I spent just 24 hours in Lerici but there was so much and so many packed into that small window of time that pulling each thing out to hold up to the light so I could write of it all has been more difficult than I could have imagined ...
And Maddalena, like Stefano in Genova, has kindly put up with my outpourings about them but really ... I must.
So ... last Sunday, Maddalena, GP and Orazio, with Francesco joining us near the end, headed up into the hills above Lerici for a feast. The sky was a deep blue, the sun was warm and the restaurant was the ARCI place in Solaro and, honestly, the food was extraordinary.
Our feast was as follows (grazie Maddalena, because I couldn’t remember everything and had names for even less): We had marinated tuna and swordfish served on large platters, then fresh oysters still in their shells - a presentation that took me straight back my childhood in New Zealand. There was a platter of shrimps and another of salmon, and a tagliolini al nero di seppia and zucchine (squid), served up next to the most delicious pasta I have ever tasted - a spaghetti alla bottarga (made from dried fish roe).
Being civilised Italians, the others all drank a white wine and were gentle about my barbarian self choosing a small jug of red wine (but it really is my favourite drink in the world, she whispers).
Of course, there was water throughout, and this tasty little sorbetto al limone that you drank through a straw - a mix of lemon gelato and limoncello, blended together. It was delicious. We ended our feasting with a crema catalana! and then wandered slowly back down the hill to meet up with the others back on the shores of the Ligurian Sea.
Grazie Maddalena, GP and Orazio, Francesco too, for a beautiful afternoon.