There’s nothing like a bit of in your face amorous behaviour, to depart Italia on. It was my last weekend on the Riviera and a couple had moved into the room next door. I knew this because there was a combination of manly voice, cutesy giggling, heavy breathing, and what I had come to learn were paper thin walls. Head phones and youtubed Cosby Show were my new best friends.
The giggling woke me and I was ready to counteract it by loudly getting ready for my day. In the breakfast room I curiously looked around, trying to locate that deep voice. I wanted to make sure that they had walked in with the biggest smiles on their faces, while I poured myself another cup of coffee. All I found was an elderly couple, a young man and woman with a baby, and two friends.
Another place that I had been recommended to visit was Sportino-Noli, a few stops along on the coast. Since it was my last weekend on the Italian Riveria, I decided to make this a definite visit. I’m so glad that I did, as it was a cute wee medieval-esque town, with the best pasta lunch I’d had since I’d been here.
I parked up at Pole, in a piazza, enticed by their menu that I couldn’t read. There was something that had caught my eye and I asked the waiter for that and an Aperol spritz. What was served before me was homemade ravioli with finely chopped spinach and cheese, served in a light buttery honey with fresh sprigs of thyme and a sprinkling of pinenuts. I sat and enjoyed every bite of that dish, trying to eke it out for as long as my bum could handle sitting on a plastic seat, in the sun.
The day was stunning, with beaches that had patrons using the matching deckchairs with umbrellas. There were formal stalls set up on the boulevard with clothing and lollies that tried to entice me. I wished that I’d had my bikini, to go and take advantage of the sunshine, but I knew that I had to leave and make a start with packing up my home in my hotel room in Varazze.
I did come back and decided to squeeze in one last drop of beach sunshine. My usual free spot was jam packed, in the later afternoon. I wedged myself between two sets of couples, tanning on the beach. I was falling asleep, until I heard loud smooching noises. Too scared to look, I rolled over and peeked, to see a man on top of his woman, right next to me. I was clearly attracting lovers around me.
I rewarded myself for enduring such behaviour by tucking into my favourite four o’clock agenda. K2 has the best gelato in Varazze and that day I pigged out on meringata, ciocolatto bianco and pinguita (a penguin coloured layer of fluffy white with a thick syrupy chocolate that had to be scooped out with a different spoon).
If ice cream wasn’t enough, I stopped in at a shop full of sweet treats to sample a big collection for dinner. Sitting on the sun setting boulevard on a Saturday night with families strolling passed, I indulged in too many limone and cioccolatta crème pastries while listening to some profanity laden hip hop that had boomed from the beach DJ. I love hip hop music and wished that my friends were there to come and get the dance floor started, with me.
In the morning I sadly said arrivederci to my Romanian friend, before dragging the beast of a suitcase down to the train station. At Genova my ears were in heaven, listening to a random Kiwi accent on the platform. I was in la-la land and hauled The Beast up into the wrong carriage, nearly screwing over other passengers in the process. I had to get off and on at another carriage, before finding my spot to travel for the next two hours, which turned into two and a half, because the train was….. delayed. Surprise, surprise!
I had been given a tour guide for my day in Milano. One of my besties had met this guy while travelling through Central America, last year. He had pretty good English and a deep understanding of life, so she put me in contact with him. Tour Guide kindly picked me up from the train station. I’d been slightly worried, because I had no means of contacting him over the late train situation, but I trusted that old fashioned waiting would kick in.
We walked around, looking for a place to stop by and have lunch. I think we were both starving, but everywhere we went, the tables were all occupied with chitter chatter and scraping plates. We found a pizza place that’s oven was being turned off in fifteen minutes, so we had to make a quick decision. While we chowed down, we chewed over thoughts on life and the essence of living.
The streets were alive with Milanese enjoying their Sunday afternoon in the warm sunshine. Street performers had their money caps out, musos played in Parco Simpione, the people idled and relaxed. I followed Tour Guide’s lead in my pretty polka dot dress that I donned for my day out in Milano.
In the piazzas, down shopping streets and in front of the Cathedral were busier, with more hustle and bustle in the throng. I quickly shuffled passed the sharks, hiding my hands, as they would try and swoon in tying a thread to your wrist, then demand payment for this. Tourists were buzzing in the areas of Louis Vuitton and Gucci, where the locals were nowhere to be seen.
We stopped in near a street market for an afternoon refreshment. The sun faded and the bags and trinkets were packed away. There was an Aussie twang behind me, her voice jumping out over the crowd. We carried on back to the parco, which was reminiscent of an Italian Central Park, and sat in the golden glow of the sun, watching the shadow grow longer, from a decorative arc.
Tour Guide took me to a ‘happy hour’ restaurant for dinner. A bar where you paid around 8 euro, for a drink and all you can eat samples from the small buffet table. This was a very popular choice for locals. We left just on darkness, when the bar started filling, like on a Saturday night back home.
Tour Guide dropped me off at my hotel, near the airport. It was a small mission out in the countryside on what felt like a road to nowhere in particular. But we made it and I gave him some ‘grazie mille’s’ and said ciao. Ciao to my tour guide and ciao to Italia.
The dream of living there may have not come true; but I did get there in the end, knowing that I would in no doubt I’d return. But who knows what is around the corner and what is in store for me? I guess that’s part of the fun of the adventure that is life. La dolce vita!
Until next blog, where I head back to Scotland for some time out and rolling on the lounge room floor in my giraffe onesie, laughing, with my SBF.