In January 2009, I started this Italy Retreat Blog about my workshop on the Italian Riviera.
Well, I have arrived and this is my second day in paradise, staying at La Colonnina Hotel in Monterosso. It’s a wonderful hotel in the heart of the historical center of town, a 5 minute walk from (the Ligurian Sea) which is a part of the Mediterranean. Turquoise refreshingly clear water at the end of a gorgeous mountainous hike that connects to Vernazza and then the other 3 Cinque Terre towns.
The flight over on Luftansa was very smooth and enjoyable. The airline stewardesses were actually friendly, efficient, and made sure we were all comfortable, and had lots to eat and drink. The pillows were soft, not the hard rectuangular ones airlines usually provide. Even the blankets were soft and cottony, not polyester. My Asian vegetarian meal was deliciously spiced panir, curried vegetables and rice. Kudos to Luftansa Airlines!
Today Nancy and I hopped on the train to Levanto to try to find a SIM card for the Italian phone my friend gave me. No SIM cards in the 5 villages of the Cinque Terre. But with all this beauty surrounding us, who needs cell phones?! Anyway, the Telephone shop closed at 12:30 for siesta and didn’t open again until 4:30, so no phone for the week as we didn’t want to wait for four hours.
The Italy Retreat begins tomorrow and there won’t be time to go back to Levanto as I have a busy week planned for all the workshop participants (who just arrived this evening after a 24 hour trip from the U.S and South Africa).
Our dinner last night at Pizzeria Ely was divine. Homemade ricotta ravioli with pesto sauce, minestrone soup that was the most flavorable soup I’ve ever eaten. We completed our meal with panna cotta (translated: cooked cream) dessert with fresh berries. I had to suppress my loud oohs and aahs. Delizioso!
I hope will keep you updated!
PHOTOS: That’s me in Monterosso, Colorful fishing boats and signature umbrellas on the Monterosso beach,the arch leading to our Hotel La Colonnina.
You are welcome to reprint, copy, or distribute Lenora Boyle’s article, provided author credit is included.