Cinque Terre, Italy: Where to Eat Great Seafood at Reasonable Prices!
CECIO: Enjoy Fresh Seafood with a View
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Antipasto di Mare (with FRESH Anchovies!!!)
Spaghetti allo Scoglio
Fresh Grilled Orata
Farinata (With Bite)
Cinque Terre, Italy is Simply Breathtaking and Known as the Italian Riviera.
Rich in cultural history, natural beauty and spectacular sea views, it is no wonder that UNESCO has declared the Cinque Terre (Five Lands) a World Heritage Site and that millions of tourists flock to see these five wonderful villages every year. Four of these villages are at sea level along the Ligurian coast, but one is set high above the rest and that is Corniglia.
All the villages have something to offer in terms of history, architecture, food and views, but Corniglia's scenic terrace boasts the best view of all in my opinion. Since it is the smallest village and does not have any kind of beach, it tends to be less crowded, and that is where I like to go in the summer.
Fresh seafood and farinata (traditional Ligurian chickpea flat bread) can be had in any of the villages, but few offer the value and views offered by Cecio- a restaurant and pension (they rent rooms). This is a family-owned business run by Elia (the Italian mamma), Carmelo (the son), and Giacinto (a loyal employee of about 15 years). The waitresses are friendly, Cristina being there for 10 years.
My husband and I went there for a getaway and dined like royalty on the terrace, enjoying the amazing view and refreshing sea breezes. We ordered Antipasto di Mare, that includes freshly caught anchovies (one plate served with capers and garlic and another served with red pepper and parsley), seafood salad (mussels, shrimp, calamari), potato & octopus salad, and a delicate fish & potato puree. Everything was fresh and delicious.
Carmelo also brought out three appetizers for us to try: coccoli di granchio (crab fritters), stuffed and fried anchovies and stuffed mussels marinara. Our main courses consisted of Spaghetti allo Scoglio (with mixed seafood) and Grilled Orata (Seabream)- both were very tasty and fresh. We washed it all down with the house white wine, which is widely served throughout the Cinque Terre and made with locally grown Vermentino grapes.
Cecio is open for lunch and dinner (make a reservation if you want to sit on the romantic terrace). Here is the link to their website: http://www.cecio5terre.com/
Don't leave the island without trying a nice piece of farinata! I was lucky enough to find a little forno in Vernazza that just happened to have farinata coming out of the oven...Sorry, folks, I took a little bite before getting my camera.
If you happen to be in the Cinque Terre, be sure to do the hiking trail that connects the villages (wear appropriate shoes since the trail can be rocky, steep, and uneven). Don't forget your camera, a hat and SUNSCREEN!!! Thank you for reading!
C. De Melo
Author & Artist
Homemade Lemon Sorbetto
Carmelo Holding Up Freshly Caught Fish
Corniglia's Charming Streets
Spectacular View from Corniglia's Terrace
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