Italian Mediterranean Coast

It was an overcast Sunday in Europe with bouts of light rain. No worries, it was a travel day for us from Nesso and Lake Como in the north to Vezzano Ligure and the Italian coast in the south. Much of the 285 kilometers (177 miles) was via the Autostrada where our Fiat averaged 80 mph.

The Autostrada is Italy’s excellent national turnpike system. We stopped to pay tolls at several points along the way but we were certainly not intimidated by the toll booths. Hey, we’re Oklahomans.

Our Airbnb house is located in the tiny village of Vezzano Ligure perched high atop a mountain. The casale is old-school Italy on the outside with thick, stacked rock walls, traditional red tile roof and multiple stone terrazzas.

The house is dotted with lime trees and we have our own private grotto. Inside, dark wood beams cross the ceiling, red tile covers the floor and there’s an authentic pizza oven in the kitchen. There’s no doubt we’re in Italy.

The light rain let up for an hour so I hiked up our long, private drive into Vezzano Ligure. The main piazza was just a two-minute walk. We’ve heard the small pizzeria anchoring a corner is one of the best in the region. We’ll be sure to check it out and report back.

This is definitely off the beaten path. I like to explore small towns where you’re not encumbered by masses of people, traffic and noise. Big cities are big cities anywhere. Sometimes they just seem to be more of a hassle than anything else. No issues like that in Vezzano Ligure. On this rainy afternoon, it seemed like we had the whole place to ourselves.

After we unpacked, we drove through the large city of La Spezia and past the Italian naval base. We didn’t stop to take pics of the warships but we did check out this impressive yacht chilling just off the coast. We drove on past the Bay of Poets and out to a point occupied by the small town of Portovenere.

The rain had let up again for a time so we strolled along the ocean-front promenade. All the narrow, tall houses run together so each individual building was painted in bright colors to contrast with its neighbor.

This was a pleasant end to our travel day and a preview of some of the places we’ll visit along the ocean. We purposely planned our trip to explore different regions of Italy including Alpine mountains, the lakes region, the Mediterranean coast, the Tuscan interior and finally, Venice.

Dad’s talked about getting a new bass boat but Mom picked out one for him.

We’re getting some rest tonight and planning on a return to sunny and warm weather tomorrow. Buona sera.


Thanks again for following along. If you have questions or suggestions, tweet @JasonRMatheson. Missed an entry? Click here.




I prefer to travel slow. Enjoy history, design, architecture, cars, sports digital. Auburn alum, Sooner born.

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Jason R. Matheson

Jason R. Matheson

I prefer to travel slow. Enjoy history, design, architecture, cars, sports digital. Auburn alum, Sooner born.

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