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Goodbye Cariati – Il Migliore del Mondo

Current Location: Cariati Marina, Italy
Current Position: 39 30.35 N 016 56.56 E Click to view map.
Distance sailed since last post: 2548 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track here

It started with an invitation to go to town for some real Italian Gelato (ice cream).

Giovanni is a local (Cariati) doctor who had his boat Gaia hauled out on the hard just opposite us in Cariati. And he speaks good English.

So we went to town and had some ice cream that was, officially, the best in the world. At least according to the trophies it had one at some recent national competitions. And it was indeed delicious.

Joining us was Michele (Michael). He is another Cariati doctor and is also running for Mayor of the town. He speaks NO English – but is very good at speaking slowly and simply so us mere mortal scan understand him. He is also very passionate about Cariati and Calabria in general, as were soon to learn!

A view over Cariati

A view over Cariati

Well, ice cream then leads to a walk around the historic town. As we do so, we come across a 16th century ‘palazio’ which is now a Bed and Breakfast. It looked very quaint. So Michele goes in and persuades the owners to give us a tour.

Following that we come across another old building, now a bar. It is closed. But that is no impediment to Michele. He finds the bar keeper, gets it opened up, and soon we are drinking local wine (from Ciro, a few miles south of Cariati – il migliore del Mondo – the best in the world).

With it started a procession of local appetizers. Local salamis “migliore del Mondo”, various pates and terrines made from fish – “migliore del Mondo”. We also learned that the ubiquitous red onions originated in Tropea, Calabria before spreading out through the rest of the world. Later we were able to surprise Michele and Giovanni with a wikipedia fact that Tropea even makes red onion ice cream. Imagine that!

Through all this Michele keeps us entertained with his pigeon Italian so that we can understand.

The next evening we Micheled drops by our boat in the afternoon. We invite him in for a glass of wine. Giovanni has his friend from Lampodusa. Michele invites his bother-in-law and niece, both of whom speak Portuguese, and come with Ciro wine (migliore del Mondo) and local cheese (migliore del Mondo) and bread. Once again it turns into a mulit-hour multi-lingual event with their food, and the olive tamponnade that we had made. Sadly the wine we produced, though Italian, was not from Ciro and therefore fell short of Michele’s standards.

Giovanni center, Michele on right

Giovanni center, Michele on right. You know you are in Italy when everyone is on their phone!

The next night we are invited, along with Jan and Sybil, to join Michele for dinner at his place. Jan and Sybil, from Germany, spent 30 years sailing the Baltic, but are now retired and are cruising the Med in their motor cruiser ‘Honfleur’. They speak English, as do all Germans. And Jan has also recently learned Italian.

So we go to Michele’s mansion and are treated to the full Italian meal spread – an amazing array of anti-pasti many being local specialties are, of course, “migliore del Mondo”. Tiny baby sardines, both cooked and raw, raw shrimp and so on.

The feast, Cariati style - il migliore del Mondo

The feast, Cariati style – il migliore del Mondo

This was followed by spaghetti ‘nero di sepia” – which is ink from cuttlefish. Delicious. All this served with multiple different wines and champagnes.

Spaghetti Nero di Sepia

Spaghetti Nero di Sepia

All gone - apart from the ink. Don't get it on your clothes

All gone – apart from the ink. Don’t get it on your clothes


And finally we have not one, not two, but three types of cooked local fish.

At about 10pm we tried to leave. He wouldn’t let us. Instead he plied us with more wines and some local liquors including a very unusual thick tar-like liquor made from liquorice! It was actually quite nice and was, of course “migliore del Mondo”. We got invited to go for a drive and to be ready the next day at 10 am.

He picked us up drove us to his country house. It is going through some renos at the moment as they prepare to have a big Wedding there in July. Big beautiful property with stunning views of the of the town and the sea.

Michele's Country home

Michele’s Country home

Local traffic

Local traffic – all ready for milking to make Ricotta calda

The guests, the Germans and ourselves got a dozen fresh eggs to bring home. They have many chickens and some geese. We were instructed to make an egg fritata with local ricotta cheese ‘calda’ (meaning so fresh it is still warm). It would be ‘migliore del Mondo’.

The following day was our last in Cariati. Jan invited us and Michele over for a leaving party. Michell was proud to show and tell photos of his meetings at the Rotary Club where he is the President. More wine and food and laughter – and even a discussion of politics between Michele and Jan! By the end we were ready to conclude that being Mayor of Cariati was a way too limited aspiration for Michele. With his talents he should be at least President of Italy, if not of il Mondo.

Ah, good times with the locals.

And these types of experiences are the beauty of cruising. But now it is back to real cruising: you know, fixing things in exotic locations!

Ceu restitching the trampoline

Ceu restitching the trampoline


Ceu patching the cradle cover

Ceu patching the cradle cover

A view from our boat in Cariati Marina. Michele's boat is the green wooden one.

A view from our boat in Cariati Marina. Michele’s boat is the green wooden one in the middle. Honfleur is the end one on the right.

4 Responses to “Goodbye Cariati – Il Migliore del Mondo”

  • Marlene Boehm:

    Wow! What an adventure. We are getting some nice Spring weather although the wind when it blows is quite chilly. We are doing Salsa Rueda, Salsa, Bachata dancing on Sundays down at Stuart Park under the Blue Bear – so much fun!!! I am thinking abut getting my flowers and plant for my planters on my patio. Karl is arriving on Tuesday for a few days, until he goes back to Victoria on Friday.
    Always to see your Blog. Stay safe.
    Love, Marlene

  • heidi swanson:

    Just amazing what you are doing!! We are getting ready for our cruise to Norway. David is helping to organize it, as we are no longer very good ad this. Dad is Ok, but I forget things.

  • Steve Samuelsn:

    Hey Noel,

    I hope you read this. I believe you are the owner of the Victor Shane Drag Device database. I have really enjoyed all of the important information and I am using it on my Corsair 28 R. You managed to get hold of Victor Shane I wonder if you have any contact information, email address or anything like that. He has written a book called the Book of Life and I am trying to find out more about him. The book does not have any author information or bio. If you can help me I would appreciate it very much. I like your website and hope to learn from your adventures. Take care. Fair Winds and if not be safe.


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