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Sailing Holidays on the Italian Riviera: The beautiful Italian Riviera

May 18, 2012

One thing I’m learning about the Italians is that it’s all about the substance. Food may be simple, such as gnocchi or fresh pasta with pesto, but you can guarantee the pesto is made to a secret recipe handed down through generations and tastes amazing! The focaccia and bruschetta are simply delicious and yet made from the simplest ingredients.

20120518-210821.jpgThe towns we’ve stopped at run along the same theme. They are all built around a church that has a tall tower and the houses are simple and tall. But the colours are pretty and the bells don’t just chime they ring ‘The Archangel Gabriel’ or some other familiar tune, and the village opens up as you approach the harbour, revealing castles and towers and much more than you imagined when you saw the entrance with a few rocks!!

20120518-210929.jpgThe Italians are a friendly sort and everyone we have spoken to is very keen to give us the right phone number or point us in the right direction. This morning whilst jogging round Portovenere, the bin man, the fisherman, the baker, the boat men, all waved good morning as I jogged past! I think they were slightly exaggerating with ‘bellissima’ but I’ll let them off as it sounds good!

20120518-211023.jpgThe only downside round here is the weather forecast. Wind appears to be even more localised than in France. Within a 3 mile stretch we had no wind, 20 knots from in front, no wind again, and finally it settled into a lovely force 4 from just off the stern quarter!

My favourite place so far has been Portovenere. A beautiful, busy small town with lots of activity, an interesting entrance to the port, a fantastic church, a castle, excellent shops and ice cream, lovely restaurants and to top it all a cave where Byron found inspiration! I think it’s fair to say that I have definitely found a new cruising ground!

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