Stops 7, 8 and 9: Nice, Diano Marina and Cervo

I’ve left sunny old In-ger-land!!! And before I knew it I’d passed through 2 countries. I was quietly excited about going back to Italy as I used to live there for 18 months so it was like going back home, plus I could see how rusty my Italian had gotten…

I flew into Nice at 8 in the evening. On the bus to the town centre (which cost six bloody euros!!!) I got a phone call from a random English number asking me where I was. After shitting myself for 4.3 seconds I finally realised it was my mate Matt (Triple M) calling me saying he’d meet me at the station (If you aren’t aware, me and Triple M have 2 weeks to get to Athens, so naturally we are going the romantic route and seeing everything lovey-dovey…)

Matt was there. We hugged and swapped terrible jokes as we walked down the road to the hotel. Then I sat in our palace on the internet because that’s what cool people do nowadays instead of physically going out and seeing stuff. We then had our only French meal of the evening. As we were in France I thought we’d make the most of the famous French cuisine and headed straight to KFC…

We got there and I thought I’d show off by ordering my food in French. How hard could it be? I got a D in French and everything! Bring on the French bitch!

French Bitch: <something French that was vaguely similar to “Welcome to goodburger, home of the goodburger, can I take your order?”>

Me: Bonjour! Je vous drais deux double fillet meal sil vous plait. <then proceeds to admire the hammer I’m holding because I absolutely fucking nailed it…>

French Bitch: <Proceeds to rap the entire first verse of Eminem’s ‘Rap God’ in French. Or that’s what it sounded like…>

Me: <Looks in pure panic> Erm… That’s me done! (referring to my level of French being reached)

French Bitch: Pardon? (In sexy French accent)

Me: <Has mild heart attack…>

French Bitch: <switching to English> Would you like any sauces at all?

I look at Triple M and he’s laughing at me with a look of saying “At least you tried!” We’re making memories already…

Day two was Diano Marina time! We headed out to the train station after abusing the free hot drinks at the hotel to find we’d just missed the train and had to wait an hour for the next one. Not an issue, except for when we got to our changeover at Ventimiglia we missed our connection by 30 seconds. Not only that, the next train was in an hour and a half away!

We finally got to the Hotel Delle Mimose at 4:30 and were greeted by Christian. He told us he was off to samba class in the evening (you may have guessed by that sentence that Christian is half Italian…) so we wouldn’t see him, but it didn’t matter because we found two buckets, filled them half way with water and played a variation of beer pong, with the loser buying the round of drinks.

I won (suck it!) so Matt got the drinks. I got him to order in Italian saying “Io voglio comprare tua ragazzi, quante costa per la ragazzo” which roughly translates as ‘I want to buy your children, how much is the boy?’ Christian looked intrigued half way through the sentence and we all had a little titter.

Evening time! I used to live in Diano Marina many moons ago so I knew the best places to eat, so I took Matt straight to ‘The Macaroni’, where they do super heavyweight portions of world class pasta for around €10 each. We destroyed our victims and felt like we’d conquered Europe by doing so…

Day three! Cervo and optional extras. My favourite place OF ALL TIME I’ve been to so far is Cervo. Why you may ask? Yes you may, Cervo is an old, untouched village with steep, windy, cobbled streets and a church bang in the middle. Basically, it looks like something out of a Disney film. Here’s some pictures to stare at and shit…

Then we went back and had a couple of slices of pizza before going back to Mario’s. Mario’s was the bar I used to go to all the time and whenever friends or family came over, or I met people in the town who wanted to see Diano Marina properly, I’d always take them there because he’d never disappoint. He remembered me instantly. Not only that, he remembered what I usually drink. Nine years, now that’s impressive! He made me and Triple M some cocktails and they were insane in the membrane!

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Me and Mario at his bar. I reckon I need a haircut…

And that was it! Actually no it wasn’t, Christian asked us to join him for lunch so we got to sit at the captain’s table. I felt so upper class! If you do go to the Delle Mimose I recommend the chocolate souffle for dessert. It was double digits out of ten.

Now that’s it! Christian was a great host and I couldn’t thank him enough. I may see him again if I don’t find work in Greece and get some teaching or hotel work somewhere in Italy, but if not I’m sure it won’t be another 10 years until I see him again. Next stop will be touristy stuff around Italy and me trying to speak my Borat standard Italian. Great success!!!

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