Sunset in Cinque Terre

Trip Start Oct 31, 2012
Trip End Nov 11, 2012

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Flag of Italy  , Italian Riviera,
Wednesday, November 7, 2012

We woke up in Monaco early Wednesday morning to find out that President Obama had been re-elected for a 2nd term. We had an early train to catch which would be our trek out of Monaco and on to Italy.
Again, we experienced a very scenic journey along the coastline. We had a stop in Genova Brignole, a small Italian city, where we had enough time on the lay over to wander the streets for about an hour. It was here that we found a local farmers market and purchased some snacks for the train. This was our first taste of Italy and it was delicious! Fresh foccasia bread, local cheese and dried salami along with vine ripe tomatoes and marinated olives would be our lunch for the day.
When we got back on the train we thought we had all bases covered until the attendant came through to check our tickets. Because this particular train was an open ticket, (meaning we did not have a reserved seat) we were uninformed of the additional step to punch our card with date and time at a validation machine prior to departure. The attendant told us that because we did not do this, we must pay a 50€ per person! In explaining our situation, he refused to be addressed as signore, almost taking offense to the formality. Five minutes later, after conversations about San Francisco, Italy and a little singing, we parted ways with our new compagno for the cost of 5€ per person.
We arrived in Cinque Terre for our quick one night stop right before sunset. We were able to check into our hotel and then make a swift climb up a steep cliff trail to a look out. The spot we found seemed too perfect to be vacant for us to occupy, but as it turns out, spots like these are a dime-a-dozen in this picturesque little village. After sitting for a while in complete serenity, and watching the sunset, we made our way back down into the village.
We stumbled into an old wine shop where we were educated by a very chatty, Italian local. He told us everything we needed to know about Monterroso wine in his broken English. We took a bottle with us and headed back to our room to utilize the wrap-around terrace that looked over the streets of this quaint village.
We sat on the terrace, under the stars, with our bottle of wine and left over cheese and salami listening to the sounds of the small Italian city in the streets below. We saw young Italian children riding their scooters and bicycles, and loud Italian men bantering with one another. We could see down into an Italian cafe, where the chef was prepping food. He opened the window and delicious flavors floated up to our terrace and tickled our noses. It was at this moment we knew we were ready for our first Italian dinner.
We sat down for our first dinner in Italy at a small restaurant just down the way from our hotel. We ordered a boiling pot of stuffed mussels to start then shared entrees of homemade gnocchi with fresh pesto and spaghetti with fresh seafood. For dessert we had panna cotta and tiramisu.
I don't think that we will be hungry one moment for the rest of our travels here in Italy.
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MIM on

You guys did it and hope after this trip you will have more travel plans.. so happy for you both

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