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Published: October 13th 2011
Breakfast in the 'enchanted garden'.
Breakfast in a beautiful garden setting-a great way to start our day. The typical Ligurian garden belongs to our B&B and is located just across the alleyway from our accomodation.
After a very good night’s sleep we started our day with breakfast in Giardino Incantato's lovely Ligurian garden. It is situated just across the alley from the B&B and the seating is set amongst Lemon and other Mediterranean trees and flowers. The weather was nice and mild so it was a great spot enjoy a quiet breakfast. In Italy they don’t typically have cooked breakfasts, I had a selection of ham, cheeses and breads, Jeanette had fruit, yogurt and cereal. The food was fresh, plentiful and delicious.
ANGELO’S BOAT TRIP
We were scheduled to take a boat cruise to Portovenere at 11.30pm so we had a wander around the centre of town and the weekly market which had lots of interesting bits and pieces (for Jeanette especially). It was a glorious day so we were really looking forward to the trip.
We were due to be joined by 3 American woman who were travelling across from Genoa, unfortunately with all the travel hassles getting from Genoa to Monterosso they were about half an hour late. No big drama, Angelo the boat skipper offered us a beer/orange juice and we sat in the sun having a quiet drink overlooking
The next village down from Monterosso, widely regarded as the most beautiful in Cinque Terre -its not hard to see why!
the harbour while we waited.
Initially Angelo found our accent hard to understand as we did his, but as the trip went on everything fell into place. His family have been fishing Cinque Terre for many generations and he had a fantastic knowledge of the area.
The Americans arrived in due course and we set off to see all the Cinque Terre villages from the sea. The 3 American women were very friendly and we chatted away as we saw spectacular views of the coastline and coastal towns.
On the boat we had an ante pesto tray of cheeses, salamis and breads to nibble on plus beer wine and juice to keep us refreshed.
There were steep cliffs plunging into the clear blue seas with terraces chiselled out of the steep rock faces appearing to defy gravity – it’s amazing just how inaccessible some of the grape terrace areas are (I'd hate to be harvesting the crop). The villages themselves seemed to be perched awkwardly on the rocks and any piece of buildable land in the general area.
We could clearly see the coastal walkway that links all five villages, its 11km long and tomorrows
The boat was custom made to carry small groups it was a flat deck (no cabin). She could get in close to shore with ease and we could feel the wind in our hair in open water
For lunch we came ashore at Palmaria a small island looking directly across the water to Portovenere. The restaurant Locanda Lorena is the only one the Island and specialises in fresh fish caught locally that day. Not surprisingly we had the best seafood lunch ever! Shrimp soup to start then a selection of Anchovies and Potato Cakes, Sea Bass, stuffed Mussels (there was a mussel farm just off shore from the restaurant), King Prawns, Scampi, Lobster Salad, Battered Fish, Cuttle Fish (a bit like squid) washed down with some very nice white wine. To finish we had coffee with a little Grappa (very strong drink made from grape skins) added for good measure.
We stopped briefly to refuel in Portovenere before heading back. Italians have total disregard for health and safety, the guy handling the petrol pump on shore (Angelo did the actual pumping on the boat) was smoking a cigarette the entire time he was handling the pump!
The trip back was slower and we were able to get closer to shore which gave us some great photo opportunities. Even in the most isolated areas people were fishing from, or sunbathing on the rocks and
A beatuful village just south east of Cinque Terre. A favourite stomping ground of poets Shelley and Byron, the area is known as the Gulf of Poets as a result.
in the small bays. There are no sandy beaches as we would know them (accept for Monterosso) but that didn’t deter people for getting out and enjoying the sun and sea. We returned to port at around 4.30pm after having a brilliant time. We would certainly recommend Angelo’s Boat tours as a great afternoon out and top way to see the Cinque Terre.
The weather is unseasonably hot, which is obviously fantastic for us, in summer the place is overrun with tourists but today there was only a sprinkling of people on the beaches and town was busy but not frantic.
When we got back from our trip we had a good walk around the old and new towns before retiring to our B&B for the night. A fantastic relaxing and stress free day, just what we were looking for.
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