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Late Doors

Ligurian coast and Cinque Terra

Just come across this while tidying up. Itís a report from last yearís Hol in September. I was going to post it on the other site but never got round to it so might as well put it on here

Course the beauty of following a shit football team is that you get to save your holidays and European trips for something a bit more cultured than days on the piss in Rome whilst getting stabbed in the arse and beaten on the back by a baton wielding nazi.
Ever since CH4 did a piece on David Platt in Genoa Iíve wanted to have a look at the Liguria coast. Finally got round to it thanks to Mrs Doors and her brilliant do it yersen tour organization skills.

From Leeds/Bradford to Pisa on Jet2 for the same price as a train trip to Newcastle kind a gives the impression something is askew but thatís what it was. From Pisa it was straight up on the brilliant Trenitalia train system to Comogli eight miles down the coast from Genoa.  What a fine place, quintessential Italian Sea Side. We stopped in an apartment leased out by the owners and spent four excellent nights there. The town was three tiered in that there was the small pebbled beach, a cafť/restaurant lined walkway above it and a quite shop lined road above that with a perfect little harbor at the end of it. Apparently Abramovich occasionally visits it in his small village sized yacht and entourages of security guards who cordon the whole place off just so they can eat in the Michelin starred restaurant just off it.

We spent the nights watching the sun go down with a few Morrettis chatting to a German couple.

Donít know why the Germans have the reputation on holiday they have, I always find them great. To cap it all off there was a massive firework competition just down the road in the next village that was simply sensational.

We took a half hour train trip into Genoa as well which is a non tourist town yet still has a fine old town area with narrow streets and a huge renovated harbour front. Also took a boat trip to Porto Fino/St Margherita. This picturesque part of the coast has been attracting the beauty, style and elegance of Europeís jet setting elite since the Dolce Vita days of Bogart, Loren, Burton and Taylor right up to the modern era with the Rooneys and Nevilles.

Next up was the Cinque Terre. Five little fishing villages somehow nestled into the almost sheer cliff side and seemingly impossible to access by road and connected by a network of cliff hugging paths. The whole coastal area stretching about 15 miles is famous for walking/hiking with all categories of walks from gentle strolls to serious cliff side hiking. We stopped in Vernazza probably the prettiest village and least saturated with American Tourists called Larry and Nancy. Our gaff was incredible. We booked a room with a small terrace literally overhanging the sea buried into the rocks on the cliff to the right of the tower With a sheer drop to the sea below but a great view

Highlight for me was a very tough but ace 5 hour walk from PortoVanere to the first cinque terre village Riomaggiore. There were times when the cliff side scrambles got a bit too daunting and dangerous but the views were brilliant. We were literally clinging on to the rocks with a steep drop below us

Last stop off was Pisa. Everyone knows about the leaning tower but its only one of four fabulous buildings in a square about the size of a football ground. The tower is a literally staggering site and the first time you see it you canít help but think, shit the fucker is falling down. Best time to see it is evening as the setting sun low to the west casts a beautiful light on the whole collection.

Most of the tourists have gone as well but it is still pretty rammed with them. The only thing that spoils the whole setting is the huge strip of tat selling souvenir stalls down the whole south side. Just when I was thinking who the hell buys that crap Larry and Nancy from Arken Creek, Illiippimiarkenoa came past clutching a leaning beer glass apiece.

Apart from the Tower area (place de miracle) Pisa is a fairly ordinary Italian Town. Definitely not short of Charm but four nights is kicking the arse out of it if you donít do any day trips. Thankfully the excellent Italian Train system makes Florence and Sienna easily doable for day trips.

We went to Florence when it pissed down on Friday since there was an impressionist exhibition showing rarely seen paintings from the likes of Renoir, Monet and Van Gough. Very good but the highlight for me and perhaps my favourite place in Europe (outside Yorkshire) is the Florence Market. I could do the weekly shopping there mesen every week itís just fabulous. Complete with a bar (Bar Bellini) selling half litre bottles of beer for less than a quid. Itís a buzzing place full of locals calling in and a little sitting area full of Fiorentina stuff where the local wise guys go. We love it.

Last day we went to Sienna and it was the first time ive ever been there. I was expecting a kind of olde worlde place but not the stunning huge architectural museum it was. The place apparently hasnít changed much structurally for hundreds of years and looks like all the old buildings have been spruced up. Everywhere you looked there was a medieval architectural stunner and in the middle of the town a fantastic huge dipping bowl of a piazza. They have a horse race around it twice a year which is supposed to be incredible. At the other end was a 512 stepped tower that was worth the 40 minute queue to get up. The panoramic views right over the town out to the Tuscany countryside right through to the mountains were incredible

In the middle there was a fountain called the gay fountain. Quite why was not clear but one bloke seemed to be living more in hope than expectation has he got on all fours.

Italy is brilliant imo and I love going there. At first I just thought people there especially the blokes were posing strutting pillocks so far up their own arses they were inside out. Ive warmed to them over the years and come to accept that their climate, culture and heritage are so different to ours we cant apply the same judgments. Everyone goes on about French food but to me Italian tucker is the best (apart from the bread) especially everyday food. The train system is fantastic, cheap, frequent, comfortable and reasonably reliable. Just a shame its going to be a while till we play there again.

First class a per LD
Sir Bulldog Craggwood

first class report LD and some great pictures. i've been to florence and siena myself and you can get overwhelmed by the places - incredible how much architecture and history has survived

Cracking pictures LD, I love Italy.

Ace LD.

Nice feet by the way.
Late Doors

You nicked em ?
Pond Life

Fantastic stuff LD. Nice one.

Late Doors wrote:
You nicked em ?

Yeah, they're a bit small for my shoes but what the hell.
Late Doors

A little black cloud wrote:
A lot of little flats in a foul brown...are you sure these ain't pics of Marsden?

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