After an amazing two weeks in France and Switzerland we continued onto our next destination, beautiful La Spezia. After the train ride we were all in great spirits, especially after playing Matt’s hilarious games of umbrella geography (amongst others). We were on our way to um….ITALY!
Immediately after checking into our hotel we headed off to enjoy our first Italian meal and quickly learned that Italy is truly the pizza and pasta capital of the world.
After a refreshing sleep-in we caught the train to the beach town of Monterosso, our first stop in Cinque Terre. Elana and Jordana successfully negotiated a good price for lounge chairs on the beach for the entire group. Almost immediately after laying our things out the whole group ran into the Mediteranean Sea to enjoy cooling off from the hot sun and appreciate the gorgeous scenery. We all had fun times relaxing at the beach for the remainder of the day and concluded it with another delicious Italian meal in the town.
The next day we took the train to Riomaggiore where we explored some cute shops and Lauryn and Lara each purchased hand-made leather bracelets. We walked along the Via Dell’ Amore, a path parallel to the sea, to Manarola. Once there Mitchell, Rachel, Melissa, Cindy, and Lara all swam inside of a grotto area. Everyone was able to enjoy delicious focaccia bread as well as mini cannolis and then took a train to Corniglia where we hiked up 382 stairs all the while enjoying the natural surroundings. When we finally reached the top we celebrated with grenada, a fresh lemon slushie drink, and out-of-this-world honey gelato.
We arose early the next morning in anticipation for our big hike from Vernazza to Monterosso. After taking the train to Vernazza and exploring the town we began our hike, which began predominantly uphill. The absolutely breathtaking views surrounding us as well as support from each other encouraged us to continue pushing ourselves up further. We were interested to learn that these same dirt paths along the coasts had been traveled by farmers for hundreds of years before us as their only route of access to their vineyards. Though the hike was definitely very enjoyable we all grew more and more excited as views of Monterosso and therefore, thoughts of the refreshing sea, grew closer. After grabbing kebabs and focaccia bread for lunch, Mitchell headed down to bargain a good deal on lounge chairs for the rest of the afternoon. We all enjoyed our remaining time in Cinque Terre at the beach riding the waves and then shared delicious pizzas for dinner right next to the water. The next morning we were off for our train ride toVenice!
Ciao for now!
The Westcoast Blogger