After the previous days exertions, it was time for another rest day. The plan was to potter around the pool for the morning and head out just after lunch to visit the castle at Sermoneta, a plan that we executed perfectly. We dragged our pruned and rosy bodies up the cobbled streets, hopscotching between the bored cats stretching out in the intimidating midday sun, for a short walk to the castle gates. Despite our obvious lack of Italian language skills, we worked out that we could only get in as part of a guided tour and that that guided tour was only going to be in Italian.
Again, we couldn’t come all the way to Sermoneta and not see the castle and so we paid our money and joined in the tour. We were so fortunate that one of the other visitors was a Romanian lass who had married an Italian guy who worked for HP in England and so was fluent in English, Italian, Romanian and probably another half dozen languages on top. At the end of each stop on the tour she translated for us and brought the place to life with the stories of the past. She was incredibly kind to spend the time making the visit so much more enjoyable for us, what a difference to Pompeii the day before and a great warning that you have to make the most of opportunities as they come your way.
We spent around an hour listening to the stories and picking our way around the castle from the servant quarters and kitchen, through the master bedrooms and all the way through secret battlements and the super view from the roof. By this time the kids were getting bored again and the tour was done. They got their rewards/hush money of ice creams in the town square and then back to the villa for splashing and swimming. Around the pool area were a number of citrus trees that were in full fruit. We used the lemons and limes to bounce off each other’s heads and play piggy in the middle. Simple fun, but a perfect way to relax. As boy child helped to try and get the limes out of the pool using the pool cleaning net he, in a style that only he could have mastered, managed to loosen the net from the end of the pole and it shot off over the terrace and into the garden of the house below. It was a task that you couldn’t get him repeat in a million years even if he tried his hardest, but that’s what he has in his locker, just like his dad! I spoke to the landlord and explained what had happened and it was returned the next day without fuss.
With all the excitement of the pool winding down, we washed and showered and headed into town for dinner. We ended up at the Trattoria de Elena. It was another local restaurant that was not your basic pizza and pasta you would expect from an Italian restaurant in the UK. There was a focus on local meats and products but no pizza or “spag-bol’ type meals. I had the mixed grill and it was nothing short of lovely and at €106 for seven heads, not too shabby at all. We stopped for ice creams in the town square on the way back home and ticked off another successful and happy day.