Another Beautiful Week in Liguria

June 9, 2020

Another Beautiful Week in Liguria

Living in Liguria is a gift to me. The beauty of the land, the medieval centro storico of Chiavari, the kindness of the people and the food and drink, just wow.

Earlier this week, we had rain, heavy rain. Before the rain cleansed Chiavari, the waves were dancing.

Some were so very high.

I stopped for a small snack on the lungomare and watched them while I ate focaccia in the sunshine.

The promenade in Chiavari is about 20 feet above the sea. The breakers are built with huge boulders. I watched a man take photos from the top of the breakers.

He was about 6 feet tall.

Look at the height of those waves!

He got soaked and came down to land.

Mother Nature was fierce!

The beach chairs were set up with social distancing and people were already in the water.

As I walked along, so many plants were blooming.

Even the cacti.

The palm trees were blowing in the wind.

Except for one evening and night of hard rain, it was warm and lovely every day. And I was excited because company was coming.

Karen and Tom Helms

Along with Barley, the Dog who Blogs for Barley’s Grand Adventures, were coming for a visit.

I met them at the train station. Barley is a beautiful, well behaved chocolate lab. We are old friends. We walked to their hotel to drop off luggage and headed for lunch at 


We ate in the covered garden attached to the kitchens, very informal and fun.

It was pranzo, lunch. We began with Aperol Spritz for the ladies and beer for Tom. Each of us enjoyed our conversation and meal so much I forgot to take photos of it.

Karen, Tom, and Barley are living in Verbania, Piedmont on Lago Maggiore. After all that time in lockdown, they decided to travel within Piedmont until 3 June when they could pass out of their region and visit Liguria and Tuscany. Smart People!

While we ate our meal and laughed, others were playing bocce! 

I didn’t even know we had a bocce area here in Chiavari.

Note the masks under the noses. 

This was their first visit to Chiavari. They had gone to Cinque Terre prior to visiting me. It was nearly deserted. Their only disappointment was Barley’s. He could not go swimming there. 

Barley needed a swim. We were right by the dog beach. Il Lido Di Fido, the dog beach was right around the corner. Barley was in Dog Heaven.

Sticks to fetch were everywhere. 

That’s one happy dog who blogs.

Karen and Tom played Fetch with Barley while I enjoyed the sea and sun. There were no breakers on this beach. 

Spray arose on the rocky side shoreline and the waves were high enough to surf.

When Barley was ready for a break, we walked up to my normal haunts by the sea. 

We followed the walkway to its end 

before turning inland to see the medieval center of Chiavari.

We walked within a portico or two.

Along ancient streets, to the market.

And found a place for aperitivo. Barley had his own water and biscotti per il cane, dog biscuits as he sat in the shade. Time for a photo op.

He really is a sweet dog.

By this time, I was worn out and they wanted to go back to the hotel for a rest. I opted out of dinner and walked home. 

We would meet again on Sunday.

The four of us met in centro storico once again for lunch on La Piazza Del Caruggi, the local name for this square. This was the place that horse and carriages would drop people off for shopping, eating or just walking. 

It began to rain. We chose to sit a while eating panini and talking. Again, Barley had his own meal and was as quiet as a mouse.

After the rain let up, we wandered around centro absorbing the ancient, stone architecture along with the highly detailed Art Nouveau façades.

Since it began to rain again, we decided it was time for an adult beverage. I took them to the most famous bar in Chiavari, Gran Caffe Defilla.

Tom had a beer.

Karen had red wine.

And I had a fabulous Vermentino.

We had not realized we would be receiving aperitivo too.

It was excellent. The covered outdoor area worked well as the rain returned. We enjoyed out beverages and some of the food. Apparently, Tom does not believe in veggies as a snack. We laughed about that. Even though we sat here for an hour, we could not eat all the tasty morsels. 

We spent time checking out all the diverse alcoholic offerings at Gran Caffe Defilla and exotic purchase possibilities. When we paid we tipped extra as all three of us have been doing since businesses re-opened here in Italy. We appreciate what they do and know how they have been out of work for months.

It was time to say ciao ciao ciao. They were tired. I was out of practice for walking 11 miles in 2 days and needed to rest my body. We talked about meeting for dinner but actually didn’t. We said our farewells via text. They all left for Modena early on Monday.

Showing friends around my town is really fun. We enjoy each other while I show them the city that stole my heart. I also found a beach I had never visited, found the Bocce court with a decent family restaurant next to it.  We ate at a new place or two and I rekindled my love of my city.

Thanks to Tom, Karen and BARLEY for visiting, and for being friends. Enjoy the rest of your time in Italy and keep in touch.

Anyone else who would like to explore my home town of Chiavari, write to me at We can discuss it.

A dopo!

Ciao for now!

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