Up close to where we look forward to eating and sleeping for that week along the Italian Riviera, here are several pictures and observations. First, I love the charm to be found in the culture here. Not just the arguably cutest-ever Italian waitress here, but the rhythm of life, the cadence of the speech (which I seem to be having a hard time learning), the exuberance of it all.

Like too many coast towns (thankfully the Cinque Terre Park has been a wonderful exception), Levanto has its share of really ordinary buildings. Squat, stacked-up apartments rise from the soil amongst mulberry trees and cypress — whose builders appear to have chosen profit and economy at the expense of aesthetics. I wonder if Italians are bothered by the gap between structures of the quattrocento, say, and present-day? It is a visual reality to be reckoned with, for visitors such as we. Pictured here is an average apartment around the city.


But there are options to be enjoyed, while moving around.


One of several places to enjoy and compare the sidewalk people-watching experience, is this corner coffee and hang-out shop. We sat at that lower-left-side table. Behind the camera a major connecting road leads to the train station (ahem, stazzione), perhaps a hundred yards inland. And farther into this photo, perhaps a hundred yards past that bright red illy sign, is our apartment. Beyond which, another five minutes afoot, is the beach. I spoke of cultural rhythms above; the video shows several.


They're Going Again!