From the quaint and charming Camogli we moved to the incredible sunsets of Lerici. This was another example of just showing up, where someone else did hours of research to find that special place.
Lerici is situated south of Camogli on the Ligurian coast. It doesn’t have a train station but it’s an easy one hour bus ride from La Spezia. From the harbor, the town pushes back and up into the hills in an arch. It’s a great town to base one’s self for Cinque Terre exploration if you want to go the boat route; this is the Italian Riveira afterall and ferries (and private boats for hire) connect Lerici to the five Cinque Terre towns. It’s also a stellar place for relaxation. An afternoon sipping an espresso, a refreshing Spritz or your preferred beverage at one of the seaside cafés is heavenly. Or just soak up the atmosphere and take in the views while strolling.
Our shared rental was up the hill from the harbor. As in Camogli, it got your blood pumping but without being as steep.
We met up with our dear friends Mel and Laura, who were on their belated honeymoon. Laura’s sister Yvette and her best friend Naomi also joined in on the fun.
The first thing Lynn did was express a desire to explore food and wine offerings. Hearing that, Laura said “Oh my gosh, I’ve got to take you to try this stuff I found. It’s my new favorite thing…”. She then took us to indulge.
Called Farinata, this is a savory flatbread and Ligurian specialty. It’s made from chickpea (a.k.a. garbanzo, besan or graham) flour, olive oil, water, and salt. The ingredients are mixed then let to sit from one hour to overnight. It’s baked in a pizza type pan or hot cast iron skillet to a golden crispness yet soft center. A unique, interesting flavor with a sufficient amount of protien (and gluten-free). What could be better in the afternoon than Farinata and a glass of Prosecco?!? The French version is Socca which I believe hails from Provence.
Because that hiking component is always mixed into our trips, we set off to Tellaro one morning, a smaller town just south of Lerici. We’d rank this a moderate hike due to some steepness. It traverses along the coast and is part of one of the longer distance European walking trails, we just happened to jump on. Glad we loaded a trail map onto our cell phone as directional decisions were needed here and there. Not that we would have gotten lost- it’s up, down, and along- but one of the Gowdy’s prefers not to bush wack!
Just under three hours later we met up with the gals in Tellaro. They took the local bus.
Oh look, another sunset.
During the week we cooked together, explored, ate gelato, went on a boat ride, found great places for morning cappuccinos, sweat (it was a hot week), had one to many glasses of wine more than once, and laughed a ton. It was about relaxation and friendship.
Although we didn’t visit a winery, we enjoyed local wine. Bottle your own dry white (a blend of mostly Vermentino along with Bosco and Albarola grape varieties) was available at La Cantina just up from the harbor. A whopping 2.70 euros per 750ml if you bring the bottle back. Steal of the century, for this refreshing pleaser.
While walking for gelato our last evening, although
fairly really gross, we almost peed in our pants laughing when the following happened. Mel immediately posted this on Facebook which made us laugh more.
Italian Pigeon Air Force – “Pilot to bombardier, we have targets in sight…bombs away. Direct hits, two American targets, confirmed!”