We’ve found that August is the month for the Italians to take off work and go to the beach. Walking the streets of any of the Cinque Terre villages, you are more likely to hear Italian being spoken than English. Normally, when we visit the Cinque Terre it is in May or June when the streets are loaded with Americans out discover this little niche of bliss.
But, there is a trade off with traveling in August. Charlotte and I have found that we Americans are not always treated fairly at restaurants. Two nights ago we were checking out a new restaurant in Riomaggiore. It was one of those fancy places with huge plated glass windows and linen table clothes. The long story short is they served us poor wine, poor food, and cut Charlotte short on the desert by giving her a small portion that had been sitting out all day. The Italian couple at the next table was served the same house wine (only out of an unopened bottle), hot food and fresh desert. There definitely was an advantage to being from Italy at this restaurant! On top of all that, they stuck us with an outrageous bill! Needless to say I will not be taking a group there!
Last night we dined in the village of Cornelia. We returned to one of my favorite restaurants where I know the people and they know me. La Lamparna serves up some of the best seafood in the region. The experience here was in total contrast to the evening before in Riomaggiore.
Guess it pays to know where to eat.