Italian Riviera

Trip Start Sep 13, 2007
Trip End Sep 26, 2007

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Where I stayed

Flag of Italy  ,
Friday, September 14, 2007

Once in Rapallo, we had a quick walk from the train station to the hotel.  The whole town is small and relaxing, just like a vacation town should be.  Our hotel (Hotel Europa-Rapallo was very nice even though no-one on the staff seemed capable of cracking a smile.  The location was great and our rooms were comfortable, including a tub with shower instead of the tiny shower units that some Italian hotels have.

After all agreeing that no-one was allowed to lie down and rest (for fear of sleeping through the whole night) we all got freshened up and regrouped in the hotel's nice little courtyard.  On the train ride down from Milan, Jean and Vonda had chatted with a local who gave us a restaurant reservation -- Ristorante Eden.  We explored the town a little, and enjoyed walking along the waterfront promenade.  After getting lost a little, we found the restaurant, but we were too early for dinner -- we were still on East Coast USA time and weren't ready for the Italian later hours!  But, that delay in dinner lead us to one of our favorite memories of Rapallo -- our appertivo time at a quaint wine bar on a small back street.  Jim and I enjoyed a seafood salad and everyone else had their first taste of cheese bread.  The wines were great, both red and white.  Walking from the wine place back to the restaurant, we walked under the decorative arch shown here in a photo.  Like so many places throughout Italy, beautiful artwork, most often religious, appears in common places.  This arch looked like a church alter yet here it was outdoors connecting two buildings across the street from each other.

Back at the Ristorante Eden, since we hadn't made a reservation, we couldn't sit outside and were lead inside where it was not air conditioned and very warm.  I think we were the only non-locals in the place, which is usually a good sign, yet the staff wasn't as friendly and welcoming as they could have been with us -- this table of 8 Americans -- who didn't speak much Italian.  There was a seafood cart in the dining room with several fish of different types and sizes on ice.  Since we had all ordered the same thing, they choose one large fish to prepare whole.  It was a unique experience when they brought it back cooked and carved it up for serving tableside. 

I nearly forgot to include a lesson we learned here.  As a first dish, Jim and I ordered pasta with anchovies (anchovies are a specialty of the region).  I was quite startled when a few minutes later, the waiter came up behind and was saying "no, no, no -- no cheese".  We didn't know that it is a horrible culinary misake to use cheese on seafood or fish (so much for the ever popular seafood alfredo back here in the states, huh?)  He told us that the cheese was only meant for the tomato sauce pasta on the table and that we should not have used it.  So, we learned something new.  :-)

Jim and I left the group a little earlier since the trip was catching up with us.  But, on the way back to the hotel, I did enjoy a cone of gelato -- ciocolato.  It was wonderful and nice to enjoy it walking along that promenade where relaxed tourists were enjoying the pleasant weather and view of the sea past the medieval castle on the waterfront.

Day 1 of the trip complete.  After researching and planning for so long, I hated to let it start to slip away.  Moving from the side of imagination over to memory.
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