Pesto Making and Dinner
Cinque Terra was a beautiful city stretching out along the Italian coast with houses built up along the mountain face overlooking the ocean. Once again, the Rick Steves’ tour did an excellent job of balancing busy museum and medieval castle sight- seeing with blissful and scenic relaxation. Our hotel balcony had a spectacular view of the city and was only a short walk to the water. Our first meal was with our tour group and it began with a pesto making demonstration. The dinner was a rich home-cooked meal of several courses in a family run Italian restaurant. Every time one of us would finish our plate completely, the restaurant owner, a older gentlemen with a twinkle in his eye, would be right there to refill our plates. Each of us eventually gave up and said we couldn’t eat another bite – except for Devin who accepted several servings of each course, to the delight of our host.
Hiking and Anchovies
In Cinque Terra we had a lot of free time to choose what activities we wanted to do. We spent the day hiking through a few of the numerous mountain trails, getting lost in the woods a few times, and taking a rickety Italian bus back to the city. To unwind from our long hike, we laid along the sun-soaked beach and skipped rocks into the tide. For lunch we had the best anchovies, soaked in butter and so soft they melted in our mouths.
Corpus Christi Festival
That evening we had the most spectacular treat of being able to watch the Corpus Christi Procession, an annual catholic ceremony that in Cinque Terra is celebrated with an explosion of color and neighborhood camaraderie. During that day, the whole neighborhood, from small children to overlooking elders, were outside decorating the sidewalk with elaborate, colorful mosaics made out of simple materials such as flower petals, coffee grounds, and shells. After the evening mass concluded, the priest, alter servers, and the entire congregations processed out over the mosaics.