Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Best Monday Ever

Martello spent the second full week of June on major deadline, so following that, he needed some serious downtime (luckily, he could use Monday as a comp day). We capped off a lazy Saturday by attending a local beachfront party for a departing colleague. Even as the night crept into the wee hours, it stayed just warm enough so as not to freeze.

We decided to spend the weekend further down the coast, exploring the fabled shores of Portofino, Rapallo, and Santa Margherita Ligure. Despite Trofie Wife’s usual queasiness for the sailing life, we opted to take a boat from the Genova port down to Portofino. Luckily, the waters were calm, and even if they hadn’t been, the sights were gorgeous enough to warrant some nausea, had it been necessary.

We're on a boat!

View back to Genova

San Fruttuoso

View of Portofino from Castello Brown

Portofino Marina

We didn’t disembark at San Fruttuoso—the picture you see above is the entire town—but we hope to return again to tour the famous abbey (sweet deal for those monks). Our boat finally landed at the fabled Portofino. It is a lovely marina with stunning views as you head into the hills (especially the Castello Brown, which was a fort at one point, later turned into a sprawling residence by a Brit and now stands as a museum), but there isn’t a beach, so it’s best enjoyed from the sundeck of your mega yacht, should you have one. Cruise season has apparently commenced, so we watched as tender after tender arrived for the short port of call, unloading the largest number of Americans we’d seen around these parts, saying such things as “we’re in Italy—we’ve got to be able to find some pizza around here somewhere!”). We did find a hidden charm—the Portofino Sculpture Garden. Martello particularly enjoyed this place and took some fabulous pictures:

We eventually boarded another boat that would take us just a few minutes down the shore to Rapallo, another well-known beach town. We had a lovely dinner by the water (featuring, in Trofie Wife’s opinion, the best olives ever) and rounded out the evening with delicious gelato.

On Monday morning, we found our way to the funicular leading up to the Santuario di Montallegro. The ride itself, which dipped us up and over a colony of lush green trees made us feel as though we were descending into some middle earth, or New Zealand (it’s the same thing, right?). The peak was incredibly peaceful and featured a gorgeous view of the sea below. After fortifying ourselves with a surprisingly delicious pasta lunch, we hiked down the mountain. We got a little lost, but Martello enlisted the assistance of an elderly woman who was clandestinely feeding some neighborhood goats. Although our detour made us miss the boat to Santa Margherita, we took a quick train ride so we could enjoy some beach time before heading back to the homestead.

Martello declared it the best Monday ever (I’ll forgive him for not declaring that the Monday following our wedding; we knew well in advance that we’d be off work that day, and much as we love New York, a warm Mediterranean beach it is not…)

Baci e gelato,

Martello e Trofie Wife

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