Monday, May 9, 2011

It's the Giro!

Stage 3 is on now, and I've been so busy, and on vacation. A week in New Orleans and now a weekend in Mammoth, but this morning, I turned on the TV and there they are, the gladiators of the open road, or i gladiatori, to be precise. And I'm back!

They are headed down from Reggio Emilia to Rapallo, which is just east of Santa Margarita in Ligure. Once I stood on a dock with my Mom in Santa Margarita, having hiked over some pretty darn large hills from Portofino, and a ferry came in, the stevedore shouting, "Rapallo, Rapallo!"

This is Liguria, a smaller narrow province in Northwestern Italy. Most of it is hills and cliffs along the Tirrenian sea, and this makes it its own place. They make wine here, and have for a very long time. Wine made here was found in the ruins of Pompei. Here is the genteel resort atmosphere of the Italian Riviera. Major sites there are Genoa, Portofino, and the Cinque Terre. Much of this area was once linked together only by boat, and in the stormy wintertim, not even by that, so local dialects and food survive. It's a sleepy relaxed place, where you can pay a whole lot to stay right near Berlusconi's villa--lucky you--or not a lot to stay somewhere back in the 19th century. Santa Margarita in Ligure has gorgeous turn of the century homes that look almost Art Nouveau, and others with faux gothic facades. Were they built to copy the Venetian style, or by conquering Venetians? They are simply beautiful. Someday I'll find out.

So if you are pairing food and wine today, have some pesto alla trofie, and some schiachetra, a light local Ligurian wine made in the Cinque Terre, 5 little cliffside towns.

I'm switching back and forth between Italian and Universal Sports TV. How come only the Italians seem to care that someone crashed very badly and they are still trying to get the helicopter to him? I'm watching the helicopter fly over round green hills covered with olive groves and vineyards.

More on this later!

Benvenuti in Giro!

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