Today we took the train from Pisa to Monterosso, one of the towns along the Cinque Terre trail. The sky was overcast as we stepped off the train, but the smell of salty air was so sweet in my nose that any thoughts of rain were pushed to the back of my mind. We strolled along the coast, watching the waves crash along the rocky shore. Rain began to drizzle, but that didn’t dampen our spirits as we pondered through the local artisan shops, the air sweet with the faint scent of lemons. Colorful scarves dances in the breeze, hand painted mugs lined the store fronts, and linen shirts dominated the racks outside the little shops.
It’s rumored that Cinque Terre has some of the best seafood ever, so we set out in search of the perfect lunch spot. A hand painted sign directed us down a vicolo where Ristorante Al Carugio was nestled in between two tall buildings. We sat in a cramped booth in a little alcove, protecting us from the steady drizzle. The breeze mixed with the rain had me craving soup, so zuppa di pesce seemed very appealing. 20 minutes later, the waitress brough out a bowl and a plate, and cleared off a small portion of our table. “Soup go there” she explains, pointing at the part of the table she cleared off. A steaming bowl arrived shortly thereafter and I then understood the need for the extra plates. Apparently fish soup consists of a whole fish, a bunch of mussles, and some prawns in tomato broth. Yeah I had to descale and debone a fish, but man it was worth it. They did not lie when they said Cinque Terre has some of the best seafood. Finally lunch that wasn’t red meat, pizza, or pasta!!
If the seafood was considered 10/10, then the pastries here were 12/10. We took refuge from the rain in a pasticceria appropriately named Wonderland Bakery. It was out of this world. I got this cannoli type thing (seriously I have no idea what this thing was) filled with some sort of caramel chocolate cream stuff. Not sure. But wow…. This is what dreams are made of. I wish I bought half the store, but I don’t think my waistline would appreciate that too much.
And now I’m on my second train of the day, heading back to Cortona to work on my clay pots due Tuesday. Sigh….unfortunately you actually have to do work on study abroad. Who knew? (Lol)
(SEA)ze the day!
UPDATE: I just ate a pistachio cream filled muffin from Wonderland Bakery for dinner-great life choice