Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Italy: Cinque Terre, Coastal Liguria on the Gulf of Genoa

The five towns called Cinque Terre, built right at the edge of the sea, are connected by a rail line. 
They and the trails between them are frequently subject to floods and landslides. The terraced land has been farmed for centuries.

Until recent times, the villages were so isolated that each had its own dialect. 

We hiked and took the train in combination so that we visited all five villages. Increasingly the village houses are being converted to second homes and condos, and centuries old terraces are becoming overgrown as young people leave for college and the cities in search of a better, and certainly an easier, life.

I found the area very beautiful but could not ignore the loss of agriculture.

 Ed's journal entry about our lunch at Ristorante Celio in the yellow building:
The lunch is incredible. We are seated overlooking the sea far below. The meal starts out with a sampler of seafood; a single Anchovy filet in local olive oil, a slice of anchovy pie with phyllo crust, a small cold octopus and potato salad, a few local clams mixed with calamari in oil and a small white fish soufflé. For a main course we have home made linguini with fresh pesto. The pesto not only includes basil, Parmesan and pine nuts but has some green beans and potatoes thrown in. 

At the time of olive harvest, the nets will be spread to catch them.

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