Steppin’ Up… In Vernazza
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.
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 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.