We drove yesterday (Thurs) through the hilly wine country south of Alba, got to Monteforte di’ Alba, stopped in a cafe to have a cafe latte, and then lolled our way down to the Autostrade to head to our place in Camiglo. But, we encountered a traffic jam worse than anything we’ve seen in Chicago.
2.5 hours or more of bumper to bumper on our way around Genova. The Italians, so we learned today, were on their way to favorite places for their equivalent of independence day. The drivers were in a good mood — we saw lots of cop cars and ambulances, but no accidents or serious incidents.
Let me back up: the wine country area was pristine, classy, and beautiful. Dry dirt hills filled with vines; small villages totally ensconced in the business and very friendly sorts who helped us from one village to another. As tidy a region as we’ve seen.
Today we boarded the train to visit the last of our Cinque Terra villages, and found ourselves surrounded by thousands doing the same. The train was jam packed, many of whom were young kids headed for the beach. The small village here, Vernazza, is inhabited by 500 people, many of whom vacate for the big cities during the winter. But, if you’ve ever seen Stanley Tucchi’s move, The Big Night, this is that kind of place. Pure Italian food, no desire one bit to compromise for more money or tourists, just leave things they we they’ve always been. Very nice. And great weather. Sunny and hot. We ate at a ristorante at the castle, overlooking the bay and dock. Met a nice young couple from Santa Barbara.
We rise at 5am tomorrow to drive up to Malpenza aeroporto, and head back tomorrow. We get home Saturday about 1:30pm. And we leave here about 10:30, so that shows you it will be a long day for us. But fun.
Sorry we couldn’t respond to each of your letters, but 30 minutes each on the internet was more than enough for us.
Tonight we visit our favorite restaurant on the Mediterranean in Comgli. Primula.