The heat in Rome was starting to take effect. I had somehow caught a stomach funk that came with some serious cramps and other stomach symptoms that need no describing. Thanks to some Zofran I didn't puke all over the apartment and felt like getting out of town was a good idea. We didn't have a way to travel with the mountain bikes yet so the beach sounded like a good place to relax and recover from the heat. We decide to get away from the busy beaches surrounding Rome and head over the Apennines mountain range and head to the Adriatic Sea. The drive was beautiful, especially when we reached the eastern portion of the drive under the Gran Sasso d'Italia. Rising 2912m this is the Apennines highest peak. The national park surrounding the Gran Sasso is also home the lowest (latitude) glacier in Europe. Sorry no photos for either. I was feeling the funk and of course it was all obscured on the way home. Arriving in Giulianova in only a couple hours we had plenty of time to sit on the beach and soak up some late morning sun.
The beach community of Giulianova was perfect getaway for the weekend. Our hotel was clean, comfortable and across the street from the beach. On the beach there was tons of life. Folks were socializing, venders wondering and selling the best purses, sunglasses, kites and beach toys money can buy on a beach. We had our own huge umbrella with two lounge chairs right up front for prime views of the beautiful people, banana hammocks, and the WAY to tanned/leathered old timers. Being from the high mountains of Colorado where the sun is your enemy, I thought this friendly beach sun couldn't do much damage to my pasty, white skin in 45 minutes. My dermatologist would not be happy. I'm still paying for that stupid decision. I don't think I'll ever get to that nice Italian bronze. For two hours we had the beach to ourselves. From about 1 pm to 3pm all the Italians head in for "pranzo" and left it all to us. By late afternoon we headed back for some Aperol spritz's and wine on our balcony. An Aperol spritz is the perfect summer drink. A combo of porsecco, an orange liqueur called Aperol, soda water and tons of ice. BOMB! We had done some research about the happenings in Giulianova for this night and we found that it was essentially the night of "Shopping". But shopping was only a small portion of the night. All the participating shops in town were staying open late to accommodate the summer sales that run through August throughout the whole country. We did some browsing and decided on a seafood dinner at a local, off the beaten path restaurant. Ristorante il Gabbiano. Our main dish of halibut was great but we made a couple bad decisions on our antipasto and salads. Live and learn.
Walking through the streets after dinner we quickly realized this was a grand event for this town. It seemed like everyone was out filling every restaurant, gelatoria, and bar. The stages that we had seen being set up that afternoon were now being used for comedy skits and music. The main event for music wasn't set to go on until midnight so we were gonna miss that one. But we didn't miss the DJ set at 3:30am. That was quite a wake up call. We kinda knew that we might hear some music and couldn't really get upset, but man, ear plugs would have done nothing to the beats that shook us on our third floor room. Live and learn.