Another morning, another cloudless sky. We can see the weekend sailors plying the waters off the coast from our terrace. We’re planning a lazy day, especially after our 5k “walk” from Manarola to Vernazza (numero quattro in the cinque) yesterday. This was more like a serious up-and-down hike, taking you from sea level to around 1000 feet of elevation in about 2k. The destination was a wireless internet point in Vernazza (again, why isn’t there one in every town...in 2007?!). So up and down we went, well over 2000 steps, lots of sweat, lugging the laptop in my messenger bag through vineyards, olive and lemon groves, scraggly vineyards, looking out over stunning views of the coast far below. Vernazza was a cute...of course...little village. Apparently Rick Steve’s favorite CT village, so you can imagine the hordes. After I took care of blogging biz, we walked to a Trattoria high above the harbor for lunch with what actually was an incredible view and quite good food, and busted out of there on the next train back to Manarola, where it’s busy, but not that busy.
We whiled away a little time in Manarola, strolled back down the path to the bar in Riomaggiore to watch the sun go down, then came back to Manarola for dinner at Bar Aristide. A lovely little outdoor café on the lower town square, where we had earlier checked out the menu. I particularly was hankering after some accuighe di limone, which is one of the classic dishes of the area. It consists of fresh anchovies drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice. We started out with this piece of piscine pleasure, and were not disappointed. The sardines were so fresh, more than likely hauled in that day by the boats that go out of the local harbor about 200 feet away. Served atop a chiffonade of lettuce with a few chopped cherry tomatoes, washed down with a chilled bottle of vermentino....really lovely. For main plates, w had a so-so piece of swordfish, and I had an outstanding pate of frittura mista, fried local seafood...tender calamari, shrimp, sardine, the flavors simple and so fresh with a splash of fresh lemon juice. Really a great dinner at again a very reasonable price.
Accuighe di limone
Here's a picture of some bottles on the wall of a wine shop in Corniglia. You may have seen the other half of this on the wall at VINO. Apparently they added to the collection. Those other guys on the labels I get, but who's that shifty character in the upper left???
later that day.....
So ya know what I said about being lazy. Apparently not in our vocabulary as we are both somewhat ADD travelers. We just got back to the room from a thigh busting hike into the hills above Manarola, to the tiny villages of Groppo and Volastra. Our target was the local wine cooperative between the two towns, which we made it to to taste some just okay whites. So much for the reward. But at least now I have totally justified anything I eat or drink for the rest of the day. That’s Volastra way up on top of the hill, and take into account that we already hiked straight up for the last 40 minutes. Egad....................