Well it's official. I am in love with this small town of Italy. We are staying in the town of Riomaggiore, the southernmost of the five towns that make up la cinque terre. Since it is off-season it is a sleepy town, glistening from the rain and drizzle. It is right on the coast, and we are in a hostel/apartment about 30 stairs from the little dock and right next door to some type of distillery. The guys came by to move some of their wine and do what they do and filled up a 2 liter bottle for us to try! Delicious. Most of the stores are closed or only open a few hours a day, at the owners discretion of course. This area is famous for the hiking trails that link these five towns together.
We are sharing the apartment with two guys from Pennsylvania (one of whom is an excellent cook) and a girl from Calgary who left this morning. Yesterday she and I took the train to the northernmost town and attempted to walk the whole way home even though the trail is officially closed. We would have made it if we hadn't taken an hour long trek down (and back up) what we thought was the trail at the time! After sliding down a muddy slope on my butt (not intentionally), being attacked by the same vines I am now convinced were the inspiration for the ones in the Harry Potter stories and trecherous river crossings, we decided that maybe we had wandered off the real trail and retraced our steps until we found it again. It was raining in the morning when we left but then stopped raining and even though it was overcast we had spectacular views of the ocean and these amazing little towns.
My granfather was from a town just north of this area and I have made friends with a brother and sister who own a bar and shop in town and who both used to live in San Francisco. Just the nicest people. Sandra has offered to help me find any decendents or relatives of my family and I spent this morning with her calling all of the Tosos in Sestri Levante on my behalf. She should have been a PI the way she works! We will keep calling tomorrow, but at least some people are familiar with my great-grandfather's name, Giacomo Toso. Hopeful!
So today Rahima and the boys went walking in the rain, and I am here, stuffing myself full of nutella, cozied up in a warm apartment overlooking the sea, thinking about going to take a few pictures before walking up to the local market and buying fresh ingredients for dinner and maybe stopping by the bar for a drink or a coffee. Oh, how rough it is. :)