Costa Rica. Mrs. Martino is still alive and well and acts as the hostess and matriarch of the clan. We of course used Simon’s name when making our reservation and we were treated like family from the moment I called. We had a sea view room, with a comfortable bed, and while the hotel is not fancy, the food was delicious and they do a great deal of local events there, i.e. weddings, christening parties and family celebrations. And being outside of the “high season”, I suspect things were more relaxed than when the season is in full swing.
There were no menus. Antonio, one of the brothers, would come to our table and ask what we felt like eating and offer suggestions based on what they were cooking that day. We indulged in some wonderful fresh seafood and pasta and as we saw what the other guests were being served, we asked to be brought a taste too.
We lounged in the sun (yes, Dr. Heck, I wore sunscreen), walked on the beach, listened to the gentle lull of the water slapping on the shore, slept, read, ate and talked. We went to the local bar where we met some of Simon’s friends – other Romans who’s parents built summer homes here when they were small, and they now visit with their children and marvel each year as the generations multiply.
Walking to the metro this morning, the city felt a little less harsh and abrasive; the constant shriek of the ambulance sirens a bit less irritating. Ahhhhh…yes, my soul has been revived.