Wednesday, October 5, 2010
When possible I try to slip away to the five quaint but brightly painted villages that run from La Spezia toward Genoa along the Mediterranean Sea. I usually stay in the third of the five, Monterosso but would be just as happy in any of them. The little harbors and beaches are just the thing for making a holiday. Over the years , Rick Steeves has made these into a hot destination spots so the hotels have begun to fill up and though advertised as a place where rooms are abundantly available, don’t believe it. We were there at off-season and people still complained that they just stepped off of the train as advised in the travel guide and no one was there offering them a room.
I suggest you stay at Monterosso’s, Baia (where we stayed). You’ll pay more but ask for a room with a window that opens out to the sea and even better, try to get a balconetta so you can sit out there in the morning and catch the breeze. If you go another fifty feet or so you will be at La Spiaggia (The Beach), another nice ocean front hotel where you can walk directly down to the beach.
You’ll hear lots of English spoken with tourists coming from America, Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. German and Austrians also abound, completely decked out in hiking gear and their own personalized walking sticks. They come to hike along the mountain trail which winds from one village to another. I enjoy watching them go by as I have my coffee and cream filled pastry.
Here we stayed until the following day when we returned to Parma for the weekend.