The next morning I awaken and grab a cappuccino. Walking around Reggio Calabria, it’s impossible to miss the thousand-year-old castle, Castella Argonese, and I spend some time sightseeing before heading back to the airport. Just after nine I’m back in the air.
Today it’s a bit cloudy with light gusts, but the view along the coast continues to be spectacular.
As I fly, I’ve been working on getting my trim set up just right. When it’s dialed in perfectly, the plane flies straight and level with no effort needed from me on the controls. The trim wheel is located on the floor between the pilot and co-pilot’s seats.
The landscape gives way to carefully delineated fields.
The sky is full of puffy cumulous clouds which I need to keep an eye on to maintain my minimum VFR separation, but there is plenty of breathing room between them and the ground.
Lamezia Terme International Airport is along the coast and I approach from the water. A nine-knot crosswind keeps me on my toes for my landing, but soon I’m on the runway.
I spend the next two hours exploring Il Giardino Botanico di Lamezia Terme and getting lunch at Novecento, then I’m back pre-flighting my Piper just after noon.
For the next leg, I’ll be flying to LIRI Salerno Costa d'Amalfi Airport. The most direct route is a 120 nm straight line spending half of the journey over the ocean.
But I didn’t come to Italy to see the water. So, instead, I’ll be doing something a little more adventurous. Route E34 is a 305 km (164 nm) winding road through the mountains, connecting the two airports. If I follow it, I can navigate by sight, and see some beautiful scenery along the way. There’s no navaids - no VORs or NDBs - just my eyeballs and a road. Should be fun.
At first the road follows the coast, but soon it turns east, into the mountains. The first half of the trip has me flying over populated areas with plenty of open space to land in the event of an emergency, and I feel relaxed.
But soon the mountain appears ahead.
I turn west and follow the road into the valley.
The mountains flatten as I approach the coast.
Salerno Costa D’Amalfi Airport appears ahead on my left, the ocean not far beyond it. I breathe a sigh of relief as my wheels touchdown.