Please be comforted… I remain ever-valiant in the Realm of Marketing Il Poggiolo as a vacation spot-par-excellence though it has had its trials…
There is practically not a soul left in The World who is not aware of My Ambition to rent out at least one of three apartments at Il Poggiolo. One who has taken this to heart is My Dutch Friend in Codiponte. She enthusiastically suggested I give a look-see at a vacation rental website she had discovered & based in her own home country. Holland ain’t just tulips & queens who abdicate in favor of their off-spring. I went immediately to its Home Page.
Apparently, there is quite a need to satisfy the Dutch Diaspora with vacation homes & apartments from the last of May… when the school-year ends… to the first of September… when it starts up again… because, suddenly, the screen of my rather modest Apple MacBook quickly filled to its every corner with a panoply of vacation rental sites in practically every Euro-country and many beyond. Those Dutch certainly are well organized. The site presents with graphic precision & short paragraphs their World Order of the vacation rental market and their unabashed Global Quest for market domination by voraciously swallowing-up any & all pip-squeak domestic sites under its Mother Umbrella… or protection, depending upon your view of such zeal. The site’s proportions are stunning. One head-line quipped of over 1,000,000 hits a day. Yes, 1,000,000 a day. Boggles the Spirit & Body. Never knew websites could handle such consumer violence.
Oddly though, as it is with so many other of such sites, there was absolutely no indication of how to proceed with joining the unavoidable vanguard. Well, beyond CONTACT US. But that enticement was geared for The Renters. Then, and coincidentally, out of the blue came a series of e-mails from the same Dear Dutch Friend… the where, the when & the how… of a meeting with an Italian speaking representative of the Mother site. Gosh, what luck! Must be Destiny. However, by Invitation Only. I called and managed to reserve A Seat at the table for this past Monday at 4PM. Yep. Destiny.
The drive down from Genoa was interesting. I could see it was snowing on the low hills to the left of the autostrada but, rain poured down on My Little FIAT. A curious meteorological wonder while I happily steered towards My Destiny.
The meeting was organized at an agriturismo… a farm-holiday locale at the proverbial end of the road… in that last cluster of terra-cotta roofed houses & barns in the lower middle of the photo below.
I parked the FIAT at the confine of the gravel & grass, a bit away from the fence, as all the other spots for temporarily abandoning a car had already been taken. To the meeting.
As I had suspected, you are invited to join the ever expanding march, if you & your done-up hut pass muster with the Mother site’s myriad qualifications. They do all the admin-work, you get to change the sheets, clean between visitors and point to where guests can nap in the garden and sit-back & collect the hopeful influx of dough, in any currency you care to receive it. I am happy to report Il Poggiolo & myself passed. Said My Good-byes and sped pell-mell for My Car to return to Genoa to feed The Dogs & You by 8PM.
I got into the FIAT. I backed it up just a teenzy-wheenzy bit, so I could whirl around past the other parked cars to head for home. The car promptly sank into the cleverly disguised foot of mud posing as a grassy median-strip. OK. The last time I got stuck… in dirt on a trail trying to reach an appetizing wreck of a house above the Ligurian Riviera, many years ago… I rocked the car back ‘n forth to get free. Worked once, surely it would again? No. Rocking rocked My Little… Cute… Adorable… 17 year-old… FIAT… Convertible down through the open gate and 100 feet into AN EXTREMELY SOGGY COW PASTURE!!! I could’ve strangled Destiny.
If any of you Cherished Readers are at all intrigued by the co-ordinates of My Disgrace… well… pick a spot in the middle of that cow pasture in the above photo and you’ll have it.
Thank God… the owners of the agriturismo came with a mega-tractor, a grandfather who spoke with an English accent… having grown-up with the Brits in Egypt, of all places… his son who looked like an Italian action movie star and his two sons and an hour and a half of PULL… and PULL…… and PULL some more to liberate Me & My Little FIAT from the grip of 3 month’s of steady rain-created mud. And, we were successful. I could’ve shook the hand of Destiny. My thanks were handily accepted, My Saviors asked for nothing more, which left me with little else to do but hit the road. Well, I did go back yesterday with a Life-time Supply of the most delicious pastries in the area as an offering of further Thanks.
Now, if you will excuse me, since My Story is told, I must get back to Marketing. Gads.