A hike to a sleepy town called Bonassola (translated from Italian to “We are ok” because women were often left for long stretches by their sea-faring husbands) started our day. It was a steep climb and my knees were talking to me, not being accustomed to such vertical paths. Along the way we collected borage, fennel, and asparagus…all are very opportunistic plants, seeming to grow in the most obscure places.
We then took the train to Vernazza, a colorful port of hustling tourists, where we met up with a restaurant proprietor who was not scheduled to open his business until the following day. There we were served Ligurian cuisine on a railed perch in an old fortress facing the sea. I cannot describe to you in words, or even in pictures, if I had one, of the view offered from our table. Suffice it to say that I felt like an eagle in a nest high above the smashing waves of the sea. We were so mesmerized by this little Italian woman, who was taking a break from her chores. True to the good-natured spirit of her culture, she even waved at us!