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Day 6 Rovinaglia—Sestri LevanteCinque VillesRometta

Today was a day with a bonus added on at the end.

We firstly drove southwestwards from Borgo, climbing up and up until we tipped over the divide and descended to the Mediterranean. The first part of the journey twisting up through forest, the second, twisting down into a drier country, with palms and prosperous villages and masses of traffic, the latter a bit of a shock after the tranquility of the past few days. The world becomes more and more cluttered as you approach the narrow band of almost continuous habitation clinging to the shore.

We arrived at the sea in Sestri Levante, a not-bad resort looking forward to the crowds of summer. We then drove south through a series of old railway tunnels beside the sea to emerge at Moneglia, where Ralph decided to look for a bar and after negotiating a series of hair-raising hairpins up to Lemeglia, discovered there were none and had to wiggle down again to the main drag. Ho hum.. Refreshed, we drove on to Levanto, where we had lunch. Our last call was at Monterosso, which was full of tourists from myriad nations who we joined in sheltering from heavy thunderstorms. We could see that hiking this stretch of coast would be fun. Driving it isn't!

A little disheartened by the weather we decided to head homewards by skirting La Spezia. This (the skirting bit) we failed to do, ending up driving excitingly through the middle of town!

Sestri Levant beach

On the way back we made a diversion to Rometta, east of Aulla. Ralph had noticed it as we drove to Castello Malaspina and wanted to explore. It is a place of medieval dimensions, tiny alleys and steep stepped streets, arches, cellars, damp corners. You can't get an overall view except probably from the air, something not possible in previous eras! There is abundant evidence that we are in the 21st century of course, electricity wires, television aerials, plastic boxes, the sound of rap music coming from an open window. But for Ralph this was a magical place...

Rometta back street

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