Northern Italy 2022, (September 3-14)
We went to bed around 11pm and set our alarms for 7:30 am. I usually survive on 5-6 hours of sleep, but I slept a solid 7.5 hours this night! Our check out was at 10am and check-in wasn't until 3pm in Santa Margherita Ligure, so we spent a couple hours walking around Milano. I put some of those pics in the last post, but boy did it feel wonderful to wake up in Italy!
Fyi, we did keep one Verizon cell phone on the entire trip costing $10 per day, money well spent in the end. We checked train schedules during breakfast and realized our options were thin and departure times one hour apart, most trains had multiple stops taking 4-1/2 hours! With a little patience and research our daughter found a train leaving at noon that was DIRECT, 2 hours 4 minutes to Santa Margherita-Portofino. I believe she used the Omio app, the site said 4 ticket remaining, we purchased immediately! I think we paid around $70 for 3 tickets, bargain if you ask me! We didn't unpack much, so it was easy to get ready to walk to Milano Centrale. Knowing we had 2 hours before the train it allowed for a relaxing walk to the station. Thank you daughter!
The train ride was pleasant with only one disappointment, there wasn't a beverage car, I was just happy to be on this non-stop train! Masks were mandatory on this train, but most people seemed to disregard policy, letting the mask hang precariously from one ear or perhaps just warming ones chin. Our airbnb host kindly asked that we send them a text when we were 30 minutes out, we did. 2 hours and 10 minutes later we exited the station greeted with the most amazing sight, the Mediterranean/Ligurian Sea!!! With the wheels of our luggage bouncing along the well worn cobble stones we joyfully worked our way down to city center, absolutely beautiful.
We chose an airbnb in the center of town. I read that our location could be noisy, it was, lots of scooters racing around, there were. But once we were in our airbnb it was surprisingly quiet especially at night, great windows and air conditioning. We stayed just a few meters from the ferry dock, perfect central location for us ( I circled our apartment windows in red below).. 2 bedroom, 1 bath, well equipped kitchen, large private back yard with stone walls and lemon trees, and from the front of the apartment a view to die for. The host left us with an amazing amount of fruit, crackers and beverages, the unit was very well equipped with most things we would need.
After unpacking for our 3 night stay we walked to a charming side street to grab a late lunch, basically just a really good panini sandwich! Sitting outside at a picturesque cafe on cobblestone is perhaps my favorite thing in the world. To be honest we really didn't need the panini with the generous snacks this place provided.
With our bellies full we walked around the town, venturing beyond the marina loaded with amazing boats and yachts. Found a COOP close by and grabbed a few provisions, including inexpensive beer and wine. We dropped off the provisions and wanted a drink. decided to try a small wine bar, Bar il Vernissage. It sat conveniently right next to our apartment, this would be our regular go to spot! Friendly staff, great drinks and another generous snack of olives, meats, cheese, ripe cherry tomatoes with mozzarella and chips! They had a few tables with excellent views, but they also put large pillows along the ancient walkway giving it a little "bohemian" feel, awesome.
Around 9pm we were looking for a restaurant and found a table at Da Michele. It was in a little square off the main drag. Just enough room in the square for maybe 3 restaurants to be nicely separated. We enjoyed gnocchi, pasta, prawns and filet smothered in porcini's, love porcini's! Our waiter was very personable, liked this guy. After dinner we poked around the corner and found the wine bar closed at midnight, good thing I was exhausted. Off to bed to be rested for our first hike of the trip....ciao!