It was 50 degrees but not raining when I walked to the bus stop at 6:15 this morning. The bus to Aosta was on time and I spent the remainder of the day taking the four trains to arrive at San Remo by late afternoon. Everything went smoothly, and as I got closer to the seashore, I was smiling.
It was a short taxi ride to Hotel Paradiso, and when I arrived, my friend Tammy was there to greet me. We had become friends when we took Italian lessons together in Florida. It was wonderful to have a friend with me to share the last part of my travels here. Tammy has been to Italy many times, and she is traveling to various European locations this time.
We set out to explore the old town and found the historic 1913 Russian Orthodox church here. It was unique because there was music playing inside, as well as a crypt to explore that had the remains of Montenegro royalty who had lived here. Perhaps this is one reason there are many Russian tourists here, and in fact some of the restaurants have menus that include the Russian language. We also passed the popular casino, but did not go inside.
We browsed through the shopping areas and an outdoor shopping market, also stopping in to see several churches.
We found our way to the high point of the centro, Piazza San Costanza, where we had views of the city and saw some very old trees that Tammy thought were fig trees.
We met a local Italian woman who proudly told us that she was 80 years old, and she looked very fit as she lugged a bag up the steep steps to her small home.
The centro was very cool and again I am aware of how difficult the lifestyle is for those living in these homes on these steep staircases.
We browsed around some more, and found our way back to the seaside. By this time we were both hungry and we found an outdoor trattoria that looked busy and I heard Italian spoken so we decided to try it. Ristorante/Pizzeria Napul’è was perfect and the food and wine were great. I had pasta although I was tempted to try the veal milanese. Since I could not understand exactly how it was prepared I decided against it, but Tammy ordered it and then I wished I had. We may have to return here!
We walked back to the hotel along the walkway that borders the ocean and it was so pleasant and the perfect temperature. There did not seem to be any humidity with breeze off the water. I am loving this.