Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A rainy Sunday in Italy

Our second Sunday was another rainy one. We had planned on going to church in La Spezia and when we arrived where our navigation told us to go, we could not find the church. It was in an industrial part of the city (not pretty at all) and it just seemed like we were way out of place. I thought, well, we tried. But Eric found some kind Italian man who dropped everything to help us find it. He was so nice and we traipsed all over. Finally, after walking about half a mile, our Italian friend asked a woman at a flower shop and she knew where the LDS church met (in the second story of an industrial building just like the one our navigation told us to go to, but it was on the opposite side of the road and down a bit). Unfortunately, we had missed most of church. When we arrived, however, a missionary from Arizona sat by us to translate. He was newly "out in the field," so his translation skills were "cosi cosi." Still, it was nice. It was funny that there was another family visiting from Utah who lives only ten miles from us back home.

Mom and I awaiting our food
After all that, we were hungry, but the streets were rainy and most of the stores closed (maybe the rain on Sundays is telling us we should probably just stay home?) but we found a restaurant called Fosteria Cichetteria Marine Rei, which ended up being mom's very favorite restaurant the entire time we were in Italy. So it was worth braving the rain.

They didn't speak much English, so when I asked for a special request (just spaghetti with marinara) for the kids, they had to pull a guy out from the kitchen to translate. Thankfully, with the rain, the restaurant wasn't busy so they didn't seem to mind too much. 

We started off with these amazing scallops in a pumpkin cream sauce. If Eric knew how delicious this was going to be, he would be smiling already. Oh, and their bread was so soft. 

We were able to order, but the real problem arrived with the food--we all had ordered seafood pastas and when they announced the plates with their Italian names, we weren't sure who had ordered what. We ended up playing musical plates trying to figure out if this is what we all ordered. Mine was supposed to have lobster in it, and I'm still not sure which of the three plates was mine. Oh well, they were all quite good and it really was fun to get to try them all. 

This restaurant set the bar for the rest of our trip. It was definitely the highlight of our day.  I'll admit, I don't think any of the other restaurants we tried lived up. Here is a picture of one of our dishes--I think it was mom's but really, am still not quite sure. 

Is this the seafood spaghetti?

Our restaurant was housed in this lovely building. Too bad it was raining or we could have sat outside.
Because we were in La Spezia, Porto Venere was only a short distance so we thought we'd try to hit that today too, but it was no use. The rain made things just too muddled. We tried though and got out of car. Portia found a park and played in the rain for a bit. We admired the view (although it was gray). We finally gave up and drove home.  (Good thing we didn't call this our day in Porto Venere, because we do come back later in the week and it ends up being my VERY favorite thing we did the whole time in Italy!)

Portia found a park and Bianca shielded her from the rain so she could play.

Our day was a little monochromatic
I have to mention what happen that night. So, sleeping arrangements were a little strange and Mom chose to sleep down on the second floor on a really wide couch instead of the twin bed she could have had at the top of the stairs (which Portia then took over because Bianca harassed her out of the bed they were supposed to share because Portia sucks her fingers loudly all through the night). Mom was awakened several times through the night. She swears she heard someone (something) plucking Bianca's viola which was left out after her practice. And Mom swears they got a nice little scale out of it (a famous violinist ghost perhaps that maybe still hangs around the little village honoring his name?). The bells of the village church DO ring on the hour and half-hour all through the night so you never know. Mom was sure it was the viola. I love a little ghost story, so I'll take the one about Paganini playing Bianca's viola. Or maybe it was Moroni whose large portrait honors that particular room? Or maybe Miranda or my dad (who I'm sure was with us during our trip). It is a really old house. It could be any number of musical spirits.


A door in La Spezia

Now this is a door! (to a cathedral in La Spezia)

A door in La Spezia

No comments: