June 13, 2010

Day 01: Vernazza

The following eats took place on 12 June 2010.

We arrived in Milan after a rather pleasant two hour flight to Milan…to get onto an intercity train for another two hours. This brought us to Sestri Levanti, and after a ten minute wait, we boarded yet another train to our eventual destination – Vernazza. Phwoah…long journey!

Vernazza is one of the five towns along Cinque Terre. The rather gruelling all day journey to this coastal town is somewhat worth it. We love the small town feel, yet there’s so much happening! If not for the fact we were rather exhausted by the time we arrived, we would have changed into our swimwear and gone for a dip. The place is beautiful, full of quaint little houses built on the terraces of the cliffs of Vernazza.

The waterfront at Vernazza

Now to focus on the droolfactor – FOOD. We were famished from a long journey and our very first bite of Northern Italy was into two amazing wedges of soft, chewy foccacia topped with tasty cheese and pomodoro. How can something so simple be so delicious? Only the Italian can do this.

Sitting by the beach, gorging on beautifully chewy bread and washing it all down with local italian beer – what a great way to start the vacay!

Fresh, chewy, yummy - my tri-colour foccacia

We sat in the sun, snoozed and chatted and soon enough it was time for din-din! Yay! We avoided the touristy square of Vernazza and ended up in this little trattoria that had locals and tourists alike sharing the parasol covered outdoor dining area.

The standard start to a meal - bread and wine

We started with none other than vino casa – house wine, and shared a starter of ravioli fillled with fresh fish. Oh my, this was fantastically simple and fresh and delicious. The pasta was perfectly al dente – bite into it and you taste the sea – fresh fish (I’m guessing haddock here), with a tasty clam, tomato and thyme sauce. YUM!

Ravioli stuffed with fresh fish in clam sauce

Our mains – I had the house speciality of baked anchovies with potatoes and Paul had the stuffed mussels. The waiter nodded with approval at our choices and that hiked up my anticipation of the meal.

Only to be disappointed. The baked anchovies were rather bland, as were the potatoes. There was nothing truly outstanding about the dish except that I had to spend a lot of time extracting bit of hardy fish bones, and swallowing the rest with the hope it doesn’t stick into my throat.

Meh...disappointing baked anchovies...

The stuffed mussels were also not spectacular. Couldn’t quite differentiate between the actual shellfish and the mushy stuffing.

Looks good, didn't taste great

To finish off the night, my dearest hubby brought me to an italian bar to watch the England vs. USA match (World cup obviously)…where I was happily ensconced in a corner with more wine…heh. Once USA scored and the bar roared in unison with elation, my UK supporting hubby decided that we should head back to our B&B…

That's my dearest right under the TV...

Let’s hope tomorrow’s food adventure gets us better results. We made reservations for lunch after our hike to Manarola. Can’t wait.


Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. SWOON. Looks lovely! Enjoy your vacation!! :)


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About droolfactor

It's all about my gastronomical journeys, and sometimes an inedible thought or two. One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating. ~Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story This is my personal journey where I devote my attention to eating, cooking, experimenting and taking chances. Anything I come across with a droolfactor worth sharing, it's here. I hope you'll enjoy this journey with me.


Travelling Tummy