Sunday, July 16, 2006

July 10, 2006

Day 19
Monday, July 10, 2006
Vernazza at Cinque Terra, Italy

Harbor scene of Monterosso al Mare on the Cinque Terre
This morning we had breakfast at the Bar Baia Saracena outside overlooking the harbor.  It looks like it’s going to be a warm day today.  We take a hike after breakfast and then decide to catch the boat to the neighboring town of Monterosso al Mare.  It’s only a ten minute boat ride but feels good to have the wind on our faces.

Monterosso al Mare has the best beaches of the five towns.  After several hours of touring, we catch the boat back to Vernazza and decide it’s time to follow the local custom of taking a nap in the afternoon. 

We find that the restaurants don’t even open for dinner until 7:30PM and the locals don’t start eating dinner until 8 or 9PM.  Quite different from what we’re used to back home.  So, around 7:30PM we head out for dinner.  We decide to eat at the castle overlooking the harbor called Ristorante Castello.  There are an enormous amount of stairs to climb before reaching the restaurant.  We were lucky to get a table since we didn’t have a reservation.  Mike orders the lasagna and Pat orders the grilled shrimp and crow fish (langostino).  Again, Pat’s dinner comes with the fish fully in tact.  This time though she has to figure out how to eat it herself.  Quite a sight.  Good thing for napkins.  The crow fish are actually baby lobsters and are delicious.

After dinner, we head downstairs into the piazza and harbor.  It’s around 10:30PM and the restaurants are filled to capacity with diners.  Amazing!

Scenes from Cinque Terre, Italy

View of Vernazza from the harbor

Approaching Monterosso al Mare by boat from Vernazza

Street scene in Monterosso al Mare
Typical street scene

Harbor at Monterosso al Mare
Beach umbrellas of Monterosso al Mare
Harbor scene of Monterosso al Mare
Approaching our village, Vernazza, by boat from Monterosso al Mare
View from dinner at Ristorante Castello in Vernazza
Having dinner at Ristorante Castello
Families having dinner on their balconies
Ristorante Castello, (where we ate dinner) high above the town
Night scene of Vernazza

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