We have been making annual visits to Italy for a number of years and Liguria is our home base. The region of Liguria hugs the northwest corner of Italy along the Mediterranean. Cinque Terre is in Liguria, but that isn’t today’s story. We prefer late spring, before it gets too warm and crowded.
We love this area of Italy! It is also home to Portofino, Genoa, San Remo, etc. The seafood is absolutely wonderful and that is a big draw for us. It is also famous for trofie al pesto which is found in most restaurants.
We generally fly direct from Seattle to either Amsterdam or Paris and then take a short flight down to Genoa. We pick up a rental car and take the autostrada east down the coast.
We stay in small towns southeast of Genoa and northwest of Cinque Terre and rent an apartment for as long as we can. Since retirement, it has been for 2+ weeks. We love staying in an apartment because it gives us the freedom to cook at home and just generally hang out. We prefer staying in towns that aren’t frequented by Americans and steer clear of Cinque Terre for that reason.
On a typical day, we:
- Have a pour over coffee in the apartment
- Take a walk to the train station to pick up the New York Times International edition.
- Have another coffee at a bar, usually a cappuccino or latte macchiato, and a brioche
- Walk back to the apartment and get ready for the rest of the day
- Decide if we want to take an outing or hang out in town. One of my favorite outings is driving southeast on the autostrada to Levanto. Some call it the ‘gateway’ to Cinque Terre and there are usually a lot of hikers there. We have a favorite restaurant there and love their polpo e patate. (a warm octopus and potato salad)!
- Drive back to the apartment and rest up for a passeggiata.
- Head to one of our favorite bars for Aperitivo time (martini, prosecco and hearty snacks).
We find that after one visit, the staff seem to ‘know’ you and the snacks become more substantial. By the end of our visit, we are snacking on French fries, pizza, shot glass size pasta dishes and other delectable treats.
- Return to the apartment for a light dinner, usually a salad
- Head to bed to rest up for tomorrow’s adventure!
We had planned to go to Italy at the end of April; then moved our trip to mid-September. I don’t see oversees travel happening in 2020, so we have our fingers crossed for spring 2021.