The Herring is in Liguria. He has sent a photo of the densely forested Ligurian hills, the sea a distant glimpse through the haze. Those trees are mostly chestnuts, with elegant striated grey bark. He has had me scurrying around hotel sites in Nervi, hotels with photographs of their traditional antipasti and stories of focaccia cooked on the terrace at breakfast time (nothing calling itself focaccia anywhere else remotely resembles the genuine Ligurian article, glistening with olive oil). When people ask me what part of Italy I like best I give all sorts of answers. I love Siena, I love the Abruzzi. But the truth is that the place that makes me feel truly homesick is Liguria, where I used to spend my summers once upon a time.
I am so jealous I feel slightly sick.