|all those things we had during a 3-day holiday at the italian riviera! last weekend, we, together with the Ansermets' had a spur-of-the moment decision to take a beach holiday at the Liguria region of the Italian riviera... and boy did our cravings for great pasta, pizza and really fresh seafood got satisfied!|
it all started on monday of that week, J, a friend of ours told me they were planning to go to San Remo, Italy. it wasn't a nice week here in Switzerland - weather wise - it was raining, most of the time and was chilly. so when J told me they were going on Thursday of that week, I told hubby about it and I asked if him if we could join them. it was just a 5-hour trip and we badly miss the beach and the sun... problem was just that hubby went on SL that week and it wouldn't really be good to have another day of VL. so he told me, we can just do it on our own another time.
so the days went by, and came wednesday, i heard from another friend (H) that J won't be going anymore this week, they moved their trip to next week because J's hubby was swamped with work. i told H, wow! i was really longing for that trip, for them.. and now they're moving it! we could really use some sun and sea breeze right now. and then, out of the blue, H said, do you really want to go? why don't we do it? i said, ok, i'll ask hubby again! and that i did! we initially planned to go from friday until monday, but H's hubby said it's not possible coz he, too, was on leave the monday of that week. so we settled to have a saturday-to-monday-at-least-5-hour-drive to the Ligurian region of the Italian Riviera! and then it was crunch time! we had to make bookings for the hotels, and plan an itinerary. both our families have little kids, so we were really keeping our fingers crossed that the long drive will not be too stressful. and it was not that difficult, actually. yes, the drive took a lot longer than 5 hrs... 5 hrs is when you do not do any pitstops - and that was just impossible for us! we left Vevey at 8:30, and we got to our hotels before 3pm, traffic was bad when it was about 120kms away from our destination and we had two pitstops. but, we got there safe and sound, thank God!
so we got to our hotels (we took different hotels), rested a bit and changed to be ready to swim. when we got to the beach, we were really disappointed. we said is this all we get after a 6-hr trip??? the beach was crowded, typical mediterranean, the sand looks like sand used in constructing buildings (i.e. gravel and sand), there were lots of stones, there were long seaweeds in the water and the water was not clear! we were really disapointed, but we put on our happy hats and just enjoyed the sea breeze and relaxed on the beds cum parasol. we just had high expectations - having experienced the beaches of Boracay, Palawan and Bohol back in the Philippines - their coast was no match to our beaches! and their beaches close at 7pm, even when the sun was still up at 10pm. we stayed at the beach, water temperature was ok but it was a bit cold when you first get in. and at around 6:30 pm, we decided to go back to our hotels and prepare ourselves for dinner, this was when all the oohhhs and aahhs came! we went around the city, admired what felt like manila bay atmosphere (which is good, since we do miss the philippines! ) and went restaurant hopping. most of the restaurants were fully booked! and the all served SEAFOOD!!! and yummy really fresh seafood at that! the capped the night with good italian espresso (they only serve cappuccino for breakfast, did you know that?), and off we went back to our hotels at around 11pm.
the next day, we decided to go to look for nicer beaches, and the road took us to Bordighera, the town next to San Remo. we weren't sure what we will see there but this time, we've lowered our expectations. we couldn't find the road to the beach so when we felt we were almost going out of the town, we went back and just followed where everybody seemed to be going, parked the cars and checked out the restaurants. and we felt we hit jackpot when the first seaside restaurant we went to was really impressive! water was clear, they had a very nice little beach below the restaurant when you can rent the parasol and bed, they even had a small pile of rocks, which served like a breakwater structure. we asked if they still have available parasols in front, and they did! it's just that there was another couple who reserved the other two slots in front, so we had to share the little beach, but they were still not around so we felt the beach was all to ourselves. oh, and guess what? i think they got turned off by our noise that they decided to move to another part of the beach... giving the entire, i think 6 meters of beach all to ourselves! (hey, i tell you, that's really a big deal, considering seeing all those parasols lined up in the big beaches!). that's when we really felt we were on holidays, we stayed on that exact same spot from 11am until 6pm. we didn't care about our complexion anymore (but we did put on a lot of sunblock :D), we were just so happy about the spot and the food, and the breeze, and the water and everything! nothing will spoil that now! plus, we reserved for a restaurant for that evening already so we were basically all set for that day! so after the beach and a really tasty dinner, we headed back to our hotels at 11:30pm. the kids were all so tired... and so were we, but we had big smiles on our faces as we called it a (really great) day. :)
the next day, we checked out after breakfast (oh, did i mention they served great breakfast, too?!). we decided to do a coastal drive, but traffic was horrible! so we went to the motorway, and just took the exit to that town that looked like the Greek beaches - Imperia. we went around town, walked in the old town, you can really see those italian-style eskinitas and the clothes drying out the windows. it was really a nice treat! then we decided to have lunch there, wanted some pizza but we discovered that Italians serve pizza only in the evening! so, so much for that, so we just went back to the port where we had some more seafood - nobody's complaining! :) after lunch, off we went again to continue our journey home the kids were all full and tired, so we took a long leg of the drive (i think the speedometer went up to 165kph!) and decided to have another try at pizza since it was already dinnertime and we still have one italian town we can visit before we cross the border. and was it a really charming town - Aosta, we had great gelato and pizza! finally, our italian food trip was satisfied - very satisfied, indeed! we left the town past 9pm, it was a longer drive crossing the border because of some construction... but we survived it! we got home at around 11pm and were all just tired but very happy with the impromptu trip. perhaps we should do it more ofter! :p
it felt like ages since we've tasted really great seafood, we can't praise italian cuisine more! looking forward to another trip to Italy where we can eat our hearts out! check out some pics here it's not much, because i haven't picked out photos yet, but i will post more pictures (hopefully) soon! ciao!
Labels: family, friends, holidays