After a casual morning filled with coffee and bread with jam, we hit the road circa noon and headed for Reggio Calabria, to Museo Nazionale della Magna Grecia. Reggio Calabria is 61 miles from the house… it’s about an hour and a half drive (excluding time spent backing down yet ANOTHER murder road, thanks Waze). The first 20 minutes are getting to the Autostrade. The rest are smooth, high speed sailing on an INCREDIBLE highway system.
It’s like they just drew a “most convenient route” line down the country and tunneled through every mountain and bridged every valley along the way. There are points where you enter a tunnel that is a kilometer or three long, emerge onto a bridge over a ravine a couple hundred meters deep, then go right back into another mountain tunnel. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Most of the Autostrade is toll road, so they’re in great shape, and have conveniently spaced service stations every 20 to 45 kilometers.
As we came out of the last of the tunnels into the Reggio Calabria area, we came around a bend and discovered that what I thought were more mountains in the distance was actually Sicily. Go Sicily! I didn’t realize it was so close.
We found parking relatively close to the museum and then made our way inside. It was an archeological history of the region and focused mostly on the Greek and pre-Greek cities in the area. Turns out that “Italians” started down in what is now Southern Italy, and are named for Italus (from Ancient Greek: Ἰταλός) who was a legendary king of the Oenotrians, some of the earliest inhabitants of Italy.
We spent a good long amount of time thoroughly enjoying the museum, and not just because of its air conditioning. Then we adjourned to a Gelateria across the street for an afternoon snack before heading home. Turns out every Italian is genetically pre-disposed to love babbies. They got so many smiles and kisses and waves and peek-a-boos… it was adorable.
To pass the time in our car, we decided to count the tunnels on the way back.
- 61 miles: 26 tunnels
- 21 of those tunnels were in the first 20 miles of the trip
- The other direction had two more tunnels than we did
There were probably nearly as many bridges/viaducts. Want to see the list?
We stoped in Vibo Marina for dinner, visiting PEDRO’S Pizzaria. By this point we (and especially the babbies) were all very tired, but we ate, got home, and got to be without major incident other than one of the babbies vomiting all over herself and her car seat. [insert jazz hands here]