I awoke at 7:30 and walked headlong into my first barrage of an unintelligible language. Vanessa had warned me that no one in this region spoke much English as Italians mostly visit Abruzzo. I had practised some useful words like Bon Giorno, buona note, grazia and ciao but colazione and an ascensore had a connection and once I had consulted my tiny English Italian dictionary I knew what to do. I had to go to the basement for breakfast! Consulting my dictionary I had a lovely breakfast and coffee and went back to my room to look at maps. I didn’t have a lot of information about Abruzzo so picking up my trusty book I went down to reception where Roberto and Barbara were. I tried to explain ‘ Io andare…’ to wherever I wanted to go. Eventually I made them understand me and they gave me some ‘carta geographica.’ I felt very cross with myself for not speaking Italian. You can imagine the fun I had trying to explain that I wanted to hire a ‘macchina’ for a few days. I had decided this on impulse and I couldn’t really afford it but the only way to see Italy as my Dad had was to drive a Fiat around this beautiful region. I had a lovely dinner of linguine-with-tomatoes-capers-and-olives and tuna-and-butterbean-salad and of course a couple of glasses of Montepulciano . Feeling very nervous but tired I went to bed and thought about driving on the next day. I was very very nervous.