Monday, October 31, 2016

Portifino and Rapallo For the Day

Today Andrea has taken the day off and both he and Federico are taking us to Protifino and Rapallo for the day. Wow - this is an added bonus.

Portifino is about a half hour from Genoa.  Travelling along the coast the roads are narrow and busy. But not crazy.  I would really hate to see this area in the summer when the tourist are here and ships are in port.

Since I really didn't have any idea we would be going here I really had no idea what to expect.  Sure I had heard of Portifino and the area.  I had heard it is very beautiful.  I had no idea how small it is.  It is really a hamlet.  

We arrive in town and we park in the parking garage.  How they manage to build a parking garage here is beyond me. Thank goodness Andrea is a great driver and is use to these narrow roads and even narrower parking garages.

We walk along the water.  People are busy having a coffee, talking with locals, and tourists are shopping.

One thing I have forgotten to mention is this whole area is known for focaccia bread.  When we first arrived in Genoa we stopped at one of the many focaccia bakeries.  Oh my God!  To have it warm! Well each day we stop and get fresh focaccia for the meal.  And once in Portifino we stop at the local focaccia bakery and buy focaccia to enjoy as a snack. Note once we left the area we no longer found these focaccia bakeries - not in Florence, Rome or elsewhere.  Or maybe I was just missing them (probably a good thing).

We climb the hill which is park of the original Roman road system up to the Church of San Giorgio. The views are stunning.

We stop and enjoy a great meal of pizza and wine of course - are you noticing a theme with each meal.

I enjoyed Portifino but there is not a whole lot here.  If you visit I encourage you to venture out to the other towns of Santa Margherita and Rapallo.

After two hours we are back in the car heading South.  We drive thru the lovely town of Santa Margherita but we keep going.

Federico and Bernie saving the parking spot
Our destination is the next town of Rapallo which is 10 km from Portifino.  Rapallo is a fair size town that hugs the sea. The beautiful sea walk goes on forever.  We walk hand in hand (Bernie and I) and we both comment that we can't believe we are here.  I am so happy.

A few streets from the sea is the main shopping area.  I spot a cardigan!  See I lost my favorite cardigan a few years ago when I departed the Grand Princess.  Since then I haven't found an everyday cardigan.  This one is perfect and the price is right so I buy it.  My only souvenir of the trip it ends up being but one I will use for a long time (unless of course I leave it on another ship).

We stop for gelato.  Here Federico lets us in on his favorite gelato dessert.  Two shots of espresso over two scoops of vanilla gelato.  Oh my - ends up Bernie will remember this for the cruise. I get a dish of mango fruit covered in gelato then whip cream!  

More walking and admiring the city - stop again - this time for espresso!  Gee I could get use to this life.  But note this was over the course of the entire afternoon.

On the drive back to Genoa I am having a hard time staying awake. 

Once home we enjoy a quiet evening with a friend of Federico and Andrea of wine, cheese, meats, honey and nuts - a great dinner.  

Tomorrow we are on our way to Florence.

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