I had no agenda today, but ended up using some of my morning time to get some of my ducks in a row for movement on Monday. I went to the station to try to figure out the “self-serve” ticket machine. Although all my reservations were made on line, there are several that say they need to be printed off. If you remember, one of the train attendants shared that with me as well.
I was a bit nervous punching in all that information of those big screens. Especially when the first screen warns you to keep a lookout for pickpockets. Monterosso has GOT to be better for this than Firenze. So I gave it a whirl. Everything seemed to be going well until it said “printing” and zero emerged. I waited and waited…it is Italy ya know and things can take a bit longer….I figured perhaps machines were on Italian time as well…. niente.
So I head up the steps to the window.
There the woman behind the glass, although seemingly exasperated….with I guess me…printed off 3 of the 10 or so I needed. At one point, I apologized and she said, “Oh, no problema.”
Really, cuz it seems like it is kinda a problema….I thought.
Once someone appeared behind me, she waved me off saying something I did not understand….go figure, right?
But at least I am now…familiar…with this process (at THIS station, on THIS day, with THIS attendant…) I would like to get the remainder printed before a big city…maybe another attendant will be working domani.
I also check to see if there is a self-serve laundry so I can wash a couple of my MVPs. Washing in the shower, only works for a few items and Franco is not here to have it done “imejiately” for me.
However, the hotel says there is only a service that will pick up and drop off.
Actually one of my memories of my first visit was a woman delivering laundry wrapped in brown paper and tied with a string. I thought at the time…”I could do that job here.”
So hopefully, I will receive my own brown paper package before I depart.
After a morning of “work”, I decide to hit Vernazza. It is so fun and easy to hop on a local train that takes less than 10 minutes to get somewhere.
I am hungry right away so I look for some take away.
Dessert first? Well, I came across it first…
With no business cards, I took a photo of the t-shirts so I could remember this place. SO GOOD!
I find a ledge to sit and happiness.
Still hard at work. Around town, there are photos posted realizing the flood’s devastation. Photos of pews floating in churches, people and their lives covered in mud.
But now, one would hardly know.
I love this for our front porch wall. IKEA?
As this chef rested, I asked if I could take a photo. “Prego, prego!” he said as he scooted out of the way, revealing the whole of the kitchen. “No, with you.” I replied. “Io?!” he wondered, and then leaned in. He reminds me a bit of Steve the Postman, no?
Church of Santa Margherita di Antiochia, patron Saint of the town, the building began in 1318!! It’s dark, medieval exterior gives it a mysterious feel. Cold and damp, yet an undeniable warmth.
Don’t ya just love the girl in the swimsuit top AND the lace veil?
Living this close together makes it easy to borrow una tazza di zucchero.
Is this little guy the cutest thing!!? He reminded me of Dalton when we went to Destin. During that summer was his first and only speedo! So cute!
The tourist crowds cramming on the barca…No grazie, I will take the treno.
And so I did. Returning to Monterosso for an afternoon at the beach.
“Hello, fredda di cocco fresco!!” the vendor called out. I had to watch others to see how to tackle. It is the first time I really tasted the nut in the coconut.
I LOVE sea glass! I know it is just trash that has been tumbled and tumbled, but to me they are gemstones, treasures.
And Kelli, if you are reading, I found the ones closest to my ring for you. I added them to the beach pebbles I am bringing back for you.
As the boulders cast shadows on the spiaggia, families begin to call out, “tempo di mangiare gelatto!” The promise of gelatto seems to be the only way to pull the children from the rocks and water. I watch as the family in front of me ready themselves for departure.
They have NEVER stopped talking! What do they always talk about? American families just seem to sit and kind of parallel play. Similar to kids when they are young, doing their own thing, but finding comfort the other is there? Italian families on the other hand seem to ALWAYS have something to say, and to be said with excitement!
While they talk, they each help gather, the dad changes the little girls wet swimsuits into…dry swimsuits, brushing off the rocks from every nook and cranny. The mom folding, passing, packing. I love the way they all pitch in, it just seems to be what they do.
And speaking of gelatto, I do not know which is consumed more here in Italy; gelatto or nicotine. Everyone smokes….and I mean almost everyone. Do they ever tell their children, “no this will not be good for your health” or is it just a given?
Walking back to the hotel, I see there is finally a bocce match today….but no “Bocce Boy” Jim. I’ll keep looking.
I tell you…EVERYONE here has tattoos. I am all for art but, what is the deal. Do these people not picture themselves at another stage of their lives someday? Anyway…sorry…
Oh…I found the most wonderful keepsake.
At this tiny shop, several young women create jewelry inspired by Italy. They take photos, shrink them, add them to their handmade charms and viola! The perfect keepsake.
This is a spot in Monterosso with the church and the bell tower in view.
And on the other side…
Perfetto or cosa? Of course I am bringing one back for mom as well.
A young couple was seated next to me, they were trying to decide between the gnocchi and the risotto, both only made for 2 or more. They chose the seafood risotto and an amazing looking platter of raw seafood. When they ordered, the waiter said, “Now-a theesa eees-a RAW, no cook-a, not just-s fresh-a, but RAW. I just-a have- toa-a make-a sure-a.”
When he presented it to them, he said, “I command” and then he went on to tell them what order to enjoy it in.
I would have taken a photo but they kept to themselves until the wine warmed them a bit. Their mmmm’s and aaaahhhs over the risotto made me jealous!!
I asked the waiter if I return can I order for 2 but eat for 1, he said, “Only-a if-a you-a find-a a friend-a.”
The piccolo bottle of wine he chose for me was fantastico!
When he opened it for me, I ask to keep the foil top….and then the cork. He then said, “Yes-a…but the plate-a eees-a ours-a.”
My entertainment consists of watching the reaction of others. One lady ordered fish and then was presented with the raw, fresh fish to see if it was to her liking….funny. It reminded me the way my Granny would react to things….all leaned back and confused.
When I asked my waiter his recommendation on which dessert I should choose, he said he was a bit nervous to recommend. He had just recommended the anchovies to a table and they had told him they were horrible-a. He tells me this rolling his eyes and casting them a gaze. I assure him I will be ok with either. He tells me, “I must tell you…I am a lover-a of the-a affogato”. But he says the crem caramel eees-a house made-a. I go for the crem caramel.
At this point, it is almost 22:00 my latest night out ever. Monterosso feels so very safe, it is easy to go for a late night stroll, enjoying the lights and the ding, ding, ding of the bicycle bells passing you by.
Yes! Steve the mailman…I thought that before I read it! And the charm, how beautiful. I would love to do a copy cat trip with Joe…
I happy to be your travel agent!
Oh yes, Steve Jung – of course there would be someone, if not others, who will remind you of our cast of characters in Fred. Loving following you. Just love it. Stay safe and carry on! xoxo
P.S. Could I request some beach pebbles and sea glass? I’ll trade you some from Maine!