Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Gourmands tour of Italy Part 2

Eating our way through Cinque Terre was a tough job, but I feel I was up to it. Looking back on the trip with hindsight, some of the overall best meals I had were in this region. I already spun you a tale of the pesto. In reading my last post, I realize that I left out the pesto Focaccia I had for lunch on our third day. It was really worthy of a post in itself, but the subject of pesto is ground already covered, and I feel that I must press on to the next great meal I had.

On the day long hike we took from village to village in Cinque Terre my charming and delightful bride snapped this picture. Note a couple of things. 1) the majestic views of Corniglia, the least accessible of the towns.* 2) the town of Manarola in the distance behind Corniglia. It was another 2 hours of rugged trail before we got back to our home base of Vernazza that evening.

Why do I tell you all of this? So you can understand how hungry and thirsty I was at the end of the day. When we got back to Vernazza, I grabbed a 32 oz Peroni from the local market to wash the trail dust out of my throat. After a quick shower we walked down to the plaza for dinner.

My reward for my efforts this day? Spaghetti with muscles. A very simple dish, but quite tasty. The muscles were cooked perfectly. Then tossed with olive oil, lots of garlic, tomatoes, and parmigiana cheese. Add a bottle of the local white wine and a half a loaf of crusty bread and you get perfection. Well worth the effort of what we thought at the time would be our longest walk of the trip (Rome proved this fallacy wrong but that is for another post).

* Unlike the other towns in Cinque Terre, Corniglia is at the top of the hill. There is a long staircase from the bottom of the trail (also the train station) and the town proper - 382 of them.


  1. Pasta and more pasta, what's not to love about that.

  2. Nice. Can not wait to see the pictures and hear more about your travel.

  3. Mmmm That sounds really good, and I do not even like muscles!

    How about desserts? Did you have some good ones?

    Tell J the photo is awesome! What a view :)

  4. I'm in your camp... I just can't get enough of that delicious Mediterranean food, be it Lebanese, Italian, etc.

    I'd love to get back to Italy at some point soon. I've been looking at flight deals and places to stay, but I need an insider's perspective. Got any money-saving travel tips?