Pasta with no guilt

Trip Start Aug 28, 2006
Trip End Aug 31, 2007

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Flag of Italy  ,
Sunday, April 29, 2007

Finally, I can order a plate of spaghetti and not feel like a wimpy tourist.  So far on this trip I have tried to only eat the local food, no pizza, no hamburgers ( one time I had spaghetti in ethiopia, but I figured the italians were there long enough to justify my eating it). So, the land of handmade pasta is at my beck and call and I can eat pizza and feel like a local!
I took the ferry to Italy (there was a lady on the boat making announcements who sounded just like donatella versace speaking english, so funny) and then jumped on a train right away to La Spezia,  a good base to see the Cinque terra coast. Got there and there was not one room to be had in town. Turns out May day is a huge holiday, everyone in italy was there that weekend.  So, a guy told me to try the next town, Sarzana. Jumped on the train, again, and guess what, no rooms there either. I am sure there was something, somewhere... but noone seemed to have any idea where  I should go, and it was late at night (one guy in a shop offered me a chance to stay at his place!) .  I ended up having the worst night of the trip, stayed all night in the train station...that was incredibly frustrating! Just waiting for the dawn so a cafe would open!  Somehow I made it through the night, found a cafe and just parked myself with tea and delicious pastries.  Checked into a hotel (they told me the night before they would have a room available), then had to walk around for 5 hours til the room was ready....Luckily, Sarzana is a really pretty city, a great place to stroll and not touristy at all.  I loved it, even though I was looking at it through a fog of tiredness!  Horrible luck can put you in nice unexpected places. 
The next day I went up to the cinque terra, an all day walk that links five very pretty villages on the coast.  It was kind of crowded, but the walk between the two northern most villages is really steep and long, so  the people thinned out alot there.  Had a great lunch by the water and went back to Sarzana for pizza....delicious (they weigh the piece to see how much to charge)
Anyway, Italy does not disappoint.  The food is amazing, women wear leopard pantsuits and white boots, guys are looking slick with gold chains and tight t-shirts and it seems like everyone is in a good mood.
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