When my friend and I learned we were too late starting out on our originally planned excursion to the villages of Cinque Terre, we decided to spend the day in Livorno. Walking around we were happy to discover their open market, which was full of fun fashion and accessories besides all the wonderful fish, fruits, breads, olives, and other assorted foods. We asked a local cab driver for a restaurant recommendation for lunch, and set out to try to follow his directions to a busy plaza nearby. When we found this dark, little place, I was immediately aware that tourists probably never walk in here. It was fantastic, and turned out to be a wonderful highlight of our trip. We were immediately led up a few steps at the back of the restaurant, past counters full of tasty looking food to go....and scattered tables buzzing with locals, to a charming wood paneled dining room. Tables were scarce and every inch was taken, jamming them together, and we loved it. It also made for easy conversation with whoever was sitting next to you, and these are the unexpected experiences that enrich your time. Our waitress was very helpful, even though she spoke no English. There were lots of fish dishes to choose from...this being a fishing town, as well as other traditional dishes of the area, and plenty of pasta pasta, pasta. We had their table wine, too, and I will never forget this little place, if only I could find it again someday, if I ever return. I'm sure, though, that all one has to do is ask a cab driver.
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