“Good Morning!!! I wish you a beautiful day!”

“Good Morning!!! I wish you a beautiful day!”

Wouldn’t it be nice if every day started like this, with a handwritten note and a tasty breakfast?

Morning note from Lorenza, slid under our door: Good Morning!!! I wish you a beautiful day. If you open the door there are focaccia croissants for you.

And guess what – we have had a beautiful day. It was all about lunch. And dinner. And planning lunch and dinner for the next three days. Whatever shall we do on Tuesday, when the shops are closed!?!

Messily crunching on our marmalade croissants – and we won’t squeal on the Italians for this wonderful addition which, according to the French, would be a non-non – we decided to have lunch here in Riomaggiore today at a cliff-side place we had noticed on our last trip, but not tried out. Intent on getting a cliff-side table, we trucked up there for what looked like an 11:00 opening time. All the way, Don is thinking, “didn’t I just have breakfast?”, but I had him on board with the only way to make sure we had a great table was to get there early. And my reassurance that it was okay to start drinking wine at 11:00. Oh, ok then. So we got there no problem, except that it really wasn’t open at 11. Maybe 12. So we went for a walk – as you do – and found ourselves back there at 11:30, with the doors wide open and the cliff-side seats all available (we were the first ones there).

A Bar e Vini something something, Riomaggiore

I told the waiter that now that we were sitting at a table, they would be full soon, but he shrugged and said, “it might rain”. We had felt a few drops earlier, but it actually felt refreshing in the heat. Not “real” rain for us. Which reminds me, a traveller should not tell a local that they hope it doesn’t rain. Much of Europe, and especially Italy, hasn’t had any rain to speak of for three months, so they would love a good downpour. The weather app on my phone has been catastrophizing thunder, lightning and sometimes rain for our entire stay. This morning as I recognized the sound of raindrops outside from my cozy bed, it occurred to me that the Currie Curse was indeed in play and it was going to rain like it has never rained before while we are here. But no, it was just a little teaser, and the wind quickly blew that system out to sea. We are happy for the clouds and wind – it helps with what would otherwise be brutally hot weather.

The tiny harbour of Riomaggiore is always bustling and cute. I remember we tried to get into one of the restaurants for a late lunch the last time we were here. I think it was about 1:30 and there were people eating and empty tables, so we sat down at one of them. Eventually we were approached by a waiter who said, “We’re closed”. Which leads me to another Italy travel rule I have remembered – don’t try to get a late lunch or an early dinner at a restaurant. They close up tight. Luckily, the Italians consider pizza to be a “snack”, so in a pinch, you can usually find a takeaway pizza (which may just be the tastiest thing you ever remember eating).

Kepris Pizzeria

Which reminds me – we had the best pizza at this little hole in the wall (literally) last night. Recommended by our Lorenza as her favourite pizza, with a side story about how she was in Milan for five months to help her daughter with her newborn and they didn’t know how to make pizza there. We ate there, but most people where taking their box(es) of pizza down to the rocks at the harbour to eat pizza and watch the sunset.

Right now we are just finishing off the meat and cheese platter that Don shopped for in the local grocery store earlier this afternoon, and as I sit here listening to a street game of soccer somewhere down in the village and seeing the odd bolt of lightening on the horizon, I am thinking how grateful I am to be back travelling and here in particular, with a handsome husband who wants to take me out for an ice cream.

So off we go – stay tuned for tales of our lunch tomorrow at Nessun Dorma in Manarola.

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