With a knowing smile, the waitress asks in broken English: ‘One more?’ We come to this bar, perched on a cliff edge, every afternoon, so she knows the answer.
Out come our Aperol cocktails with yet more appetisers. This time it’s purple Taggiasca olives and thick slabs of torte verde, a local pie of cheese, eggs and greens baked in a thin olive-oil crust and served for breakfast, lunch or as an afternoon snack.
Liguria, in north-west Italy, has long been overlooked by British tourists in favour of its glitzy neighbours; France’s glamorous Cote d’Azur to the west, and the pastel-coloured, hilltop towns of Cinque Terre to the east.
Colourful: The Daily Mail’s Harriet Sime remembers heading to Sanremo (pictured) for plates of seafood linguine
And what a blessing that is. We seldom hear English accents and are forced to use our terrible Italian everywhere we go.
We’ve spent the day on a 15-mile cycle track that ribbons along an old coastal railway line. It’s one of the prettiest tracks in Europe, sandwiched between the glittering Med and hedges bursting with electric-pink bougainvilleas.
We stop for dips along the way; first climbing down a cluster of jagged rocks before diving off, then, an hour later, scrambling over a tiny pebbled beach and gracelessly throwing ourselves in the water, leaving our bikes in some shrubs near by…