Canals, Cathedrals & Cinque Terre – ON TOUR Backpack France, Switzerland & Italy

IMG_2952Cinque Terre is amazing! On our incredible hike between two of the Cinque Terre villages, our group learned how to shimmy past oncoming pedestrian traffic on the beautiful centuries old path. At the top of one of the mountains, we ran into a wonderful Italian-only vendor who hand carried an ice chest with cold waters and oranges to sell at the top. Cami and Laura loved their refreshing oranges on the hot day.

After dinner we explored the harbor side of La Spezia. Greg, Erik and Dan had found a large Italian Liberation statue that they then took us to. Next, we walked near the harbor, saw the cruise ships and fishing boats, and hung out at a very hip, outdoor yacht club.

The next morning, we embarked on a train day to catch up on our postcards, card games, music and more. In classic Italian fashion, we had more time than planned to relax in Parma. We loved the strong air conditioning and the food cars on the comfortable trains. When we arrived in Venice, we walked through the winding roads to dinner. We walked over the Academia Bridge, saw canals and more.

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Our time in Venice was packed with exploration. We walked through the Strata Nuova and refilled our water bottles at one of the best public water fountains with continuous streaming water. After walking to San Marco Square, we got an unbelievable glass blowing demonstration. In a few short minutes, the master glassblower took a small ball of molten glass and crafted a beautiful pitcher. During free time in the afternoon, one group explored the cathedral and another group went to the top of the bell tower. After dinner in Piazza Margarita, half of our group made an amazing purchase, a Minion bouncy ball! Then in the middle of the square, they got a huge game of wall ball going that included a talented Italian, elementary-school aged boy excited to play with us.  Venice was truly an awesome experience – inspiring, eventful, and memorable!

The Westcoast Blogger

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