Herman & Judy Paris2Rome travel blog

La Spaggia hotel-our room with the louvers open

Early morning-from our room

Chinque Terra-Monterosso al Mare

Monterossa al Mare

Mans' artistry-Monterrosso al Mare

Carved out of the rock-on the beach front

Wednesday 12th September 2007 Weather:- 19/27 degrees

(J) The morning started off with a nice leisurely breakfast, with friends, or so it felt. After some nice conversation and hugs goodbye from Dani and the other guests we were off to Monterosso al Mare in the Chinque Terra.

We skirted the top of Lake Como to follow the lake down in the direction of Milan; the road was mostly tunnels interspersed by openings that flash good views of the lake. We are quite fond of tunnels at this time of our travels as they are usually double lanes going in the same direction. As we drove on between Milan and Monza the scenery started to change; we came past another agricultural area with half of the fields newly ploughed and the others planted with a new low growing crop. After driving for about another 20min I had the impression that we must be driving past the training ground for all the young Italian men that came to Australia in the 60s' and 70s' to work for 'Transfield' and the EPT (those were the companies that built all the electricity towers that took electricity around Australia). There were Electrical towers everywhere; the nice thing was that they were all painted green to blend in with the countryside. This time Tom-Tom did not miss a beat.

Slowly the country side changed from hilly to mountainous and we were crossing the 'Alpi Apuane'--- Apennines Mountains in English. It was a very good and spectacular drive; the road was nearly all the way a double highway with the upper road back to Milan and the lower road took us to Monterosso al Mare, with many tunnels taking us through the mountains and extremely high viaducts, all with their own name, taking us over the valleys we were only to pleased to pay the toll charges at the end of it---just before a long and winding road took us to the village and our destination for the day.

From lakeside, to beachside in one day. Our hotel 'La Spaggia' is right at the top of the town and on the beachfront at Monterosso al Mare, it is old but well looked after. Our room is on the top story (3rd floor) overlooking the beach, small but very clean and we are happy with it. After we had a shower and refreshed ourselves we went for a look around but found the streets very touristy with all sorts of kitsch on offer---even the gelatos sold out front were just not as good as others we had tasted while on our travels, "is that all there is" we said to each other. There was nothing to it so an afternoon siesta was in order.

Well rested we decided to go further afield and walked around the headland only to spy the reason that all this area is famous; the old town, it is charming with lots of little alleyways and open air restaurants with lots of exploring to do, we will definitely go there tomorrow night to listen to some music and have diner.

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