Posts Tagged ‘sunsets’

Wending our way from Malpensa through Genova (founded in the 4th century), we ventured down the Ligurian coast to Italy’s Riviera. The Liguria region is known for its fresh seafood, served at local trattorias, using local olive oils, pesto and fresh herbs. It is simple cooking with complex flavors.

After a couple of hours of driving our hunger rose so we stopped in Santa Margherita for sandwiches and drinks. It is a beautiful little coastal area leading to the town of Portofino.

Portofino is a seaside village in the shape of a half moon. It is known as a destination for the rich and famous, a home to several luxury hotels and welcoming of luxurious yachts in the small harbor. That aside, the beauty there is breathtaking.

After satisfying our grumbling tummies, we resumed our drive south to the quaint town of Levanto.

This town. Levanto, is nestled in a valley that opens to the sea making it an important location in the 9th century as a defense to attacks from the sea. Then during the Middle Ages, it rose in value as a center for commercial activity. The architecture reflects several periods from the 9th century to the 17th & 18th and then again in the 19th & 20th centuries as more growth evolved. All this combines to make it a fascinating stop as part of the famous area of Cinque Terre.

However, our goal for today is to reach Levanto, our base for our exploration of the Cinque Terre (5 cities) on the coast.  True to form, my first interest upon our arrival in Levanto is the alimentari (grocery store).

Then we proceed to explore the coast of Levanto:

An early dusk but not quite sunset offers some interesting images:

Looking toward the hills:

Graffiti!  Anyone who reads my posts knows how I love street art and grafitti.  Unfortunately for Italy, it is overwhelmed with graffiti.  Everywhere.  It’s not a good thing.  I embrace it for the art that it is anyway.

The streets of Levanto:

And everyone in Italy needs a spot to enjoy an apertivo (a pre-dinner treat):

And sometimes the restaurant has additional seating across the narrow street.  Just take a seat and someone will serve you:

Surrounded by quaint streets we close the day with apertivo and great food.

And as the sun sets, the apertivo and dinner lull you to return to your hotel for a good nights rest:

This was a wonderful sip of Grappa with some mini-ham sandwich bites and traditional potato chips for apertivo.

I had a wonderful Eggplant Parmigiana for my entree.  My dining partner didn’t order as well as you will see.

This is the mistake dinner.  My dining partner ordered the coletto di pollo (chicken cutlet) con patate (potatoes)

We had a great evening and went to sleep satiated with travel and food.  Next day we rose and headed out to explore more of Levanto and then on to the village of Lucca.

Stay tuned.

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In an obvious effort to begin anew, the year 2010 weighed in this evening with a sunset that beat out 2009 in both color and drama.  According to the photographer’s guidelines to sunset and dusk timing, I poised the camera at the ready at 4:54 this evening toward the west (Hello, Sonia!).

I stood at the ready shooting at intervals, in order to capture the most dramatic colors, until dusk that according to schedule was at 5:21.

I simultaneously engaged the neighbors who were attempting to chat over the fence, while using my remote to click the shutter, as the dogs below barked furiously as if they had never seen me before tonight.I hasten to add I did not spill one drop of wine while enjoying this photo shoot, the cold air, the colors, the neighbors and the barking dogs who serve as a suitable burglar alarm as necessary (yes, I am referring to both).

I happily greeted 2010 and then sped out the door for a luxurious sushi dinner that I didn’t have to prepare!  Life doesn’t get better than this.

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