So a little update on where we are now, how we got here and what we’ve been up to.
Last Saturday we left the Lombardy lakes and headed back to Milan airport to drop off the hire car we had had for the two weeks in the lakes. A hellish 2 hour drive on the crazy A4 motorway which I can only describe as a cross between wacky races and the grand prix with torrential rain making visibility nil. So after near heart failure the car was returned (to an impossible place to find with no map!!) and we thanked our lucky stars that we were still actually alive!!!
We then had to hang around the airport for a couple of hours whilst we waited for our bus connection to take us to our next destination, the Liguria coast. We had set off at 7am that morning and after 2 hours in a car, 2 and half hours on a coach then another hour on the train we arrived at our home for the week
Sestri Levante (an hour east of Genoa), at 5.30 that evening!!!
So after a long, hot day and with nothing to eat apart from some salt and pepper, a couple of vegetable stock cubes and some dried chilli flakes in our store cupboard carrier bag, we headed out for well deserved bite to eat and a couple of drinks, aperitivo style!
Now as you are by now aware, we have been to quite a few places in Italy but had never ventured to this area and knew no one those had? We had decided to base ourselves on the coast in between Italy’s biggest port, the city of Genoa and Pisa of leaning tower fame. In between those two were reportedly some beautiful beaches, rocky promontories and the famous Cinque Terre, a collection of 5 cliff-hugging villages that spill into the sea.
Now Sestri Levante was a surprise. Really built up and not the Italy we have come to know and love, more Costa brash than stylish Riviera. Actually the whole coast on from Genoa that we saw from the train was a surprise in the same way. And I’m not sure that I would describe it as a good one, not bad but just not very Italian. I had read that Genoa reportedly expands 30km along the coast and now I have seen it for myself. The whole coast is a sprawling mass of towns built around the train line that connects Genoa with Rome. Our current abode is actually right on the train tracks but if you look really hard through a gap in the buildings you can see the sea!!!!! How people live like this I will never know. So, so bloody noisy.
But it is clean (ish) and in a good spot for exploring the surrounding areas. Which is what we have been doing. In the rain mostly. It has been thunder storm central here and we have been very wet! Obviously we expected this as it always blimin happens! We have just progressed from rain to full on thunder storms, I can tell you now the likelihood of Italy having its wettest summer on record is incredibly high with us here! I am just a little concerned about setting off the over due volcanic eruptions!!!!!