We arrived in Milan, rented a car, and drove to the Italian Riviera, arriving at our destination, Varazze, a quaint sea-side town with charm, history, and beaches. Even thought we were a bit sleep-deprived and jet-lagged, we settled into our hotel and quickly set out to discover our first gelato, always a joy upon arriving in Italy! See the joy in Marco’s face despite the ray bans! The flavor here is Nutella with some more Nutella drizzled over the top!
After strolling a bit more, relaxing in the hotel, we were ready for our first Italian meal. Marco had set his sights on having a Spaghetti con Vongole veraci. We make Spaghetti con le vongole at home, but it is not possible to find the little clams that you see pictured here. These are the clams found in the Mediterranean Sea. I’ll be sure to add a recipe for this at some point down the road, but, for now, I’m on vacation and enjoying the meal seen below. . .
We each had our own plate of the Spaghetti and followed with some calamari fritti that we shared along with the lovely and fresh salad.
Then, after a couple of hours drive along the coastal highway, we arrived at Mas D’Artigny a hotel and spa near the medieval town of Saint Paul De Vence. As you may have guessed, we don’t hurry when it comes to travel, so we will relax near this small village for the next 5 days, enjoying our pool, driving 5 minutes to the town, exploring nearby Nice and Monaco, and perhaps discovering a few neighboring towns and villages.
As you probably know we love Italian cooking, but I, for one, harbor a preference for the art of fine French food. Look at Marco’s roasted duck below (that’s lavender sticking out of the mashed potatoes):
This view was just off to the side of our table.
In exploring the little medieval town of Sant Paul de Vence, I am reminded about how shop-keepers take care of their window displays and the space in front of their stores. This cookie shop is just one example.
Now, back to our pool. Today we simply bought a baguette sandwich and had our lunch poolside. Of course, the baguette itself was wonderful, but even a simple chicken, lettuce, and tomato sandwich tastes better eating it outdoors and with these views.