Levanto, Cinque Terre - Italy

A 5 minute read, Posted by Dan on Sat, Aug 4, 2012
In Summer 2012
Tags italy

Windy road

Another winding journey down off the mountain this morning. We stopped in a small, sleepy town and had the best coffee we have had so far on this holiday. From here, we decided to drive along the coast and make our way to Cinque Terre National Park.

 

The drive along the coast was lovely. We did not have far to travel, but as usual, the coastal roads proved to be slow going. We stopped at a restaurant and enjoyed a lunch of grilled fish, mussels and spaghetti. We decided that from here, we would make our way up onto the motorway for the last, short leg of the journey and miss all the coastal traffic, so we could have some beach time of our own.

We arrived in the town of Levanto, where the GPS advised there was a campsite. There was one, and they had space. We got to our pitch, set up the tents and went in search of the local beach. There were many beaches where you had to pay for entry, so we headed to the free part of the beach. We found an empty patch of sand, and proceeded towards the water for a lovely, well deserved swim. The water was lovely, and after a shingle entry into the water, there was a sand bank further out where we could stand and relax.

Levanto beach

After a refreshing swim, we headed to the beach bar next door where we ordered a couple beers and a spritz. We sat and chatted here for awhile, enjoying relaxing on the seaside. We decided we would go from here and find a nice restaurant for dinner, as we had not brought anything to cook dinner with that evening.

There was a free concert happening in the square that evening, and after mulching around, we decided to try a restaurant close by. We had a lovely meal of seafood again, and sampled some lovely local wine. The menu was, again, in English as well as all the other major European languages, which took the mystery of menu deciphering out of the picture. But, all the same, it was a fantastic meal.

Enjoying the local seafood

From here we went across the road to a bar for another beer. A bit of a late night, but we are spending 2 nights here, so there is a lovely day of rest tomorrow for us all.

The day started out with a nice lie in. No rushing, did some clothes washing, had breakfast and showers, then decided to head into the town. Daniel needed some swimming shorts. Cassie decided she wanted to stay with Carole and Daniel, so we left them to their search and headed off in another direction.

Dan and I bought our obligatory, touristy tea towel from a rather jam packed, 'a little bit of everything' shop. On our perusal through the town, we came across a small market on one of the side streets. Here I found a stall selling handmade leather handbags. I chose a green one, and my wonderful husband bought it for me as an anniversary gift.

We left the quiet back streets and went in search of Cassie, Carole and Daniel. We found them sitting in a restaurant waiting for their lunch. Dan and I were not that hungry, so we went for a short stroll after buying a gelato each. The road we strolled down was very touristy and had nothing but souvenir/beach tat. We headed back for the others at the restaurant. Cassie had a gelato for pudding, but unfortunately, both Cassie and I had had chocolate, it was very rich, we both soon started feeling ill.

Mmm gelato

We all headed for the supermarket to gather supplies for dinner, and then headed back to camp for a swift change into our beach wear, and headed straight down to the beach. Dan took Cassie's snorkel and mask and went out for a dive. Daniel and Cassie stayed in the water and Carole and I sat on the beach and read our books. A lovely afternoon relaxing.

From the beach, we headed out in search for a beer. We found a bar just up the road, where we ordered a beer and watched in amusement as an Italian Metal band started setting up for what appeared to be a concert they would be giving that evening.

What we soon discovered was that, when ordering a few beers, after a certain time in Italy, you receive some tapas (or Italian equivalent, what is it called?). This was a nice and welcomed accompaniment to our afternoon beverages. Thus we seemed to have a few more beers here than we would usually.

Enjoying the atmosphere at the bar

Back at camp we grabbed a communal Braai and braai'd some sausages for 'hot dogs'. Dan and Daniel invited up an Englishman they'd been chatting to, also staying in the campsite. His name was John, and he had just left the army after his 22 years in service. He was spending some time travelling and relaxing before starting a job in London. He was good company and he brought us a gift of ration packs. Very thoughtful.

After a lovely evening of beer and good company, we headed off to bed. Off again in the morning, making our way towards Bari and the overnight ferry to Croatia.

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