When I got off the train I took the first photo, then sat & had a diet Coke & looked at the view. The train station is behind me, with hills behind that. On the map, the monastery looked quite close (albeit steeply uphill) so I decided why waste money on a cab, I can walk that... Wow, that was the best cardio workout I've had since I got here. Partly because I got lost. You know "via" means "street", right? Apparently it also means 4' wide stone pathway meandering around the hills, with stone walls on either side & cute little green lizards darting around & very few signs to say where you are.
Eventually found the monastery, which is absolutely lovely. I thought breakfast was included, but it turns out 3 meals a day are included in the price (I'm hurrying now to be back for supper) of 43 euros a day, which is amazing for Italy & especially the middle of the Riviera. Everyone else staying there is Italian. My neighbour tried asking me something last night & one of the nuns came up & told her "She speaks English". My neighbour stared at me in amazement "English! O mio mio"
It would be a great vacation to just fly to Milan, take the train here, & just stay at the monastery for a week. You could take day trips to Portofino and Rapello. Or not. Whatev's.
More when I get to Roma ...