Written September 5th, 2012 – in-flight Venice to NYC
We caught the 9 am bus from Volterra to Cecina (there were no tickets to be found so the driver let us ride for free), and then took the train up the Western Italian coast to Santa Margharita Ligure. This is a beautiful seaside resort town north of the famous Cinque Terre (Matt and I had already been or we would probably have stopped there too! It’s just lovely!) and we picked it as a good coastal place to stay and still give us access to Portofino.
When the train doors opened we were greeted by a humid, hot wave of Italian heat. It literally felt like a wall. This beach had better be close! We trekked our luggage (all of it now) down the road to find our hotel, Nuova Riviera Hotel.
Our room was on the third floor, and by the time we got there, confirmed that there was no air conditioner, and were soaked through with sweat, we decided we had better hit the beach.
It was a good choice. This town was built around the beach, so we made our way easily through town to the waterfront. It was much cooler by the water, so we took some time to snap photos and admire the painted buildings. That was probably one of the most beautiful parts of the city: every building was embellished with detailed paintings of painted on facades, windows, statues and other architectural features. It was so colorful!
The beach itself was rocky, as most in this area are, but we found a patch of rock and laid out on it all afternoon. We were by far some of the whitest people on the beach. Man those Italians can sure get tan. Matt’s speedo fit right in.
After soaking in some vitamin D we walked back to the hotel and got cleaned up for dinner. We were relieved to find that our room was finally cooling down, and that cold showers really helped. Now one thing about this hotel that we were not such a fan of were all the rules. My confirmation email had a list of rules, the bathroom had its own list, as did the back of the door. It was pretty excessive and made it sound like the guests would not know how to act in a hotel. I should have taken a picture of the signs.
Anyway, we got cleaned up and went for dinner in town. We found a little cafeteria style place that had wonderful food. We shared a very simple meal in the room behind to storefront, selecting delectable items off their daily fresh menu. Cold pressed veal loaf, eggplant parmigiana, spaghetti with fresh pesto, and red wine. So good. None of the food was complicated, it was just good fresh simple cuisine.