From Rome to Pesaro
We are going to Pesaro. Pesaro is a city on Italy's Adriatic coast and a popular holiday resort for Italian families.
The train to Ancona leaves Termini at 9:36. It is a comfortable Eurostar train, and it is a pretty trip through the Italian mountains and countryside.
At 12:48 we get off in Falconara Marittima. With a view to the blue Adriatic we wait half an hour for the connection to Pesaro.
We arrive to Pesaro at two o'clock and take a cap to Hotel Clipper, one of the many hotels along the beach. The room is ready. It is nice and there is a balcony with sea view. Brightly coloured parasols stand close together on the beach. The balcony has afternoon shade and right now there's a lovely breeze.
We unpack and change clothes. The sweet Mrs Gasparini who tends the reception makes us an espresso at the bar. It is time for a stroll in the city - not at the beach. The city centre is pleasant and relaxed. It seems quiet, as if the siesta isn't quite over yet. We don't see many restaurants, but they must be somewhere.
We enjoy refreshments at a bar on the Corso: 1 Coke, a glass of wine + water for 6 € - the price level seems ok. We find a trattoria in Via Giovanni Bovio. We'll test it tonight. The menu is mostly seafood, and they open at 19:30.
Trattoria da Sante - a seafood restaurant
Ee are back at 20:20 and get a warm welcome. The menu is in Italian and English. One of the courses is "squills" in English. I don't know this word, and the Italian text doesn't clarify.
I ask the waiter if he speaks English ("parla inglese?"), and he answers in fluent American. With a grin he explains that "squills" is a spelling mistake - it is a special kind of squid. It turns out that he has lived 4½ years in New York.
We order spaghetti with crab and skewers with giant prawns and squid. The first to arrive is the mixed salad. We wanted to share one portion ("uno per due"), and the bowl is big enough to house a medium sized gold fish with family.
The waiter has misunderstood the order, because we get one plate with spaghetti and one set of skewers. We wanted two of both. The misunderstanding is plausible and fortunate, because the portions are huge. Having seen the portions' size we ask him if we can share. He smiles, and after a detour into the kitchen the number of plates increases from two to four.
It is excellent. The spaghetti sauce with crab has intense flavour, and the skewers are easily shared. The prawns are firm and tasty, and the squid is filled with some deliciously spiced stuffing. The white house wine runs easily over the tongue with no complex or delaying taste impressions.
There aren't many guests tonight. At the next table is a German couple with a baby, and some locals have a big table in the corner. The room is plain and the light is sharp. There is a TV on the wall in the corner, and waiters as well as guests watch the sports.
A group enters. One of the waiters holds and shows off a small boy with paternal pride. They settle around a table and soon there is a steady flow of dishes from the kitchen. Locals don't order from the menu; the waiter tells them what is good today, and they compose the meal together.
We leave some salad for the goldfish and order dessert; lemon cake for Helle and lemon sorbet for me. Before leaving we have coffee and grappa.
We go for a walk along the beach promenade. Lots of people are walking their evening passegiata. There are lights and disco and entertainment. Find some other place if you want romantic walks along the beach with calming surf sounds.
Back at the hotel the bar a uniformed black waitress tends to her only guests: us. She pours me a mega Vecchia Romagna, and when she sees that the bottle is almost empty, she resolutely empties it.