I Found Two Pieces of Heaven in Liguria, Part 1: Serenity in Tellaro

August 9, 2016

After time with family and friends, I wanted to try something new. I had never spent time in Liguria on previous Italian journeys. I hoped to locate special, off the beaten track locations for my clients here. What I found was heaven for myself and for my clients.

I took the train to La Spezia and joined crowds of travelers making their way to Cinque Terre. My plan was to take a bus to Tellaro, a quiet, seaside town in the Bay of Poets, instead of joining the masses. I decided to splurge on a 35 Euro taxi ride and headed to the hills and beauty I sought. The ride itself was lovely and somewhat of a thrill ride. It is not as hazardous as driving the Amalfi Coast. But it is similar. The roads were narrow with many twists. Luckily, no tour busses go to Tellaro or it would have been frightening.

My wonderful taxi driver dropped me at the door of my lodging, Le Sirene (The Sirens). This tiny B&B featured only 4 rooms. Mine had a patio on the cliff overlooking the ocean and islands in the Bay of Poets. It was stunning, especially at sunset.

I played with my new Nikon and was able to capture a fisherman hundreds of feet below.

After a somewhat hectic schedule of travel prior to arrival, my lovely B&B room and location captivated my soul. I spent most of the first evening simply enjoying the view, the birds and the sunset. My shoulders relaxed, my heart slowed and I felt something I did not quite understand. I felt peace and I felt at home.

Tellaro is a small yet vertical hillside town stretching down to the water. In that way it is similar to parts of Cinque Terre. The colors of the homes are striking and the layout of the main part of Tellaro is inviting, despite the steep areas and narrow backroads. Besides, those backroads are magical.

And all roads lead to the water.

Everywhere you look you see families enjoying the summer heat. You see, this is a town where Italians come to get away from the city in the summer. It is a locale where families and singles have a second home. Everyone seems to know one another as though they all lived here year round. Perhaps that is because many of these people stay in the home they lived in as children before moving to the city to make a living. Perhaps their own heritage has been part of Tellaro as long as the centuries old structures have stood. And it is difficult to find tourists here. They don’t know about Tellaro. Let’s not tell them, okay?

Perhaps a couple hundred feet below the main street of Tellaro you will reach the sea. You can walk along the rocky shore, visit a trattoria (restaurant) and enjoy the light, white vino of the area and a meal, or you can walk past the small boats and go for a swim!

I did it all and it felt so right. Even though everyone knew I was a stranger here, I felt welcomed by these generous and kind people. And after being surrounded by thousands of tourists in the big cities, it felt wonderful to be away from the clamoring hordes, the giant tour busses, the vendors hawking water and trinkets. Here I was just a part of the surroundings like everyone else.

And the surroundings were incredible. If this town had been less remote, somewhere with a train station, I would have selected this place as my home for my year in Italy. I am certainly going to recommend it to my clients and my friends who wish to see more than the top tourist locations. This is real Italy on holiday. This is small town life in Italy. This is serenity in Italy. I will return next year for a longer stay. Would you like to join me?

Ciao for now!

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