Sunday, June 3, 2012

Ste. Maxime to Ceriana

A beautiful walk in to The centre of Ste. Maxime was how our day began. We passed all the big mansions with palm trees, oleander and beautiful roses. Our first stop was the food market with beautifully displayed fish, fruit and vegetables. I'm glad that we don't have to buy food in Ste. Maxime since the fish was more than twice the price found in Spain.

After a stroll around town we stopped for tasty petite bouillabaisse for lunch. Then it was off in the car for a drive up the coast towards Cannes passing beautiful sandy beaches with a few people in swimming. On the autoroute we passed many vintage motorcars from the Princesses Car Rally in aid of breast cancer, sponsored by the Princesses of Monaco. Each car had driven from Paris over six days with two females in the car. After Monaco it was no time until we arrived in Italy. I think that you could have your eyes blindfolded and always know when you've arrived in Italy. All the terraces were covered in greenhouses or greenery for the flower business. This is the country of the flower markets but not as much as it used to be since China has taken over a lot of this business.

Once past San Remo, it was time for us to turn off the autoroute and head up into the mountains. Our destination was Ceriana, a hill town, thirteen kilometres up winding switchbacks through vineyards, blackberries and lots of trees. Finally turning the last corner, Ceriana looms in the distance perched on the hillside.

We met our friends in the middle of the main street. Right away we went to their house for some lovely bel paese and crotone cheese with lovely fresh bread and olives from their olive grove. Of course, all this was accompanied by wine from their nephew's vineyards. After settling in to our rental apartment, we returned to our friends for tomato pasta, salad and fruit. Italian meals are always delicious and so simple.

The evening ended with a walk up to the local bar for an espresso and zucca, a rhubarb based digestivo. We have visited Ceriana several times and feel lucky to come and visit, since over the years we have made several friends here. Tomorrow, the San Remo market.

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