“The view was like a vision described in novels; a tiny town that hovered on jagged cliffs and sparkling blue water, and by no means did the “visions” stop through out the day…” – Mary Paige Timberlake
I know you are all going to get sick of me saying this about everywhere I stop in Italy…but I LOVE Vernazza!! Vernazza is one of the middle towns in the Cinque Terre (the one pictured in my blog heading is Cinque Terre. Manarola though not Vernazza) and is one of the favorites of most people. Off the train you are dumped onto a main market street. There are pesto, wine, retail, and grappa shops all over. Vernazza consists of a pile of picturesque, pastel houses stacked up a cliff overlooking the sea. All of the Cinque Terre towns are like this, but this is the shining gem. Laundry hangs from windows and secret sides streets tempt me constantly. I want to explore them all just to see what I discover.
We enjoyed a delicious dinner on the edge of the water. I had the best pesto pasta I’ve ever had. Pesto originated here I learn. It was magical sitting enjoying the amazing view I’ve seen a million times on postcards and pictures. I am having a hard time believing I’m actually sitting here rather than still gazing at a picture on my computer.
Prior to our delicious pasta we had bruschetta. The tomatoes are SO fresh and bright red. The icing on the cake was the tasty local wine. After enjoying a perfect dinner in a perfect setting we took a million and two photos on the rocks by the water of the sea, the town, and each other. It was so peaceful on the seaside rocks. The sun was now set so all the lights in town were twinkling. I just closed my eyes and heard the calm sea behind me and the cheerful noises of small crowds enjoying beer and wine at the tiny bar ahead.
Following a quick drink with the crowd mentioned above we stopped in a tiny little wine and pesto shop to prepare for the picnic we were planning the following day. Arlene and I each grabbed a bottle. Vino rosso for me, vino bianco for her. (At restaurants we do paper rock scissors to decide if we order white or red… Ryan is the beer drinker so he doesn’t get a vote. I do occasionally use his admission of a preference for red to my advantage. Heehee…)
Along with the wine, we grabbed a jar of that delicious pesto and then some limoncello grappa. I saw the lime green/yellow bottle and immediately thought of Marcello in the movie Under the Tuscan Sun. I had to try!
We were early for the local train taking us back to Levanto, so we wandered into another little bar named Blue Marlin. The bartender was a cutie. I told him he looked like Ashton Kutcher and he said its the third time he’s heard that today. He had the floppy medium long hairstyle I’ve noticed many younger Italian guys rock with. He told me he would make me a drink and minutes later I am enjoying a tasty vodka drink with fresh chopped strawberries and bananas.
Back in Levanto at about 11pm, we joined a crowd in a local wine bar for a bit, then wandered the streets some more. It is nice to be out of the big cities for a moment.