Rocky beaches and fresh anchovies in the bay of Genoa
The path leading to the sea is like a trailer. Hidden at the back of a parking lot, it starts with a few steps, then a paved alley under the pines from which we can hear the sea.
Then a dense, bright light hits us. Left in the open, the eye needs a moment to adjust after this quiet walk under the leaves. There - as the frescoes that we sometimes find on the walls of so-called Italian restaurants looking for a flavor of authenticity - appears the well named Golfo Paradiso. In the distance, the Monte di Portofino and its steep, leafy cliffs. Looking West, the horizon stretches out to Genova and, by clear days, Menton and the French Riviera.
Plain silence. The rocks dry out of a fresh morning already vanishing. The 10h13 sun, sweet and brutal, warms the skin. There's no beach in here. One has to picture a succession of natural terraces made of steep rocks and flat surfaces on which setting camp. The water is fresh, crystal clear. We dive in a hurry.
A few summer fruits later comes lunch time. The most forested region in Italy, Liguria has more than 300km of coasts and offers some of the best local products in all the country. Fresh Monterosso anchovies, trofie al pesto genovese, linguine alle vongole and grilled fish. A focaccia di Recco and fresh white house wine completes the feast.
Delights and somnolence alternate at a metronomic pace. The fresh water shower cleanses the skin and relaxes the muscles. The mind wanders and the day goes by, detached.
A new excitement comes in as the sun slowly starts to come down. We enjoy the last swims of the day with the flavor of what's about to end. The joyful, sun-repleted faces start to wake up.
It's precisely there, at 19h23 and as the day persists in a sublime attempt to stay with us, that the place reveals another face. The light shifts, grazing in the horizon. The water turns to a deep blue shade that inspires caution. The beach baskets have already deserted the rocks, impatient to be back on the Vespas parked up there.
People get lively on how to spend the night.
It is time. It was a good day.
PLACES THAT INSPIRE US
STYLE ICONS THAT INSPIRE US
All photos courtesy of The Chic Fish