A lovely week in Liguria

June 8, 2021

June 2021 began with a bit of rain and  a celebration.  On June 1st, some covid restrictions were changed or eliminated. Indoor restaurants opened in Liguria. Pools, gyms and other activities were re-opened. These changed happened because or new covid infections, our hospital capacity and our death rate is down dramatically.  It all feels like good news. 

The second of June was the equivalent of the 4th of July in the US. It was Italy’s celebration of becoming a nation. It meant another holiday off work for those who have been working. Flags were everywhere. Pride showed everywhere. I love the photo above with all those windows and balconies bearing the flag of Italy. 

Here in Chiavari it was a bit cloudy. Still, it was as beautiful as ever. 

I was a bit taken aback by the number of people out on the lungomare, the promenade by the sea. 

And, YES, swimming has begun. 

While those people headed to the beach, I visited Bar Ancora, one of my favorite haunts for aperitivo. It makes for a filling lunch with a bit of adult beverage while enjoying the outdoors and the sea. The other benefit of sitting at a table outdoors for a meal is you can take your mask off. 

During this week, I would wake up to the sound of pounding every day. It was loud and annoying. I had to see what it was. 

This year, ships carrying huge boulders were refurbishing our breakers in the water. During the winter months the waves can be so intense that they actually knock the giant boulders out of place. 

The photo above gives you a clearer vision of the actual size of the boulders—compared to the people on them. 

While this was going on, I had another day of walking in town and a doctor’s appointment. We wait outside at the doctor’s office until it is time for our appointment. 

I spent that time enjoying the look and smell of Jasmine in bloom. That is such a free and uplifting gift of living here in Chiavari. The Jasmine is everywhere. 

At home, I finally got around to replacing my shower head. For some reason, my second one in 4 ½ years had begun leaking a month or so ago. 

My earlier duct tape repair was now failing. I have a new faucet now and am enjoying the lack of excess spray over the shower curtain. My life in Chiavari is not all that glamourous. Yet, I am quite happy.

The highlight of the week was actually leaving Chiavari by train and heading to Cinque Terre. I do love my neighbors of the 5 lands of Cinque Terre, but this trip was even more important.

I traveled to Vernazza, one of the five lands, to finally meet a cousin and his family in person. I have corresponded with his wife for years on social media. You many know her—it’s Michelle Damiani. Her husband, Keith, is my cousin who was originally from California. His mother is closer to my age. Keith and I had never met until this week. Michelle and I have met through Zoom and an interview I will be releasing very soon. Two of their three children were also there. 

Michelle and Keith

Michelle is a published author that many of my followers know. If you haven’t read any of her work, I highly recommend it all. Several years ago, the Damiani family chose Spello, Umbria as a home for one year. I read her book, IL BEL CENTRO, and loved it. The rest is history.

The Damiani's and me in Vernazza.

The Damiani family returned to Spello during Italy’s Covid crisis to experience life in their “second home” with their friends. They have vacationed a few places but with the Covid restrictions, this was our first opportunity to cross Region borders and get together. 

Town view from the Damiani’s rental apartment

We shared prosecco and snacks while getting to know one another.  They and their children are amazing people. I feel blessed to be included as a part of their extended family. Michelle introduced me to the children as Aunt Marilyn. That was sweet.

Photo 1 from the seaside balcony.

Second photo from their seaside balcony. They hiked up to the restaurant way up the hill for dinner.

Even though our time together was limited, it was so refreshing. And, as always, I enjoy that area of my Liguria. Saying farewell was filled with HUGS—I have had perhaps 3 other hugs in the last 17 months, so this was special. 

As I rode the train home, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the other towns along the coast in Liguria. I have been a captive in Chiavari since October of last year—a great place to be a captive but I am a wanderer. 

The sun was setting as the train carried me home.

By the time I arrived in Chiavari, the sun was down and the lights along the promenade added magic to my walk.

I wish I knew the owner of this catamaran.

People were climbing the rocks and the barge is still there, ready to finish its work.

It was a glorious walk home.

People were outside without a worry about the curfew. The lights in the distance are from Santa Margherita and Portofino.

It was time to say buona notte and retreat to my tiny apartment.

As of 7 June 2021, Liguria is now considered a White Zone, a place where there is no more curfew, almost everything is open, and life can proceed once again as almost normal. We still must socially distance and wear masks. A maximum of 6 people is now allowed at one table in a restaurant or bar but no more. It is a progress.

Travelers are showing up by the sea in Chiavari, European travelers. Soon, in July and August I would expect quite a few more. Let’s hope that Covid is truly under control and stays there. Let’s hope travel will return without illness and grief. 

Until we meet again,

A dopo!

Ciao for now!

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