Last week we hopped on the train and headed for the La Francesca tourist village down on the coat not far from Genova and quite near to Le Cinque Terre. We stayed in a wee appartment which had a wonderful terrace – about as big as the appartment – and the view from the terrace was terrific. In fact, the whole place as wonderful. And after the chaos and noise of Milan, this place was a godsend. It was so silent I could hear my tinnitus! Then there was the restaurant which did excellent local dishes, based on, yes, you guessed it – fish and seafood!
Not only was there a restaurant, but the ‘village’, which is located on a steep sloping patch of land facing the Med, also boasts its own bar, shop and playground for the kids. There is also a tennis court and the obligatory swimming pool. Said swimming pool was not yet open, because even Italians do not really expect sweaty Aprils. As I mentioned, this place is on quite a slope and if you are at the top of the hill there is quite a walk down to the shop and restaurant. Still, the walk back up the hill will ensure you burn off a few of the calories you will no doubt have acquired whilst dining in the restaurant……
Then again, if you have a bungalow down towards the bottom of the site, you may find the climb up to the bar and swimming pool rather good exercise. In this respect it’s not really a place for the over 70’s, unless they have a car, in which case they can simply shuttle around the site by car. Lazy under 70’s could do this too. Did I mention that just about all of the bungalows have sea views? No? Well, I have now. And that they have wonderful and usable terraces/balconies too.
Stop reading, start speaking
Stop translating in your head and start speaking Italian for real with the only audio course that prompt you to speak.
All in all it’s a great place to get away from it all. A good alternative to a hotel and not a bad place to take children. Indeed the place was full of couples with toddlers. Be careful though, for if you go there without children, you may return with one or more brewing. If you know what I mean.
Should you wish to explore the surrounding area, then you will not be too disappointed. Even if you do not have a car, there is a mini-bus which you can call up and for 10-15 Euros the bus will take you down to Levanto. Levanto looks very nice and has a beach. Then, once in Levanto, abandon your car at the station, and hop on a train bound for one of Le Cinque Terre. I think I have said this before, but Le Cinque Terre are breathtaking – even Italians are impressed by the area.
La Francesca gets high marks from me. I loved the place. Much better than last years unhappy holiday in Sharm, which had no charm for me.
Negative aspects? The beach is dinky and I don’t know how quiet the place would be in high summer when it no doubt becomes crowded with adults and children.