Cinque Terre was amazingly beautiful!!!
We stayed in Riomaggiore which is one of the 5 terres in Cinque (5) Terre. It is located off the Ligurian coast and overlooks the Mediterranean sea. It was perfect weather for walking the trails and hanging out on the beach. It is really beautiful there with the houses perched atop the mountains and the sea underneath. The water was as clear as can be and our little house was just perfect for the 4 of us.
We got into Riomaggiore around 10:30 on Friday night. As soon as we got there we were met by Nonna and Grandpa (I don't remember their names I wish I did!) The two of them walked us to our place while explaining to Rocio in Italian about the town and the area. They were the quintessential Italian grandparents! We found out later that the flat we were staying in was the same house as the grandfather grew up in.
After we put our bags down and changed, we decided to get some food and drink as our journey to the beach took a mere 6 and a half hours. So, we changed and got ready and walked 20 meters outside of the apartment to a charming little restaurant right on the fishing dock. We sat al fresco enjoying the views (of the water as well as the tall, tan "model/actor" who was actually a bus driver, but more on that later..) And started to order.
The cook was outside with a cigarette and a beer, and the waiter seemed preoccupied..."Sorry, the kitchen is about to close...but you can order something fried" Well okay I guess, fried what? Was all that we were wondering, I stopped the cook and asked him if he could whip up something fast as I knew he was anxious to get out. 5 minutes later comes a platter of beautiful whole pan-fried fish of all different sorts..anchovies, calamari, snapper, octopus, cuttlefish and a couple bigger fish that I couldn't identify. They were crunchy salty perfect morsels of the freshest fish that were caught right off the dock we were sitting on. It turned out to be an excellent choice as the regional specialty turned out to be Pesce Mista, which is just a bunch of different types of fried fish. To top it off was a bottle of white that was out of this world and produced only a couple of kilometers away.
So, the four of us were in food heaven, when we were interrupted with shots of some sort of dark rum?? and pear juice from the next table over. It looked like they were celebrating something, and the chef was there hanging out with them who told us that the shot-giver was some sort of model/actor named Christiano who was actually a bus driver by day. (Pretty funny we all thought) So, we oblidged and ordered a second bottle of wine. It was around midnight and the cook came out, we thanked him for the wonderful meal and we all got on the subject about how we too, were cooks. He ended up being very nice and sat down with us to share a glass.
Not too far over we hear some other American accents, a girl and a guy around our age were sitting a couple of tables over and they too eventually joined us for drinks. The guy was from Boston and the girl from Louisiana who had just met that day and were travelling to Corsica the following day. Turns out that she was in the same sorority as Jessie and they did the seceret handshake and everything...funny how things in this world shake out.
Anyway, this weekend was filled with sunshine, good food and even better memories. I gotta say that I have made some pretty damn good friends here in Italy and that it has been an experience that will last a lifetime. Now it's time to move on and start another stage of my life. One more busy week and then it's packing and hauling stuff to another place, one thing I will be sure not to leave behind are the memories I have shared here. A good friend once told me (Rodrigo, about a week ago) "If you want to come back to a place, just leave your shoes" Well, that wont be too hard since I have worn out three pairs.
Sardegna here I come!!!!