Day 12 – Italy… Time to put my eating pants on!
Our first stop in Italy had to be for pizza, and it was delicious!! I always knew that I loved Italian food, but until I’d eaten Italian food in Italy, I didn’t realise just how much. The other thing I really love about Italy is finishing a meal with an espresso. I usually find an espresso too strong and I prefer a milky coffee. But Italian espresso? It’s so smooth and not bitter at all. I love it 🙂
We had booked our accommodation in Rapallo through airbnb. One of the things I like about booking accommodation that way is getting some local knowledge from the hosts. Our amazing host not only recommended a fantastic restaurant called U Giancu for dinner, she also rang and booked us a great table. The food was local, fresh and to date, still the best pasta I have ever eaten.
After a little sleep in and some morning yoga, we decided that a big walk and a swim was on the agenda for day 13. From where we were staying we could drive 10 minutes into town and then walk to Portofino along the waterfront. It was a really beautiful walk, along the cliffs, past the beach clubs, fishing boats and into Portofino itself.
After enjoying our walk into and around Portofino, we stopped at a little hole in the wall to savour a cappuccino standing up. This is when we learnt that it is a big no-no to order a cappuccino after 10am! This rule is taken very seriously in Italy. Along with not eating pizza for lunch. Oops, we’d broken both these rules.
The whole way there we were looking for a place to swim on our way back. All the beaches along the way had clubs that you needed to pay to get into. I still can’t get my head around the fact that, as beautiful as they are, beaches in Italy aren’t free like they are in Australia. We couldn’t bring ourselves to pay for a swim at the beach, only to lay in a tiny patch of sand with other people or up on the veranda of a beach club. So we found a spot that we could swim for free. It did require climbing off the boardwalk and jumping off the rocks though. But it was well worth it. I felt like I could swim in there all afternoon, and the view was spectacular.
After not being able to swim in Stockholm since we moved (it’s too cold!) I just couldn’t get enough of being in the water. So after enjoying a lunch of focaccia, gelato and espresso. We did some googling and drove 25 minutes to what was supposed to be the best free beach in the area. It was nice, it just wasn’t the swimming spot we’d just come from or anything like the beaches I’m used to back home. Living in Europe has made me realise just how spoilt for beaches we are in Australia.
day 14 – Portofino to Pisa to bologna
I needed another swim before getting back in the car. So we headed back to our little swimming spot from heaven 🙂 This was probably the first time of the trip that I didn’t want to leave. I wish I could swim there again. But it was time to get back on the road, this time towards Bologna (for more amazing Italian food!) via Pisa. As touristy as it is, I had to get that photo! Just like at the I Amsterdam sign I get caught up in all the excitement around me.
To finish up day 14 we spent the afternoon and evening exploring Bologna. It was incredibly hot so we had to take some refuge in the city library. Which was really amazing, I’m always happy in a library though.
I was totally in love with Italy, especially Italian food and of course we had to finish the night with the best Bolognese in Bologna. To see what else we got up to in Italy check back here soon 🙂