Plans for Sunday were to continue our hike of the cities of Cinque Terre but fortunately Leroy agreed to spend the day at the beach instead (enough with the hiking already!). Our first day of blue skies and sunshine since our arrival at Cinque Terre demanded a day of play in the water and lounging in beach chairs along the rocky shore. Thankfully, a relaxing paperback provided a welcome distraction from the numerous grey-headed men in Speedos.
Later we enjoyed another delicious meal at a beachside bar. In Italy a bar is a small local shop serving a light meal, snacks, drinks and coffee. Meals are different here. Food is savored, conversation enjoyed. There is no hurry. Waiters come only when called. “Happy Hour” includes an assortment of folks gathered in the village square to laugh and converse. Children run and play. Groups of women and groups of men are seen chatting leisurely, seemingly enjoying the company of friends and family.
After sunset we walked some interesting trails, taking pictures of the full moon and nightlife. At one point Leroy disappeared up a dark path, curious about where it led. I declined to follow. I don’t have that kind of need to know. After a few minutes I called after him with no response. He reappeared just as I was planning how to break the news to the children. I’ve seen enough movies to know how these things can turn out. I’m an American city girl. We don’t go into the darkness looking for the man you warned not to go there. Fortunately it all turned out well. Ciao Bella.
Monday brought a change of scenery from the beautiful beaches of Cinque Terre to the fast life of the city in Pisa. We arrived into Pisa and the familiar sounds of the city, we checked into the hotel and headed to the leaning tower. The 20-minute walk there from the Hotel was interesting as we passed many street venders through the familiar small streets. We crossed the river and there it was the leaning tower of Pisa. It was leaning a lot more than I expected. I don’t know what I thought it would look like but it was another great site. It is hard to believe this structure was built in the 15th century and still stands tall (except for the lean) today. We headed back to the hotel after viewing and took in Dinner with more amazing food and wine. I have no idea how I am going to eat Italian food in the states again after the great meals here. We are off to Tuscany tomorrow.