Our train for Venice did not leave until after 3 PM, so we decided to find a random adventure rather than wander shops or lay on the beach for the first part of the day. At breakfast, our sweet but eccentric hotel owner recommended visiting the town of Camogli, located two train stops north of Santa Margharita. He said it was beautiful, the train ran frequently, and we could leave our luggage there so we went for it. The 15 minute train ride dropped us in the cutest seaside town we had been to yet. We were first greeted with the open air market…which only happens on the 3rd Thursday of the month. We felt very lucky to have come to town on the right day! The market was full of fresh fruit and vegetables, clothes, household goods…everyone in town seemed to be there getting basic supplies. Matt was on the lookout for some melon colored pants, and we found a pair, but they were way too big. Struck out. We did have luck finding a wine shop to fill our empty water bottle with tap wine though!
A winding street led us down to the harbor lined with brightly colored buildings, and we walked along the boardwalk behind the beach. This beach was wonderful. Long and wide, with large sections devoted to rentable umbrellas and locals alike. The swimming area was a boat free zone and the water was crystal clear azure. It was stunning. The whole town oozed charm, but not in a touristy or busy way. It felt relaxed and local. Nobody was speaking anything but Italian.
We got some wonderful focaccia and a spinach pastry for lunch, followed by gelato. Which was immediately followed by Italian ice. This slushy fruity frozen drink was far more popular in this town than gelato, so we had to try it. It was practically 100 degrees anyway so anything cold was instantly worth it!
We got back on the train (which was 15 minutes late) rushed to the hotel to collect bags (ie: more drenched with sweat), rushed back to the train for our train to Milan-Venice. We were looking forward to sitting in the nice air conditioned cabin and cooling down, but unfortunately the air conditioning in the train was barely working for our two hour trip.
As we approached Milan we were watching the clock tick away the minutes of our connection. We were running behind. Not good when you have a train to catch. When the doors opened we grabbed our bags and ran to the readerboard to find our platform. And station in Milan is big. Your platforms could be road most 5 minutes apart. Luckily we were pretty close and climbed aboard with about 1 minute to spare. And joy of joys…this car was air conditioned! And we had a row of 3 seats to ourselves! Wonderful!
We made a quick nighttime connection from Mestre to Santa Lucia station and easily made our way to our hotel, Ca San Rocco. We were both so crusted in dried sweat and train ickiness that showers were the first order of business. Then dinner. We were starving, but not willing to wander too far for food. We settled on a nice little cafe restaurant and got a nice porcini pasta and a veal cutlet. Very good. Then we crashed. Exhausted. And happy to have made all our connections to Venice. Luggage and all.