Vernazza's harbor, tucked safely away from the Mediterranean behind its seawall, is crowded with fishing boats and cafe tables shaded by brilliantly colored umbrellas. Cats prowl among the sea-scented boats and sleep on their canvas covers. The afternoon is indolently peaceful in the hazy warmth.

On the table sits wine from the vineyards that cling to the terraced cliffs towering above the village. The wine, dry and bright, exudes the poetry of place, the undefinable sense of being and belonging. The rocky coast, blue with distance, stretches on, fading into the haze-painted blending of sea and sky.

 

Red Umbrellas, Vernazza, Italy By Larry Dowell