Monday, July 03, 2006


My New Favorite Past Time...

I am commonly asked the question by people “What Is There to Do in Le Cinque Terre”? There are, of course, the usual answers: hike, bike, swim, rent a boat, eat. But I have a few favorite “thing to do” that I welcome visitors to partake in when visiting the area.

Every Monday – Saturday, La Spezia holds its outdoor market in Piazza Cavour (just off the main pedestrian street of Via Cavour) from about 7:00AM to 1:00PM. There are probably a 150 “stalls” selling fresh produce, cheeses, meats, local fish and even underwear! Everything I have bought from the market has been delicious and the prices are reasonable. Nothing like getting fresh mussels from Portovenere for ½ the price they are asking at the local Coop supermarket. It reminds me a bit of the Central Market in Florence with one very big difference: everyone is speaking Italian!

Most people just pass by the city on their way to Le Cinque Terre or Portovenere, but it does have some wonderful things to offer – especially its lively and colorful outdoor market. In addition, the stores, cafes and pedestrian streets are bustling with people. You can also have the pleasure of tasting some of the best farinata (chick pea pancake that melts in your mouth!) made in the area at La Pia (Via Magenta 5 just off Via Cavour). I love it with onions (cipolle) and stracchino cheese – YUM!

If you want a true opportunity to soak up the local Italian culture and atmosphere, I highly suggest a morning in La Spezia and its outdoor market. You can easily reach “centro” by train from Le Cinque Terre and by bus from Portovenere (11 or P bus) and Lerici (LS bus). Don’t worry, the mountains and Mediterranean will be right where you left them before starting your adventure…

1 comment:

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