Ok, where were we…

Italian Riviera, oh right. So we carried on exploring Milan and marveling at its marvelousness. 

Ferrari store where photos are frowned upon – see below for the ones we got away with. World famous gelato shop where you are treated with such disdain that your only response is to give up trying to explain what you want and to throw money at them. To their credit, the gelato is out of this world and totally worth the hit to your self esteem. 

Group shot, Duomo style.
Kim, with her Happy Cone. It did indeed bring her happiness.
Kids and I had limone with meringue. Yum.
Helena behind the wheel.
D with the lego Ferrari.

After the whirl-wind tour we headed back to the train station for the journey south. Insert the smelly toilets, dodgy train stations and uncertain schedules here. 

I did my best to introduce Ma & Kim to the joys of drinking on the train. 

Kids’ intro to modern art.
Train stations with much less appeal than in Switzerland.

We set off to find our new home in Zoagli, a wee little place no one has ever heard of on the Italian Riviera. The further we got from Switzerland the more we thought our surroundings looked like Mexico, and not in the best way… run down, old places, stray dogs and debris strewn about. I remarked to Kim that the place had a bit of a hurricane vibe to it. As we arrived at the coast the view improved substantially and we began to feel excited. 

The arrival into Zoagli wasn’t without its own adventure. The host for our home was no where insight when we arrived so we began lugging our suitcases up the steep road away from the train station in hopes that google maps would get us there. This eventually led us to a busy road, in the dark with no sidewalk. Luckily a car screeched to a halt and an energetic woman jumped out, waving her arms and shouting in Italian. Our host!

Turns out the reason the area had a hurricane vibe was because the area was ravaged by one 2 days ago! It literally was storm debris we were seeing everywhere. A storm like nothing they had ever experienced did extensive damage along that coastline. 

Zoagli, a lovely town. Worth a visit.
The piles of debris after the storm.
The square in Zoagli in the morning
So glad for the sun and the ocean view.
As long as there are critters to be caught, my crew will be happy.
Our place. Kids enjoying a morning cartoon.

The agenda for the day was to explore Santa Margherita and Portofino, just an 8 minute train ride away. What a spectacular destination. We resumed our slack jawed position as we marvelled at this movie-set like world. 

Arrival in Santa Margherita.
The locals enjoying the piazza.
Birds of paradise.
Kim, with Santa Margherita in the back ground.

Portofino is a “short walk” from Santa Margherita. On a typical day there is a trail you follow which creates a short cut. But because of the recent hurricane, where Portofino sustained a lot of damage, the trail was closed. So we had to hike along the highway resulting in a scenic but long hike. 

Hiking along the road.
Impossible beauty. Spectacular sailboats and swimmers in a sunny bay enroute to Portofino.
The homes along the way inspire great imagination. Mom was hoping we’d be invited up for a g&t but no luck.
Stopped for a beer and a frolic on the beach on the way. More Mexico vibe, non?

The afternoon in Portofino was amazing. Created memories we’ll cherish always. Photos will come in a later post…I’m pooped and running low on bandwidth. The 8 hour journey home on Thursday should allow ample blogging time! 

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