August 13-People Watching in Monterosso

Another hot and sunny day here in Monterosso. Heading out for a stroll this morning to the beach, we passed two instrumentalists in the shade. It's amazing how pleasant it is to sit on the seawall listening to the song Memories, a song neither of us would ever have on our ipods, yet somehow it fits the scenery here.

On our way back to lunch we checked out the weekly outdoor market. The contrast between this market and the affluent one in Beaune and Dijon was striking. Whereas in Beaune and Dijon, garden fresh vegetables were displayed like a work of art, here in Monterosso the outdoor market is like one big Euro Store, but still fun to visit.

Lunch today was at Il Pizzaria la Simorfia. We grabbed a wooden stool at an outdoor table for the crispiest pizza we've had yet. Looking inside I saw a clever display of pizza boxes dating back to the opening of their restaurant.

People watching here is fascinating. From our balcony we can see an italian couple with their adult children enjoying their lunch on their balcony. Grandpa's t-shirts flap in the breeze with Mama's housedress. The family is the same family we saw last year. They play cards, squabble enthusiasticaly, or simply relax in the sun while the son in law looks at his netbook. 

To escape the heat we spent much of the afternoon people watching from our lemon garden terrace and took the ferry to Riomaggiore. Stepping off the ferry we saw many people sunning on the rocks who will probably regret it later because they were so sunburned. Following our guide we took an elevator to the top of the town with amazing expansive views.. A small Cinque Terre museum was hidden on the main street and featured a film explaining the history of the area. The woman behind the desk seemed bored and almost aspleep in the small room lacking air conditioning. I learned that many of the Italian immigrants from the 1800s were from Liguria.

Dinner tonight was at L'Alta Maria, an outside cafe where we dined on mussels fresh from the sea, juicy melon, and homemade pesto pasta. A rare people watching observation was a man and his wife who looked as if they had too much wine. The man stopped at a table and begged for a shrimp in a shell from a customer who gave him a mussel instead. He ate it and tossed the shell in the street.

Our evening ended with a stroll to the new town where again a humorous people watching sight took place- a young woman was photographing her boyfriend buying a water from a vending machine. People watching is fun and we look forward to enjoyig it in our next stop-Lucca.


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