Portovenere, Italy 5/18
[with extra-huge slideshow at the end!]
Our day trip to Portovenere, south of Riomaggiore, started with a ferry ride from the rugged boat landing between the harbor and the “beach” (place by the surf covered with small stones ;-) in a boat full of stick people, oh no! I did grab us a great place to sit at the front so we could enjoy the wind in our hair as one should while traversing the Mediterranean.
On the very end of the promontory is a church that was first built in the seventh century, then expanded in the 12th century. The part of the church with the statue and candles is the ancient part… very cool. I always light a candle in the churches we visit (did this our last trip too) and think good thoughts for everyone we know… this is the oldest place I’ve done that. Awesome, literally.
There are terraces around there with more fantastic views, one of which featured a large three-masted ship out at sea still but looking like it was coming towards Portovenere. It never made it to the harbor while we were there. Too bad, it looked interesting. Other than ferries, there were a couple of houseboats, two military speed boats and a couple of yachts. I read that lots of yachts come here in high season, to stay at the foofy hotels. Glad I was here before then–I’m just not the jet setter type.
After climbing to the church, we went to tour our next castle, the Castello Doria, built in the 12th century by Genoa during the glory days of the city-states in what is now Italy. Now this castle has a lot left to see, and we tried to walk all of it.
I had to see the view from every little turret… I loved it! Castle turrets! Yes! Bob got a photo of me looking out of one of the larger ones. It is certainly amazing how the castle looks like its growing directly from the mountain rock. Very imposing.
After all that climbing (noticing a theme here? lots of stairs, lots of climbing, good workout) we needed a snack and drink, and we found a nice bar which turned out to have the best terrace seating to look over the town square and harbor! And there was no one sitting there either. Soon after we got there, it filled up, so we figured we were trend setters, heh. Fresh lemon granites (lemon slushies) were the perfect drink right then.
Then it was time to go down to the harbor, get our tickets and take the last ferry home. This is when the Attack Of The Stick People occurred, which Bob has written about in his own post. It was incredible, they could look right at you while you were being mowed down and not one single ‘excuse me’ or whatever… I must concur with Bob on this one. Very disheartening, but oh well. I’m just glad this is a small subset of travelers, not the norm. He’s gotten over it after writing about it…
Takes all kinds, I ‘spose…
Our ferry ride was uneventful, stunning views, fresh breezes, you know–the usual. And another yummy home-cooked meal by Bob, this time some pesto on trofie pasta, peccorino cheese and good bread. Ahhhhh…