Friday, October 3, 2014

Earning our Foccacia, Pizza, and Vino

Yesterday we made it to Monterosso in the Cinque Terre after 2 3-hour train rides. We found the trains in Italy to be a comfortable and efficient way to travel. The trains were right on time and our only complaint was that the "sandwich cart" Rick Steves described was nowhere to be found. But, after getting off the train in Monterosso, we found delicious bruschetta and white wine awaiting us. Our hotel here is very cute, a 6-room bed and breakfast called Locanda Il Maestrale, and has a lovely terrace. They serve a delicious breakfast in the morning, and Giovanni, the owner, makes you a delicious cappuccino if you like! After dropping our things at the hotel we went for a walk around town and up to the cemetery that's perched on the hilltop above town.

One last ride up the Grand Canal in the Vaparetto

Riding the Italian rails

Knitting time!

Delicious bruschetta in Monterosso!

We loved the local white wine in the CT!

The view from where we had brushetta upon our arrival in Monterosso

Late afternoon sunbathing in Monterosso

At the lovely Locanda Il Maestrale

Cheers! The local beer.

We walked down to the Monterosso waterfront

Yay Cinque Terre, and look how nice the weather was!

Inside Monterosso's church

The door of Monterosso's church, with the high water during the devastating floods marked on the outside of the building.

So many tasty treats here!

Up the hill to the cemetery

Town cemetery. After a certain amount of time, your spot gets cleared out so that others can be buried there.

The cemetery winds all around the hill above town.

I peeked through a crack in a door and look what I saw. Damon says I will be cursed forever for taking this picture.

View of town from the cemetery

Inside the church at the cemetery on the hill above town

View of town from the cemetery above

Today we took a grueling hike to Levanto, the next town north. We did a 1,000 foot gain in 1 mile near the beginning, nothing to sniff at even by mountainous Pacific Northwest standards! There were stairs after stairs after stairs! The pedometer says 8.6 miles and the day is far from over. We earned our lunch of a focaccia sandwich (Laura) and pizza (Damon) and some of the local white wine to share. Nancy - you would have loved the hike with all of the different plants, butterflies, birds, and lizards, not to mention the stunning view of the sea! We were thinking of you! 

So steep! So many stairs!

Damon accused me of "trying to kill him." Oh the drama!

View to the south of the entire Cinque Terre coast

Cinque Terre selfie

My hiking buddy

At the ruins of an old castle at the highest point on our hike

Loving the scenery and hike!

"I think we go that way!" (I hope!)

Cinque Terre train sign

The view

Lizards everywhere. Usually too fast for the camera!

Our first peek at Levanto

We made it, at the entrance to Levanto!

Lunch! We earned the pizza, foccacia, and white wine! They make the most delicious foccacia in the Cinque Terre and use it for all their sandwiches, even hamburger buns!

We are loving Monterosso! The town is adorable, and our hotel is right on the main drag. We had a great dinner last night and met another couple staying in Monterosso while having lunch in Levanto that gave us great suggestions for tonight. There are also a bunch of places in town that do wine tastings (thinking of you, Janice, Dianne, and Nancy -  you would all be at home here!). Right now we are off to swim in the Ligurian Sea, which is about 2 blocks away and looks beautiful. The weather is perfect! Will add pics later on! Ciao!

Cheers! Back at Monterosso and time for a swim!

Enjoying the Ligurian Sea

Monterosso has a nice beach

More delicious bruschetta at dinner. Amazing how good the food is here!

Time for some wine tasting!

Perusing the options in the wine shop

Happy girl!

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