La spezia is strange... nice...
La spezia is strange... nice place to take a ferry to corse or sardinia, known by most of italians who did their military service in the navy... and close to some fantastic place like 5 terre, portovenere and lerici. when they refused me to the (compulsory) military service!!!!
Riomaggiore has the shape of a medieval village and is overlooked by a castle built in the XV century.
Riomaggiore's name derives from latin Rivus Major and its origins are legendary: tradition says it was founded in the VIII century by Greek sailors.
From Riomaggiore starts the part of the Blue Path called "Via dell'Amore" which leads to Manarola.
The city has a modern cathedral: in the Church of St. Mary of Assumption, you can admire a window depicting the Coronation of the Virgin by Andrea della Robbia, and the paintings of Fiasella, Lomi and Casoni.
"Need to go back again...when there is no rain!"
We headed out one afternoon to La Spezia, as mum was keen to walk along an Italian coastline! La Spezia is the provincial capital of Liguria and boasts one of the major Italian military and commercial harbours, not to mention also being the gateway to the Cinque Terra. While not a major tourist destination, it is a gorgeous old fashioned looking town. For those fond of boats and all things nautical, there is a long promenade that runs the length of the harbour allowing you to check out all the yachts!
We took the long way by car, and ended up winding our way through the mountains, much to Adrian's frustration - never the less, we got there in the end! By the time we were parked and started to wander along the promenade, the heavens opened and down came the rain. Although fairly soft drizzle to start off with, it got heavier and heavier. We made a mad dash for some under cover walkways and proceeded to window shop as - you guessed it - everyone was off having their siesta and the shops were shut! We did manage to discover an Gelateri open, so in blatant defiance of the Autumn weather, we indulged in Italy's famous ice-cream. I chose tiramasu, Ad had chocolate and another cream coloured one that tasted like a mixture of lemons and almonds - delicious!
It was too cold to really enjoy it, but we gave it our best shot.
We got back in the car and attempted to drive further up the coast to take in the Cinque Terra, however the rain was bucketing down even more by that stage, and not only were the the coastal mountain roads hazardous to traverse in the rain, our view was totally impaired. We decided to head back home, and en route discovered a COOP - the Italian supermarket. We pulled in and whiled away an hour or two in the shopping aisles. (I am a huge fan of foreign supermarkets - I could wander them for hours!!)
All stocked up with groceries, we headed home in the dark. Taking the shorter route this time around! When we got home, mum whipped us up a wonderful salad with the rocket (which we discovered was actually dandelion leaves!!) pancetta, pomegranate and some home made croutons...all sloshed down with a fabulous red.