LEVANTO, ITALYMay 8 in Italy
Bongiorno from the Cinque Terre, a place of 5 seaside towns snuggled in the cliffs of some rather beautiful little mountains ovlerlooking the Mediterranean. Very quintessentially Italian- complete with 'siesta' time. So I think we will fit right in!
Levanto is technically included as part of the CT, although on the very far end. It's more budget/family friendly due to easy access to the beach and an earthy vibe. I guess the main 5 towns are a bit fancy-pants. We shall check that out tomorrow! In the meantime, we are absolutely happy with this gorgeous place, even if it is the 'poor man's CT.'. It's so cute!
Arrived after 5 hours on a boring train from Rome. The boys had energy to burn and were entertaining themselves with 'hilarious' games like pretending the train could sing Game of Thrones theme song (by lifting the flaps of the seats), as well as playing 'keep-away-from-the-cripple' with Jesse's walking crutch on the station platform. I was not amused.
Luckily we fed them, played catch, and took a freezing swim at the beach & they were calmed back to their 'normal' selves (Buz included, of course).
This morning rented bikes and cycled 6km or so through Bonnasola to Framura. Cycled through super-cool tunnels that were chiselled through the mountains in the early 1900's to connect these rather remote towns. That was THE BEST! Small exits from the tunnels led to tiny pockets of empty beach, where the boys had fun jumping off the rocks into the sea. Tried to warm themselves up after by covering themselves in stones heated by the sun.
Unfortunately en route home Jesse stacked it on his bike! The tunnel tracks are damp and dark. Poor child. He was finally able to take off his moon boot and crutch for short periods- now he has possibly fractured his right wrist! So glad that Buz can tend to him. He's wrapped it up in a tight splint- and if it doesn't feel better in a day or so we will take the train to La Spezia for an X-ray.
In the meantime we are enjoying the gelato (especially Zach!)
Had a wonderful week in the Cinque Terre; it had everything except for decent wifi! (Hence, the length between posts). So... Jesse's wrist swelled up and he was in enough pain we thought we ought to take it seriously. A lovely pharmacist pointed out there is a small hospital in Levanto, so we got to experience firsthand the wonderful Italian health care system! Jesse was seen straight away by a kind nurse who apologised for not speaking better English (?!) even though her English was a million times better than our key-word Italian phrases and mimed reenactment of Jesse falling off his bike. The doc saw him straight after and recommended he get x-rayed the next day at the mobile x-ray service visiting Levanto. Then they wrapped him in a zinc-cream bandage and we cycled home. Luckily, no broken wrist on x-ray!!!! Took it easy the next day though- just a stroll through the local markets, play on the beach collecting sea glass, and Jesse cooked a fine spaghetti meal for us (one-handed).
Finally on Thursday and Friday we got out to explore more CT towns: Monterosso, Riomaggiore, and Manarola. Stunningly gorgeous, they all look pretty similar- like Levanto on steroids. Different shades of red, orange, and yellow old-style architecture built into the cliffs with maze-like, narrow and steep stone streets where you struggle to keep your sense of direction. Surely nobody with arthritis could live happily in these towns. And although super-adorable, it kind-of got overshadowed by the throngs of tourists, knick-knack souvenir shops, and way overpriced food that made you feel like you got sucked into a big tourism vortex. So happy to return to flat, chillaxed Levanto each night to escape the crowds. Also happy I didn't vomit on the water taxi (touch-and-go briefly). And happy that we managed to elbow our way onto the tourist train home. Can't imagine doing that in the height of summer.Read more