SMS and I woke up and even though I was feeling slightly down about yesterday’s driving misadventures, SMS convinced me to make the most of being on the Cinque Terre trail. So, we hiked down to Veracazza and grabbed a coffee. It was a nice walk and beautiful in the early morning. We saw the train tracks running right along the water and I’m sure that is a beautiful ride through the five towns.
We hit the road and stopped at Bar Sbarbaro for breakfast. It was near Sarzana, slightly past Le Spezia. They had delicious pastries, small sandwiches and a cute candy counter in the back. We sat on the patio and celebrated SMS’ amazing driving through the back roads of Cinque Terre!
Check in at the villa was at 4 so we decided to stop in Lucca for the late morning/early afternoon. What a beautiful city with a beautifully preserved old town. We parked outside the old city walls and walked through the gate and stopped in the tourist office. We walked through the streets without a specific destination- just wandering and taking in the sights. Until our stomachs told us to get lunch. SMS was craving pizza so we went to Pizzeria Mara Meo, which totally hit the spot. We split a pizza and salad. I was so hungry that I had a few pieces of pizza bread that was served after ordering- it was so good.
After lunch, we walked up onto the city walls and sat on one of the wider, park-like areas. It was such a pretty day with a moderate wind. I was so happy- full belly, beautiful place, being with SMS- all great things!
On our way back through town, we walked through the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, a circular open area surrounded by a ring of buildings, mostly restaurants and cafes. It was interesting architecturally but since we weren’t eating there, it wasn’t really a place to linger. I think we were spoiled by our time on the castle wall!
We got back in our car and headed to La Buia Villa, our home for the next week. We arrived at 5:50. SMS’ family was already there and it was so great to be all together. SMS’ Mom had arranged for a welcome meal to be cooked by visiting chefs. It was a multi-course meal that started at 7:30. It included bruschetta, pasta, carpaccio, carbonara, ribs and pork fillets. Dessert was a delicious torte that the ants found the next day, boo hoo! It was so much food and we had leftovers for the next few days. It was an excellent way to start our family Italian vacation!