Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone in the body that helps control your sleep and wake cycles. However, when you travel east and are looking to battle 6-9 hours of complete jet lag, it’s time to purchase a few extra mg’s at the store. My first night in Italia with Roberto I had to take more than a few mg’s to fall asleep. At this point, I had just flown from California to Italy and the as they say, “the struggle was real”. I quickly passed out and when I awoke, I still felt in a dream. That’s what happens when you are significantly sleep deprived.
All snoozing aside, my second day in Italy with Roberto would be combined with my first motorbike ride to explore the scenic coast of Liguria. Thank goodness for feeling woozy (although maybe not the safest at that time) I was super enthusiastic about getting on the back of a
SCARY red CBR 600 RR. I shortly realized just how important my role was being the passenger on the back of this bike, “Goodbye Jetlag”.
Let’s just say that riding on a motorbike is as thrilling as they say it is and I wasn’t as frightened as I thought I would be, let’s just say I also trust my driver 😉
Our ride started in Campomorone and on one of our stops that day was in the little town of Camogli. Nestled along the coast, this town comes alive in the summertime as a popular beach spot for those looking get a nice tan or escaping from the work life in (just like New Yorker’s head to the Hampton’s – or in my case heading up to Maine). Both times that I’ve been to Camogli have been in April, where the weather is slightly cooler, but the scenery remains the same, authentic and magical.
The colored buildings immediately won me over. These were the types of places that I had only seen in coffee table books in Barnes and Noble. I was really here (or was I? – Jetlag hitting me again). We took a beautiful walk while exploring the little shops that this town had to offer and I was infatuated. The boats and the sea reminded me of being in Maine. I felt home, both in scenery and in my heart (who was walking along next to me).
As jetlag took over once more, it was time to post up on the concrete wall over looking the sea and take a small nap in the sunshine.
A fearless motorbike ride turned into a beautiful & relaxing afternoon. After a small nap, it was time to continue on our adventure, which turned into a pre-dinner snack. This is not just any “snack”…it is something that can only be found in this particular region of Italy. The city of Recco (close to Camogli) is the home of the famous “focaccia al formaggio”. There are also laws (a type of copyright) that protect this recipe from being duplicated elsewhere. You must go to this town to get the “real deal” (you will thank me later). I also suggest that you pair this with an estathé, but I will elaborate more on this glorious drink in a future post.
With a full belly and a new appreciation for stracchino (type of formaggio) it was time for another ride along the coast of Italy as we reached top speeds on the motorbike (just kidding, dad… no worries here, polizia). I remember thinking to myself that what I was feeling could be right out of a movie, and well… it only got better. After the estathé passed right through me, I needed a bagno (bathroom) ASAP. We stopped and parked the bike on a little hill and approached a town. Well, after basically running down a few steps, we mistakenly ended up in Portofino…who does that? We did and it was one of the hardest places to find a bathroom. After relief, we did a small walk around this popular destination, snapped a few pictures (seen below).
I’ll always remember accidentally adventuring to Portofino to use the restroom and I hope to one day go back and run into a few other hidden places in Italia (but let’s hope their restrooms are easier to find). For a few liters of gas, a snack, photos & memories I think our day trip cost us under €20 (about $24 USD). I hope that places like these make it onto your itinerary the next time you decide to visit Italia.
Con capelli post casco e un buona focaccia al formaggio (with helmet hair and a good focaccia al formaggio),