My Italian #40hoursabbatical: Day 4

Words in any language cannot describe the beauty we experienced while hiking through the 5 fishing villages of Cinque Terre. We came upon countless picture-worthy spots and took many snapshots that could never come close to seeing it with your own eyes. It is everything you could hope to imagine – if you can imagine the most quaint fishing villages with brightly colored homes, shops and restaurants all built atop each other and all looking out over the deep blue Mediterranean Sea. I was in awe.

The strenuous hike took most of the day and we enjoyed 2 meals while we were there. Seafood of course. The first meal we ordered a “typical seafood” first course. Octopus, squid and five other things I couldn’t identify (and I’m an adventurous diner.) At our final stop, we were told the village was known for fried fish and calamari. We didn’t need to be convinced. We went to the recommended “take-away” fish shop and all of the items were there in a case and there was a menu board in English that had things numbered 1 – calamari, 2 – fish, etc. Even I couldn’t screw this one up. I wanted the fried fish which was number two. “Due per favore.” She started filling a cone with an assortment of fried things from the sea that looked just like what we had at Lunch. I said “No. Due. Per favore. Number 2.” And I pointed to my interpretation of fish. She let me know that all of the items she was giving me were indeed fish as she put all of them back in their respective bins. Then she started cursing in Italiano. First to her coworker around the corner in the kitchen and then almost directly to me. Luckily she still allowed me to order the calamari which was absolutely fantastic. This exchange was much like a Seinfeld episode (involving soup) that I’m sure everyone is familiar with. It was actually pretty great. And I felt for this woman who was probably very tired of tourists overrunning her amazing little town.

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