Thursday, May 21, 2009
During our final days among the unique little cities of Cinque Terre we stayed at La Marina Rooms in Vernazza, the 4th town. We went to the annual Lemon Festival in the Northernmost city of Monterosso. Every store in town made lemons part of their window display. All were very creative with their lemons- which are organically grown and locally produced and are no smaller than a newborns head! There were whole fishing boats overflowing with lemons in the main piazza. The one local elementary school was running 2 lemonade stands as a fund raiser and they put all of our childhood lemonade stands to shame. They had diversified their product lines to include not only lemonade and straight lemon juice, but also lemon gifts such as lemonade recipes, lemon key chains, and greeting cards with dried lemons on the front (we haven't figured out what kind of sourpuss would deserve a greeting card with a shriveled up lemon on the front of it). It was fun to walk past and hear them chanting Italian phrases to entice us to try their handmade lemonade.
We were lucky enough to have cliffside ocean views in both of our apartment rentals in Vernazza and Manarola. Since Cinque Terre is known for their lemons, pesto, and grapes, we made a point to have pesto pizza almost every night watching the sun go down over the Mediterranean Sea from our terrace balcony. Really though, you don't need a terrace to appreciate the towns' quaintness and magical charm.
On our last day in Cinque Terre we finished our vacation from vacation with massages from a masseuse that Laura's idol (Rick Steves) recommended. The massages helped our cramped backs relax a little from carrying our already-filled-to-the-brim-with-souvenirs backpacks.
Then, in the afternoon, we rented a small motorboat with an anchor and motored from North to South along the coast for 4 hours. Both of us got burned fairly bad but neither of us regretted it.
Posted by Daniel, Laura, Danagan and Baby Piper at 11:49 PM