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Porto Venere view of seaside ligurian town buildings boats and a castle

European Adventure Porto Venere

Porto Venere

So I arrive at Porto Venere and immediately I fall in love with it. Another beautiful seaside town with an even bigger castle and cooler looking church. This town has so many magnificent visuals to offer including: the towering Castello Doria which offers amazing viewpoints, the gothic style church of St. Peter that sits on a rock cliff and the famous Lord Byron grotto. Famous not only because it was his preferred spot for meditation but also where he made the long swim across the gulf of La Spezia to San Terenzo to visit his love and fellow poet Shelley in Lerici.

Most of this area is designated as a national park and you’re free to explore as you like. I took many stunning pictures here! I would later find out that it is also designated as a Unesco World Heritage site same as the Cinque Terre but with much less touristy crowds.

After getting my fill of pictures, I started heading towards the bus for the ride back when coincidentally enough I run into Vada. Funny how, as I was leaving he was just arriving. It was pure coincidence that we crossed paths again as Porto Venere was not a place that either one of us had planned to see. For both of us it was a last minute addition to an already packed itinerary.

With his arrival, I ended up staying a bit longer. I retraced a few steps and offered to take some pictures of him and his hostel roomie who had also tagged along for the trip. We find out that we’re both staying in La Spezia and we make plans to meet up for dinner later that night.

On the bus ride back, I meet another Dominican woman. We get into a nice conversation and I find out that La Spezia actually has a pretty big Dominican population. Dominicans in Italy? Who knew? She ends up recommending a Dominican restaurant close to where I was staying. I suggest it to Vada who just can’t pass up the curious proposition of eating Dominican food in La Spezia Italy of all places.

We meet up at the restaurant, despite the pouring rain and get our fill of tasty Dominican food. The usual favorites were on the menu, mofongo, sancocho, plantains, etc. It wasn’t the best Dominican food I’ve had but it was legit and decent.

At this time of night, the place had turned into more of a bar than a restaurant and it had a really weird vibe to it. To Vada’s amusement, I ended up getting hit on by a few people. He joked that it seemed like they all wanted a taste of Cuban. During this time I also got to know Vada better. We had a good conversation and made some tentative plans to hopefully meet up again on our trip. We said our goodbyes and continued on our individual journeys but not before taking one final obligatory selfie. Unfortunately, that would be the last time I would see Vada on this trip. But we still keep in touch till this day and have already discussed plans for possible future travels together.

Onward to Rome

Trip photos

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