Thursday, September 6, 2007
Pure Italian Bliss
The Cinque Terre (5 cities strung along the cliffs of the Italian Riviera) is quite possibly one of the most enchanting places I have ever been. I met Mama Rosa when I got off the train in Riomaggiore on Tuesday and she had an extra bed for me in a cliff room overlooking the Meditteranean. The room came with an old chandelier with half the lights burned out, a broken grandfather clock, and a jewelry-making roommate from Chile (interestingly enough mama Rosa came in this morning and shut the place down due to, from what I could gather, sickness or illegal activity. Yesterday I got up early and hiked through all the towns. I had to keep stopping to ask myself if I was really here. Unbelievably beautiful. Bellisimo! I had seafood ravioli and my last town and a Baccio (a kind of chocolate) gelatto. The restaurant owners have kept me company, trying to teach me Italian. One called me a bronzetta referring to my (one day) cancerous arms and told me to be glad I wasn't married like the table of 3 couples next to me who were, amazingly enough, from Utah as well. I sat on the beach until some guy asked where my ticket was so I got up and left. Being overly ambitious I thought I would hike most of the way back to get another view of the forests, vineyards, lemon trees, and sea but it ended up being longer and harder than I remembered and I did get a little lost as the sun was setting. Made it back safely, though, and sat outside Mama Rosa's house with a guy named Giulherme from Brazil and looked at the beautiful, countless stars. The weather's been great, the bread not so much so, and I've been cursing myself for not bringing a swimsuit. I miss friends, family, and home but am making memories to take back with me. Today I am headed to Florence, where the hostel hopefully has sheets cause Mama Rosa took mine.