Travel – Cinque Terre

The “five towns” of Cinque Terre along the Italian Rivera is not easy to get to but most good things in life are just that, a quest to find something epic. We began another morning awaking to the crow of the neighborhood rooster, the sting from my eyes yet to soften. To minimize travel confusion from Lucca to Cinque Terre my father hired a driver who would attach us to a tour bus. I will omit any information on this driver considering that we were a party of seven, with three children under 12, and would have missed the connection unless he did not pull a Nicole Richie, reversing down the highway to make the exit that secured our on time departure. The Italians are passionate about their work.

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The bus driver announced that he would unload us at a train as ferries were canceled due to choppy water, which I am grateful for as choppy water and the smell of diesel fuel with lack of sleep never ends well. Cars are not permitted on the island.

Cinque Terre is five towns, translated to “five lands,” which have been around for millenia. The dwellings are colorfully painted so the fishermen could find their homes. Combined with a complicated system of roads and paths are the makings of a great tourist destination.

Luc and I broke from our group so we could take in a few of the towns without the pressure of a requisite photo opp to make travel deadlines. Instead we bought sandwiches made of focaccia, ham, cheese and tomato with lemon soda and took selfies in the main square. Luc linked with what I presume were local boys in a game of soccer. Hand gestures and the understanding of a universal sport knocked down language barriers.

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When we arrive to the town of Monterosso rain poured from the cool air. We ran to an outdoor pizzeria with views of the beach and shielded by an awning strong enough to stand up to the coastal elements. The pizza maker was out sick so I had a simple cod, served with the fish in tact, and Luc had pasta, fresh berries and an interesting apple sorbet that tasted what I imagine ice creamed green apples slurped through a straw would be. We were too preoccupied with our meals to have an opportunity to sample what the rest of the table ordered but I recall a seafood risotto and some thinly sliced beef.

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Luc created an imaginary game with his cousins on the beach, playing in the rain and chasing the ripples of the sea that resulted in me fishing for his shoe.

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