A Suburban City Girl in A Small Town

Moment by moment……

My Italia – Part Two: Albisola, The Italian Riviera

on January 16, 2013

We arrived on a sunny afternoon at the Park Hotel in Albisola a long drive. It felt good to get out of the car and stretch my legs a bit. My dad, step-mom and sister must have felt the same way because, once we settled into our rooms, we went for a walk

We received a warm welcome at my cousin’s house. Giovanna visited America a couple of years before and I met her at that time. This was my very first look at typical Italian living. The apartment was sweet and very comfortable. I marveled at how the dish cabinet was located above the sink so the dishes could drip dry. We sat together talking. I tried to follow along and pick up as much Italian as possible however I’m no linguist. So I settled myself with just listening to the fast flow of this beautiful language. I picked up what I could from my many gestures used. More cousins soon arrived and before long, the talk turned from family to pizza

Pizza in Italy is not the same here. It’s fresher and far more flavorful with a completely flat crust. Here in the States, we order one or two to feed many. There, they order many to feed the few. Each of us had our own choice as to what we wanted on our pizza for each of us got our own pizza. When the meal was finished, we snacked on fruit (yes, there actually was room), coffee and limoncello. We walked back to our rooms stuffed and fell into our beds. 

I also tasted sea bass for the first time. Really delicious but the presentation – well, the head and tail fin were still attached so it was staring at me.

The next few days brought us long walks along the sea where I saw green-blue ocean water for the first time in my life. I also saw more elderly people in bikinis and speedos than I ever wanted to see. The weather wasn’t what I’d call warm (it was late September) but it didn’t seem to bother those so scantily clad as they sun bathed. We visited the house of my cousins, Michael and Christian, as well as their parents. Their home was also beautifully cozy and sweet. The food and wine never stopped flowing. My cousin, Silvio, took great pleasure in teasing my dad. I saw a side of my dad, a playfulness and a joy in him that resonated the entire trip. Somehow, being back in his homeland (even though he’s from Sicily) took years off him. Laughter is a universal language, I discovered, and there was plenty of it in my cousin’s home that evening. 

If you travel with my father, you’ll discover one thing: Calories is not an issue for you walk miles and miles. We walked up and down that lovely stretch of the Riviera, treated ourselves to gelato, took pictures and enjoyed the warmth of the sunshine. I’ve never see the sea look as amazing as it did. Yet all good things must come to an end, as they say and soon, we were back in the car and heading towards……Tuscany! 


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