Sleep was scarce last night. We had to barricade #1BigBrother in his room as he kept escaping and roaming the halls all night. We’ve decided tonight not to even fight it. We’ll watch movies until they pass out.
We didn’t have much, any, of a plan for today. We had to get gas for the car, but beyond that, we were just driving and exploring. While Amir was pumping petrol, I took to Google Maps scoping out the nearest castles. Yes, there are many choices, one atop every hill in fact.
I found Castello di Torre Alfina, just 15 minutes away and with 127 five star reviews. Sold. It didn’t open for an hour though, so the kids were so disappointed we just had to get gelato… again. It’s been a daily occurrence. this time we added cannolis.
The castle doors opened right on time. #1BigBrother was tied with Amir to be first inside. The gates opened up to a large garden and u-shaped courtyard where we found a small door to purchase tickets. #1BigSister immediately took to doing cartwheels in the grass. She’s a gymnast now. Monday nights.
At first we were afraid we’d be shut out of a tour. We weren’t sure if small children weren’t allowed, or if the tour guides just didn’t speak English. It didn’t take long for our English-speaking guide, Eva, to appear and introduce herself to the kids. Phew.
As soon as we entered, we knew we were in for an unexpected experience. For starters, we were the only family there. We had the place to ourselves. We had Eva to ourselves. Amir pelted her with question after question like a kid asking for candy answers.
The tour encompasses two floors. If you want the history lesson on the castle, I’m not your gal. Ask Amir. I was too busy taking photos every five feet as I encountered aesthetic moments one after the other that just required capturing. I was also baby-wearing squirmy #1LittleSister, which required me to up my photography game to avoid 2G of blurry photos.
After the castle, we loaded everyone back into the JEEP and again consulted our friendly tour guide Google Maps for a next stop. We’d been eyeing up a large volcanic lake on the map. I’d noticed it when researching our AirBnB. We set course.
It turns out Lake Bolsena also has a castle. I’m not kidding you – the things are everywhere. This time we were hungry though, so we hiked up the hill towards the castle, but our destination was a small cafe called I Sapori del Castello. Somewhere along the upward climb it started raining… cold rain. Rain that just seemed extra wet. When we finally reached the restaurant, we worried they might not let us in looking so war-torn.
The kids surprisingly didn’t eat much (there was pizza, too)… but we needed to move along to our next stop before it got too dark. We are brave explorers, but only in the daylight.
We walked back down that huge hill and stopped at the overlook to appreciate the volcanic lake and surrounding village. The rain had passed and the shivering stopped.
At the overlook, Amir spotted a ferris wheel down below, at the edge of the lake. I’d have thought for sure the kids would have seen it first – but we had to point it out to them. There was no question where we were headed next.
After three turns on the ferris wheel, it was our turn to exit. We took one last lap near the water to get a close up look at the fishing boats before heading back to the car. As a lover of all vehicles and vessels, #1BigBrother was quite satisfied.
Tomorrow we might check out the geothermal pools – but that all depends on everyone’s willingness to sleep tonight. Here’s hoping for more rest than the last 5 nights.