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            We stayed in Arese until August 2nd because it was Anastasia's 7th birthday.  I am her Padrino (Godfather).  After the party we finally said our good-byes and set the GPS for Hotel Punta Est in Finale Ligure.  Just as we lucked out with getting a reservation at the Hotel Sirmione in the high season, so we did in the Italian Riviera.

 

 

 

        We stayed there in 1997 and have wanted to find an excuse to return.  Marcia drove the 130 miles in 3 hours and we arrived at just the hottest time of the afternoon.  After climbing the hill to the hotel and parking the car on a tennis court hanging on a sky hook, we decided the Mare (Sea) looked pretty good.  Got in our bathing suits and headed down the big hill to the beach.  These beaches are all private and we had to pay $10 for the privilege of a chair and an umbrella on the rocky beach.  To my great surprise Marcia jumped in the sea with vigor - first time I have seen her swim in many years.  The water was fantastic on a hot and muggy day.  After 2 hours of sheer enjoyment we went back up the hill for dinner on the terrazzo overlooking the beautiful panorama of the Riviera.  The antipasto and primi were great but just like 4 years ago I had to send back my tough veal entree and they freshly cooked another one which was just fine.  We then climbed down the hill again and walked the mile to the little town of Finale Ligure and the beach side night life along the grand promenade.  Millions of people lingering along the way enjoying the summer evening (all talking on cell phones).  I bought a copy of Dante's Inferno/Purgatorio/Paradiso in Italian for Kevin.  The poetry will be good practice for his Italian.  After a limoncello on the beach we walked back up the hill for the evening.  Marcia went to bed but I wound up talking to the owner of the hotel, Attilio Podesta, until 3 in the morning.  He is a very interesting guy who tried to talk me into meditation and yoga type stuff after I finish my run.

The next morning the run to the town was exhilarating (if getting up wasn't).  I had forced myself into the habit of getting up very early (for me) at 7:30 AM to run before the sun got too high in the sky.  It was a beautiful run and I found a nice quiet pasticceria for a good cappuccino.  After getting back to the hotel I was warm enough to enjoy a nice dip in the pool, get packed and prepare to leave.  At Dimitrii's house, with the encouragement of his older daughter, Daria, I had booked my first hotel reservation on the internet.  Hotel prices in Monaco could not be found for less than $500/night.  I finally lucked out with an alternative, the Splendid Hotel in Nice, France.  Now to see if the room is really reserved once we get there.  So we reluctantly left the Punta Est and headed west on the coast freeway to leave Italy for the next three months.

 

KJH                                                                                            Go To -> NEXT DIARIO #8 

 

Kenneth J. Hoffer, MD

KHofferMD@AOL.com          RETURN TO INDEX             

Finale Ligure, Italia

Sent 8-6-01

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