Steppin’ Up… In Vernazza

Il Pirata, up by the laudromat, is a fun place (the owner talks to you all the time, always joking) recommended by our friends Paul and Joyce.
Il Pirata, up by the laudromat, is a fun place (the owner talks to you all the time, always joking) recommended by our friends Paul and Joyce.
Karen and I enjoyed a break from laundry over lunch at il Pirata in Vernazza on Monday afternoon. How about that water bottle?
Karen and I enjoyed a break from laundry over lunch at il Pirata in Vernazza on Monday afternoon. How about that water bottle?
Lunch at il Pirata in Vernazza on Monday afternoon. I got upsold to the fancy pasta with all of the different types of seafood. It was worth it.
Lunch at il Pirata in Vernazza on Monday afternoon. I got upsold to the fancy pasta with all of the different types of seafood. It was worth it.

The day we arrived in Vernazza, Karen and I went up the hill past the train station to do our laundry. While we were waiting for the machines, we went next door to il Pirata (The Pirate), a small outdoor restaurant recommended by our friends Paul and Joyce Ries. The owner greets everyone, finds out where they’re from, asks where they’re staying, and how long, and whether they will come back for dinner and/or breakfast. He likes to joke around with the customers, and he’s pretty funny.

He asked us where we were staying and we said “Gianni Franzi.” He shook his head. “Too many steps. And they give you breakfast.” Grumbling, he walked away. Then he came back. “You will return here for dinner, right? And I will show you the dessert menu.”

His food was excellent, and we would have returned except that they had a serious bee problem there and I couldn’t enjoy the meal. The bees don’t like to share.

Another section of stairway that we had to climb to get to our room in Vernazza. From the main street of town it was 115 steps up to our room.
Another section of stairway that we had to climb to get to our room in Vernazza. From the main street of town it was 115 steps up to our room.
one section of stairway that we had to climb to get to our room in Vernazza
one section of stairway that we had to climb to get to our room in Vernazza
Steps going up from the entrance to the Gianni Franzi building. They are very attractive, but they are very small.
Steps going up from the entrance to the Gianni Franzi building. They are very attractive, but they are very small.
These are the steps you take to the first, second, or third floor of the Gianni Franzi building. The rope helps!
These are the steps you take to the first, second, or third floor of the Gianni Franzi building. The rope helps!

He was right about the steps, though. It was a serious climb from the town’s only street to our room high above. Reminded us of Dubrovnik from our last trip – but this one had even more: 115 steps up to our door. This includes the steps inside the building, which were in the tightest spiral staircase I’d ever climbed. Honestly, I could hardly fit in it and you have to be very careful where you place your feet. They dangle a thick rope down the middle and this is very helpful for a handhold.

The main harbor area of Vernazza, the second city of the Cinque Terre
The main harbor area of Vernazza, the second city of the Cinque Terre
Walking up the main street of Vernazza. Gianni Franzi is the name of our hotel - but from the street you can only enter their restaurant and bar. Our room is 115 steps up the hill.
Walking up the main street of Vernazza. Gianni Franzi is the name of our hotel – but from the street you can only enter their restaurant and bar. Our room is 115 steps up the hill.
Continuing up the street in Vernazza, the second city of the Cinque Terre. There are many shops, including lots of gelato!
Continuing up the street in Vernazza, the second city of the Cinque Terre. There are many shops, including lots of gelato!
The day we left Vernazza there was a big thunderstorm. The waves crashed into the town, and it rained all day.
The day we left Vernazza there was a big thunderstorm. The waves crashed into the town, and it rained all day.

The town itself is beautful. It has its own harbor and beach, very small, and very many shops and restaurants. It was much warmer there than we’d been in Switzerland, so I bought a pair of shorts and a shirt. Made in Italy, of course. I’d brought sandals to wear so I was much more comfortable – until the storms came on Wednesday.

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