The perfect traveller’s breakfast

Breakfast in Vernazza - a far cry from Weetbix

Oh – my – god!

The first into each of these simple delicacies was sheer delight – foodie heaven (not that I’m a real foodie mind you, but I do appreciate tastes and textures especially when I haven’t done the cooking!) This was not quite my usual restrained breakfast of kiwifruit and cereal – let me describe …

Firstly, course one, the bruschetta – basil pesto (a specialty of the Cinque Terre region), basil, spinach (I think), heaps of flavoursome tomatoes, soft gooey mozzarella, cracked pepper – all on top of very light and crusty bread. Grilled to perfection as you can see. Totally melt in the mouth.

Just one piece of bruschetta would have been enough – along with my long black.

But, see that modest looking little pastry lurking behind? The one with icing sugar? Looks a bit like an armadillo?

Well – let me tell you … course two, heaven at first crunch.

I would happily race right back to Vernazza just to have another one. The only other detail I can give you is that the filling was lemon ricotta – so fresh, so soft, so sublime, so so so delicious. I have no idea why the pastry has such a gorgeous texture, such a memorable crunch…but take my word for it, it did.

Food for hiking. A tough life but someone's got to do it!

Our hosts (twin brothers) at ‘Il Pirata’ told us this. They hail from Sicily…and pastry is a Sicilian specialty just as pesto is in the Cinque Terre region. If we were to visit Sicily – pastries would be ‘de rigeur’. The brothers and their families, each year, spend six months at ‘Il Pirata’ and six months in Sicily. It obviously works for them.

They are continually surprised by travellers sitting down at their tables asking for bacon and eggs! No, it’s not on the menu…why on earth would you want bacon and eggs when the cafe boasts a cabinet filled with an array of tantalising pastries. He asked me what I would prefer to eat for breakfast – forget diabetes – my decision was a no-brainer.

His words of wisdom:

“When you walk you see the view all around you, when you eat you have the view on your plate.”


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