Saturday, October 22, 2016

New And Old or A Tale Of Two Cities

Over a couple of days we visited our local town of Ventimiglia and the artist town of Bussana Vecchia. We'd been to the old part of Ventimiglia a couple of times but #3 and 3A were interested in seeing what the modern town looked like and to see what the shopping opportunities were. Bussana Vecchia was one of numerous small mountain towns in this regions. It was destroyed in an earthquake during the 1880's. Then in the 1960's artists began to move in creating a sort of artists colony. Now it is well known for that and attracts lots of tourists during the season.

The New Town

What can I say about Ventimiglia. It is known for cheap shopping. There is a huge market that draws droves in from France on Fridays. And there is no parking. We were went on a Thursday in mid-morning. There is only one paid lot in town. We looked all over town for a parking space. Wife and I were lucky to find a place relatively close in. The 3's...not so lucky.

3.1 happily running to her Grandparents after the long ass walk from where they had to park
The rest of the 3's
Not so happy about the long ass walk
What you will see if you come to Ventimiglia
Lots of parking places - filled

We walked through the town and didn't find a whole lot of interest to the daughter for her clothes shopping needs. 

We went to a restaurant that was recommended by our rental host owner. They were packed. I thought I had a reservation but because of miscommunication they thought it was an hour later. They fit us in but the service was very slow. So much of our food experiences this trip have been hit or miss and erratic. We'll have some good dishes and some not so good. We'll have some good service and then long waits at the same place. It's like we're in a different country than the Italy we've experienced in the past. Much as I've talked about Airport World, I'm now convinced there is a Seafront Resort World. In this world everything is brought from whatever culture it originated to some more mediocre common denominator.
On the plus side we saw this version of Pizza for the Fries lover.
Daughter had a very nice grilled seafood dish
And I had a very good rendition of seafood risotto with lots of different kinds of seafood nicely cooked with the rice and sauce very well done. One exception was the shrimp. Thus far on the trip almost every time I've had shrimp it has been over cooked.
It is VERY IMPORTANT when you are in a foreign country to understand the PROPER EATING MANNERS!
Here 3.2 demonstrates the officially approved two and a half year old method for eating real Italian Pizza

The Old Town

The write ups for Bussana Vecchia tell you of the winding narrow road and the need to park on the side of the road and the inability to turn around. But after dealing with the drive to our rental house each day, it was really a piece of cake. Also as it is off season there is no where near the amount of traffic to deal with. We weren't wowed by the art but the broken old town look compared to all the renovated and up-to-date old towns that we've visited so far was a nice contrast and led a freaking zillion pictures!
Compare the archways and walk ways to the some of the old town pictures from places like Nice, Menton and Ventimiglia

Da Family
Art shots 

There was an old church that is still in a state of ruin that was particularly interesting

So far
We passed this little joint on the way up to the town. There was nothing else other than a cafe in the town. It featured grilled meat. In front if had this area for burning coals and taking the coals to grills for the cooking. When we arrived we were the first people of the day.
Our little place and the coals getting started.
As the fire was burning one of the two men running the place started cooking

We were just a few feet away and the smell was getting us very hungry
And yes it was every bit as nice and beautiful as this picture looks
We had chosen some lamb chops, lamb brochette, grilled sausage, and a grilled chopped beefsteak (hamburger like but not really a hamburger like we think with a bun and all).
The meats were all very, very tasty.
The lamb dishes

We ordered the hamburger for the girls but they liked the lamb brochette so much they ate half of them!
There were also these potatoes with cheese cooked in the fire 
And a wonderful mixed salad with all kinds of veggies.
It was a plain cooking done extremely well with great ingredients. 
The kind of meal one hopes for when in Italy and France.


Renee Michelle Goertzen said...

I'm guessing that French Fry Pizza is a big hit in Seafront Resort World.

Tee said...

Beautiful! Just beautiful photos! And the meal you enjoyed in Bussana Vecchia looks and sounds delicious.

I see these photos from countries hundreds of years old. Their beauty is so often in their age. Seems highly doubtful that the U.S. will ever boast anything as beautiful ... if it's still around in a few hundred years.