Pescara, where the beautiful people go and Terry is age of Christ

Terry and Marion had popped over for a cuppa to visit us so we all took the train down early enough, grabbing a quick espresso at the train station. The journey took about 2 hours. Pescara train station is pretty big with plenty English magazines and books. We had no idea how to get to the Hotel so we took the chance to get a taxi, right outside the station. The taxi driver was a cool Italian guy who played some funky dance beats throughout our journey. The journey also took us quite a while and we realised later that we could have walked in about 30 minutes. Simon had booked a big room for the 4 of us. €150 for the night with breakfast. Not bad. Hotel Regent is right on the beachfront and was acceptably clean, cosy and orange.
I hate the beach. No, let me correct that, I don’t really hate the beach, I love the sea and the sand but the idea of sitting on the beach for longer than half an hour petrifies me. And bores me. I get a headche, I start to go mad, foaming at the mouth etc
The beach front in Pescara goes on and on and on, covered with coloured parasols, which you can rent for €9 a day. Lots of fabulously toned and tanned bodies with plenty male Italian posers, if you’re into that kind of thing.
Which I’m not.
The city of Pescara has a reputation for being a shoppers paradise. It is. Lots of beautiful boutiques, the usual European chain shops and lots of nice, simple and cheap Italian basic shops. There was a really nice shop called Tegrazzo, full of loungewear and basics in the stock colours, ladies and men! I stocked up on vests, tops and underwear. They seem really good quality. We will see.
Another lovely little shop I’ve came across in Chieti was L’erborolia”. There was a small more authentic one in Pescara. I treated myself to more almond stuff, a big tub of almond and olive moisturiser for €12. This would cost €40 in L’Occcitane! They also do really nice teas. I asked for a relaxing one for Simon as a present. Nicely wrapped up for me too.
Pescara is not just for women shoppers. Simon was very excited about the men’s clothes shops. He brought me around and showed me 120 different colours of shirts and ties. Beautiful clothes for men. I gave him my full blessing to press ahead and purchase loads of stuff. Terry was not excited by the shops or clothes. I tried my best but he was having none of it. He much preferred sitting, reading and drinking green tea.
As you may know, during the hours of 1-4, the Italians have a little rest for themselves. Pescara didn’t totally close but not all the shops were open. We sat in a nice beach cafe(of which there are millions) and drank copious amounts of espressos for 75c a pop. Well, Terry drank his usual green tea.
Over the evening, the green tea and espresso turned into prosecco for me and beer for the others later on. Really good prosecco.
We took a tip from our Abruzzo guidebook for dinner. Simon and the map led us to a restaurant that was gone on holiday. We went for the 2nd option and it turned out super well. It was called Cafe Jozz. We were welcomed in by the owner, Jozz. A jolly Santa like man in a big touristy red chef uniform. Jozz and the waiter had excellent English. He explained how it worked. You basically pay 1 of 3 prices, depending on how much you want to eat. We are not really big eaters so we all went for the €22 menu. Jozz wheels out the first course,a gloopy, green and eggy soup. Simon and Terry went for the soup and gave it the thumbs up. Simon hates egg but the green, healthy veg made him finish the bowl. There was plenty of salty bread with raisins left for us to munch on. Marion and I had gone for the pasta starter. Mine was delish and I think I won. Marion had some sort of creamy and pepper spaghetti thing while I had spaghetti covered in olive oil and pork mince and Parmesan. Good. Next up was the meat option. There was pork, chicken and lamb. Jozz kept giving me samples for free and Simon was convinced that we would have to pay as the samples were meal size portions for me! We didn’t. The wine was also excellent. I had a very dark, blush rose, which was v different from the usual sweet rose I’ve tried. The others shared a bottle of wine from the Montepuliciano grape in Abruzzo.
The dessert trolley came out. This was the only slight let down. Chocolate cake with marmalade liquor filling or Panna cotta type thing. Marion treated me for my birthday and we treated Terry for his birthday as he was the age of Christ that very day. The area of Cafe Jozz was thriving and very Spanish like. A really nice non touristy part of Pescara saturated with interesting looking restaurants. Cafe Jozz was really tasty, the hosts were very generous and the atmosphere was holiday like but not touristy like. Beautiful.
I wanted to get a taxi because I knew once we returned to Taglicozzo, we would we forced to walk forever more. The others wanted to walk, I tried to protest but the majority voted. We walked. The area around the Hotel was energised. I felt like going to bed so at midnight, We all took our beauty sleep. A lovely day in Pescara with more time for shopping tomorrow. Happy dream, Rozzie.
Breakfast was good. Lots of cake, ham and nutella items. We were catching the train back at 2 so Marion and I took a light saunter throughout the shops. The market by the train station was our first stop. We had read about this in the guidebook. The guidebook had recommended we haggle. I was so not going to haggle.
However, the bags were pretty amazing. Complete fakes. But really good fakes. The outside looked and felt like leather but the inside was bad quality. We had our eyes on a few Tod’s bags. All the others would be easily spotted as fakes whereas the Tod’s ones were a bit less in your face. Logos are not cool, real or not. The bag was worth €30 max. The man wanted €200. Forget it. We walked away and returned and tried again. I offered €30 again. He wanted €100. I told him €30 was my last offer. He was having none of it. He refused to haggle and got really annoyed and gave out about us. He put the bag back and turned away from us. We were shocked. No haggling. Fake bags for €100. Dont go. They won’t haggle. They’re far too expensive and the market guys just want to sleep and rip you off.
When we reached Tagliacozzo, the Piazza del’ Obelisco was busy out We seated ourselves in the hip Wine bar on the square. We all ordered cocktails, mine was a toxic fruit mixture of gin, gin, alcohol and gin. Some fruit liquor maybe too. It was served in a goldfish bowl. The others got smaller but lethal cocktails. Terry and Simon asked for the manly cocktails.
A big bowl of crisps and snacks of bread arrived to fill the gap before dinner. Simon had been raving about this very posh restaurant at the top of the square. He wanted to try this traditional dish of gnocchi and chickpeas. I had a feeling that this dish would not exist when we arrived there. This is a normal pattern of events for us. Simon reads about this amazing restaurant, off the beaten track. He gets hyped up about it and puts it on a pedestal and we find it after hours of climbing and getting lost. When we arrive, it’s either closed, not there or different.
Tonight, the dish was not there. Poor Simon.
We were lucky that they had many other wonderful things on the menu, we were not so lucky with the hosts. The owner should have been a computer technician, Simon noted. He had no personality or warmth and we ordered under pressure. The waiter was a lovely little( about 19, in case you think he was a primary school child working under slave labour conditions) boy who spoke only Italian. He was clearly and openly unnerved by me for some reason. He kept glancing at me nervously every time I said something scary like “Do you have rose wine?”
We all(but Marion) had a primo course. Simon and Terry had the gnocchi with truffles and cream and I had the ravoli with spinach and ricotta. I think I won though theirs was quite close. The main was plain lamb chop and but beautifully grilled and served with crispy, oily potato cubes. The dessert was possibly the best we have eaten in a long, long time. It had a long title but the word “chocolate” always glares at me from a menu. It was a small chocolate pudding with a perfectly, oozing and warm dark choc filling. Not too sweet, just yum. I told the little waiter that the dessert was excellent and gave him a big dramatic thumbs up. At last, his nerves vanished and he looked relieved and smiled. Maybe, this was ins first night and he was eager to please. Who knows? My bill with a glass of wine came to €30 for a 3 course meal with an exceedingly good dessert. The owner would want to grow a personality but if he did, more people might come. What would he do then?
Tomorrow is market day in Tagliacozzo.

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