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Starting with the Greeks 2,400 years ago, continuing with the Romans and through World War II, people have been tunneling under Napoli. First the Greeks, tunneled and quarried the volcanic tuft that they used for their building.

The real work started with the Romans who built miles of tunnels and cistern to hold the water delivered by aqueduct from sources up to 70 kilometers from Napoli. Eventually, the cisterns were replaced by more modern water systems only to have the tunnels and abandoned cisterns used for bomb shelters during World War II. Today, the complex is a tourist site that offers tours through the tunnels and cisterns. That’s our first stop today.

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Up at a reasonable hour and hangout in the apartment. There’s no rush as we have a late morning flight to Naples on Volotea Airlines whom I’ve never heard of but it’s not Ryanair so that should be an improvement.

They are based in Spain and although they are still another of the “cheap” airlines by the time you pay for a seat assignment, checked baggage and priority loading, the fare is right up there with the “normal” airlines. Apparently, there is no free “as in beer” left in aviation.

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The plan for today is a day off from driving. That, of course, doesn’t mean a day off from walking. The destination is a park, Parco Naturale Molentargius Saline, that is built around some tidal salt flats. In the park there are some lagoons that are the home to some resident flamingos. Yes, I said flamingos. Some very lost flamingos.

Barbara has found the park in her trip research and she says that the park is only a couple of kilometers away. Out on the street. Take a right out the door. Take another right at the corner and start up the hill past where the I’ve parked the car to the top of the hill and head back down. (Have I mentioned how much I hate it when Google Maps picks a route that sends you up a hill and then back down when it could have mapped out a route that is 2 centimeters longer and doesn’t have a hill?) The route takes along some very busy avenues but the Maps app shows us getting closer though this is hardly a walk that anyone would recommend.

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Late yesterday we arrived just after 6PM in Cagliari and started a search for our room for the night. Maps didn’t have much trouble finding the location but parking was another issue entirely.

The room is in another upscale residential neighborhood and that means finding free over-night parking is difficult and what is there is usually taken. I double park the car and drop Barbara and the bags. We have instructions for the keypad that opens the front door of the building and the keycode works “most” of the time.

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A quick breakfast, check out and load the car. Point the car downhill and hope for the best. The last descent is a non-event. Back through Posada. Stop at an ATM at the post office for some cash and on the road again. This time to Cagliari, again.

Pablo who?

Barbara has for a town on the route, Orgosolo, which has two interesting attractions: 150 plus murals painted on the walls and it is one of the few places left where silkworms are an essential part of the economy. We focus on the murals. Click here for more info on the murals of Orgosolo.

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After a fine breakfast on the lovely patio at the B&B, it’s a beautiful day and we’re off to find a necroplis which is defined generally as an ancient cemetery. The word comes from the Greek meaning,literally, “city of the dead”.

The first is Necropolis of Anghelu Ruju . It’s located near Alghero off a well traveled 2 lane road. From the Wikipedia entry for the site, “The necropolis of Anghelu Ruju is a pre-Nuragic archaeological site located north of the city of Alghero, Province of Sassari, Sardinia. It is the largest necropolis of pre-Nuragic Sardinia.” It was discovered accidentally in 1903 and excavated numerous times since.

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We recover the car and head out for our first search for ruins in Sardinia. That shouldn’t be hard and there are literally thousands of ruins here from about 8,000 BCE forward.

Just who and/or what is Sardinia? Here’s a quote from the Wiki article about the island, “Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, and one of the 20 regions of Italy. It is located west of the Italian Peninsula, north of Tunisia and immediately south of the French island of Corsica.

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We’re up at 4:00 AM, washed, brushed and packed. Down to the lobby at 4:25 AM. There’s no taxi but we’re early. I remind the night clerk that we have a taxi for 4:30. He checks the notebook. Calls the radio taxi company. Waits on hold for a minute or two. Calls again. Speaks to someone this time. A few minutes later a taxi arrives. We load up and we’re off to the airport.

Or somewhere. There’s a woman in the right front seat when the taxi arrives. And the taxi driver has his foot in it, blasting through red lights with abandon. “Drive it like you stole it.” A quick left onto a side street then another quick right onto a smaller side street. Just as I’m about to “remind” the driver that we’re going to the airport, he comes o a quick stop. The woman passenger jumps out. “Ciao.” And we’re off again.

The whole ride was just a blur of quick turns and blown red lights. Fortunately, there wasn’t much traffic and the driver made remarkable time to the airport. He gets to the departure area in the front of the terminal, stops and gets out our bags. “How much?” “Twenty five euro.” (An honest Neapolitan taxi driver at 4:30 AM. Who’d a thunk it?)

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Breakfast in the hotel dining room and then check out. Pack the car and we’re off for a longish drive to Napoli. Back through the winding streets and onto the autostrada. We’re headed for Bomarzo to see the Sacro Bosco (“Sacred Grove”), also called Park of the Monsters.

Bormarzo is about 150 kilometers southeast of Siena. We go about half way on the autostrada and half on 2 lane country roads. We’re out of the dramatic mountains now but the scenery is all open, rolling hill farmland with almost no traffic.

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Siena – June 4, 2023

After a good night’s sleep, we off to downtown Siena. First we stop at the dining room for the breakfast buffet and then to the from desk to inquire about bus service to the old city.

The woman at the desk takes our map and starts telling us and drawing the bus stops, all at light speed. The only part we get from the discussion (the map drawing was useless) is “Leave the hotel, go to the end of the road and turn right (or was it left?) and the bus stop is right there.”

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