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Report 1114: Bergamo, Venice, Lerici, Piemonte, Friends & World Cup Mania

By girasoli from Hawaii, Summer 2006

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Page 10 of 23: Portovenere

photo by girasoli


When making my reservation at the Doria Park Hotel, I read rave reviews about their breakfasts. I had been looking forward to breakfast at this hotel ever since. I am happy to say that I was not disappointed. I enjoyed my first breakfast of fresh fruit, cheese, yogurt, muesli, and some little breads and cakes, espresso, and fresh squeezed orange juice that I made myself.

The weather Tuesday morning was hot and a little overcast. After breakfast, I went down to the harbor to inquire about the boat rides and decided on the boat ride to Portovenere. I love being on a boat. The breeze was perfect, there was plenty of room on board, and the views were wonderful.

Portovenere is another little coastal town on the Ligurian Coast. I walked around for a while taking pictures and then started to look for a place to have lunch. I first went to a restaurant recommended by Katia, which was on the main street, but I was told that they were not serving anymore, even though I just saw a couple being seated. It wasn't very late and so I wondered if perhaps they did not want to serve me since I was eating alone. I was a little disappointed as I was looking forward to eating there. Most of the other restaurants seemed very touristy on the main street and so I headed back to this little street located right above the main street and found the perfect place. I ordered a caprese salad and a delicious focaccia pesto and cheese sandwich. A mother and daughter from England sat at the table next to me. They were having difficulty understanding the menu. I recommended a few dishes and ended up having an interesting conversation with them while we both waited for our meals to arrive. They had the day to explore Italy while their boat docked in La Spezia. It ended up being a great choice for lunch.

After lunch, I walked up to the church and found this cool little grotto, which was named after Lord Byron with amazing views. I took some more pictures and wandered around for another hour enjoying my day in Portovenere. I then headed back to the dock to wait for the next boat back to Lerici

Once back in Lerici, I hung out on a rock, catching a few rays. I began to watch three children play together in the water nearby. It find it so interesting how children seem to be so much alike in the way they play and interact even though they come from a different country and speak a different language.

After about an hour hanging out by the water, I headed back up to my hotel. On the way, I bought a gelato to give me energy for the long walk up to my hotel.

For dinner, I had the most wonderful meal at a restaurant called Ristorante il Frantoio, a restaurant recommended by friends of Katia. I ordered a ravioli dish. It was not your normal ravioli dish. Unfortunately I do not know the name of the dish as I forgot to bring a pen with me to write down the name when I ordered the ravioli dish and the bill only said "1 primo." The pasta dough for the ravioli included a fish ingredient, which made the pasta a black color. The ravioli were also shaped like fish. Inside was some sort of cheese and the sauce was a red sauce with little chunks of fish. It was heavenly. I was too full, probably from the earlier gelato to order anything else. I can never seem to eat more than one course. I envy all that are able to eat course after course, as I know I am missing out on so much when eating in a country that has such delicious food.

When I returned to my hotel, I watched some of the Spain – France soccer match and then went to bed.

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