Last Day in Italy

Last night dinner at La Serra

 We had a lovely last day. We went to a beautiful spot for dinner. A little village called La Serra. Roberta knows the owner and he is a very good chef.  We wandered around the village first / got some cute little italian boy to take our photo / he was about 6 and very lively.
Then we wandered down to the restaurant for a beautiful dinner. Complementary fried Polenta and sardines. Then followed soups and fish and pork / all yummy. Not to forget the limoni gelato.

It is hard to believe our time in Liguria has come to an end. It,s been so lovely so special being with my two nieces.
This morning we had a little party for Berties birthday. She is 31 and being away from Fabio and the family is hard for her. But she is so great. We shared a Tanti aguri song and then we went to Sarzana for coffee. We ran into Ilaria / the Italian teacher. She is such a funny person. She told us she had met a girl from Australia and it turned out to be the girl we met yesterday at Castlenuovo. The girl who might visit rob in Barca.

We caught the train and arrived in Milan for a good nights sleep before Russia.
Heard from Phoebe Rouse / she is all organised and coming to meet us in St Petersburgh.
Now to dinner our last in Italy. Oh my / what will I choose!
Love fran

A toast to Bertie for her Birthday

Almost time to leave Italy

Our last few days have flown. Pip and I had a little trip to La Spezia yesterday. Bertie was feeling tired and needed a rest so we made her promise to rest and we caught he bus. Not as easy as it sounds here in Italy. Still we made it. We both bought a cashmere cardi and a few little things then on the return trip stopped by Trebiano – another small village nearby . 

I’ll show a few more photos – that will give you a look at what we are up to. 
The weather has been great. Today we went to Porta dei Marmi  – its by the water and very exclusive – with VERY BIG name shops. The markets were on and they were pretty exclusive as well. Wish I could bring home some things!. Bertie did a little shop and we encouraged her! After coffee we went to Castlenuovo – a very OLD town  – yes on the top of a hill. It was siesta time and was so quiet. We managed to run into the only other tourists there and they were Australians. Mother and daughter – food reviewers fro Sydney. The daughter may now visit Rob in Barcelona! No not matchmaking just being friendly (though she is Lovely).

This afternoon we’re packing and sorting and planning dinner out. It’s Bertie’s birthday tomorrow – and we leave so we’re having a celebrations tonight.

Ciao Tutti

Dinner at Patri and Massi:

La bella sera

Went to the most beautiful house last night, and enjoyed a lovely meal in the piccolo casa – which for travellers is available for rent.
Think Steve should be here – he would love it so much and we miss him.
Photos soon

La Bella Vita!

On the boat near Lerici
On the boat to Portovenere
Lunch in Telarno

Overlooking the Cinque Terre coast

An Italian wedding – Portovenere

Ciao tutti….. It’s now a week since arriving in Italy and I think my Italian is improving. Yesterday Pip and I went into Sarzana a town near here. There were markets on and we finally worked out the bus timetable. We wanted to give Bertie time at home – she has assignments to do and we have been taking up all her time. So saimo andati on the bus. We did so well working it all out that I gave INSTRUCTIONS in italian to an italian bus driver . He was driving along and pulled up to ask where a piazza was – he was a tour bus so I  – IN MY BEST ITALIAN gave him directions. Very funny. We caught the  bus to Tolarno – if it were down the coast a little it would make the Cinque Terre the Six Terre! It was gorgeous and pretty and hilly, little houses up and down, rough waves , people walking – but locals . We even saw a birthday party for a little girl called Aurora. The little girls were running all over the village.
We caught the bus back down the coast to Lerici and Bertie picked us up at 6. We went out with her friends Patrizia and Massimo to a local and very popular pizza place. It was packed with young locals and chatting and using their mobile phones.

We called into another friend Gabrielle – a builder who has renovated his house and has a lovely apartment underneath. It’s about 5 mins from Bertie’s place and easy distance from the coast – so if anyone wants and authentic italian experience – its the place.

Today another italian lesson with Illaria. It’s one on one and I learn alot.
Well I can hear the church bells and so its time to go – andiamo!. I’ll download some photos now.

Just returned from our day today.
Italian lesson followed by lunch outside Sarzana on a little agritourismo . Had the local speciality Panigarci. Then went to a beautiful winery for a tasting. Now for a sleep before dinner out with friends

Saturday in Lerici

Last night we got lots of rain  – after going to Massa , where Roberta had a doctors app. She is now 28 weeks pregnant and looking radiant. We met her sister-in-law there as she is helping with Fabio away on the boat. We stopped in for a lovely meal on the way home and woke to blue skies again today. We went to the markets in Lerici and then took the boat across to Portovenere, the gateway to the Cinque Terre. Had a great walk around there – spotting my highlight of the day (see below). Went also to the cemetery  overlooking the sea. What a place. Caught the bus to the next little town of La Grazie a quiet little bay with lots of boats. we had a quiet lunch , a delicious gelato – new flavours for me mela verde and melone! We’re going to Antonella’s for dinner with her husband and young son. They live in Carrara  so we’ll be seeing some marble.

HIGHLIGHT of the DAY: Seeing two weddings at Portovenere. One was very stylish with the guest dressed in gorgeous dress – navy being the latest fashion. Will post photos when I upload them.

Day 2 & 3


Weather here is so beautiful and we are getting out along the beautiful coast. Lerici the closest little village by the sea is just gorgeous and we’ve been there for diner, gelato, a paddle, a little shop etc.

Yesterday Pip and I went on the train to Portofino. It is just lovely – you’ve probably seen it in movies as its the playground for the rich and famous. It was such a lovely visit and the highlight of the day was the blue water and the amerena gelato!

Last night we had some friends of Roberta’s for dinner. I had suggested I cook . It’s so hard in a little unknown kitchen! But I managed to turn out some little pastry squares with pesto, tomato and feta followed by chicken sort of morrocan style with cous cous.

Roberta made a delicious pav and we had a great night on the terrace. Her friend Massimo plays guitar so we sang along and tried to speak Italian – as they had limited English. Roberta is speaking so well now. With Fabio away she is really pushed into it.

Today another Italian lesson with Alaria in near by Sarzana an lovely town back from the coast.

HIGHLIGHT: Dinner on  the terrace with Italian friends

Settling into life in Cerri

Hi Everyone!
Had a wonderful flight over. Flat bed really helps! Arrived in Milan early and beat Pip to the station. She looks great and was wearing her new boots – very modern very European. We had coffee and talked non stop until our train left for Turin. What a lovely city and it was bustling. Sunday afternoon in the middle of a week of festivities. There were book stalls lining the porticos, a chocolate festival in the little wooden huts they use for the Christmas markets. All were decorated with CHOCOLATES. A big temptation!. We walked and walked and had gelato and a lovely dinner  in a piazza with music and chatting and a glass of Proseco.
MONDAY: we walked  and saw LOTS of churches including San Lorenzo where the copy of the shroud of Turing is housed. The nonnas we all  a twitter about the shroud then we were almost extras on a movie set in a park. After lunch – ensalada tonna we got the train down to Genova then along the coast past the 5 villages of the Cinque Terre until La Spezia. Roberta met us. She looks fantastic. Lovely little pregnant tummy and glowing.
We came to her home in Cerri settled in and then drank more Proseco bubbles. Had dinner on the terrace and looked towards the coast.
HIGHLIGHT: Seeing Roberta and dinner on the terrace
Today – TUESDAY: we had a slow start, breakfast on the terrace then headed off to explore. Ended up in Lerici a small village by the water. Its only 5 mins down the hill and is gorgeous. It was the most beautiful day. We enjoyed  a seafood lunch walked around the bay, had gelato of course, walked some more and now we are home to cook fish for dinner.
HIGHLIGHT: Walking around the water past the beaches of Lerici eating gelato!
More tomorrow and maybe the first photos