As fall settles in and the weather starts to turn chilly and brisk in London, I’ve been thinking about warmer days spent in Italy and wishing the sunshine could last forever! Sadly I know that, short of moving to Los Angeles or some other sunny destination, this fantasy is unlikely to come true. So, I will settle in the immediate-term for posting a new blog entry on the Italian and my trip to Sanremo, Italy in August that was filled with warmth, beaches and, of course, some really excellent food!
Sanremo is a small Mediterranean town in western Liguria of north-western Italy. Just a short drive away from Monaco and the French Mediterranean cities of Nice, Cannes and Antibes, it is really an extension of the coastline and often labelled part of the Italian Riviera. The Italian’s parents have a very cute and convenient apartment in the city, and we’ve travelled there a number of times over the past years. Among our favourite things to do in Sanremo include: shopping at the local market for fresh produce and seafood, eating loads of focaccia, a regional speciality, and enjoying a refreshing gelato after swimming in the beach. This trip, we also wandered around the old city cente and got lost in the maze-like streets. Some of the buildings looked so old it was incredible to think they were still standing!
Walking around in the old city
Outside De Mattei – an amazing bakery that sold first rate focaccia, croissants, and other baked sweets.
Enjoying one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had – cappuccino with freshly made croissants. The bakery filled the croissant with gooey chocolate right in front of your eyes.
One day, the Italian and I spent the day with some family friends of his who are also from Turin and have a place in Sanremo. After a nice relaxing lunch that involved white wine, good bread and a freshly made green bean salad (the produce was just so fresh and delicious there!), we joined them for a few hours on their boat where we rode along the coast and swam in the water.
Fresh green bean salad with tomatoes and boiled eggs.
Fresh produce from the local market
Swimming pool from the apartment and view of the harbour
Also on the trip, the Italian and I did some cooking of our own. One of our favourite meals was grilled swordfish, bought straight from the fish market in the city centre. It was very easy to cook – we just grilled it outside and ate the meat salted and with lemon. Delicious!
Another meal we cooked was Trofie con Salsa di Noce, a very typical dish from the Liguria region. Trofie are short, thin, twisted pasta from Genova that is typically served with a pesto, either of the typical green variety or the more unique walnut variety. The salsa di noce (nut sauce) is this walnut pesto, made with walnuts, cream, Pecorino Romano cheese, and fresh herbs. I have to admit the Italian and I cheated a bit with this recipe, as we bought the salsa di noce pre-made from the local grocery store. Thus, our cooking really just consisted of cooking the trofie in boiling water and mixing in the salsa di noce. However, the end result was fantastic and tasty. Another time when I’m feeling more ambitious I’ll try making the walnut pesto from scratch.
Finally, I leave you with one last picture of the Italian and I basking in the sun in Cannes, where we went to visit some friends who have an apartment there. This image is going to have to get me through several upcoming months of cold, wintry London!!