We woke up in La Spezia, nearby beautiful Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre consists of five coastal villages carved into the sides of cliff-sides. Ready for our exciting day ahead, we wasted no time and headed to off for a hike from Vernazza to Riomaggiore, two of the five villages in the area. We finished at a nearby swimming hole with a refreshing dip in the sea. The sights, sounds, and people were beautiful. We enjoyed our hike so much that the following day we hiked between Monterosso and Corniglia, two more villages. We spent our days basking in the sun, playing soccer on the beach and enjoying pizza and cannolis – Italy, we love you!
After our beach introduction in Cinque Terre, we moved onto Venice, a city made up of over one hundred islands along a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. Together, we explored the Jewish Quarter and visited the five sacred synagogues. We watched a glass-blowing demonstration at the famous Murano Factory and had the most picture-perfect evening with a gondola ride through the canals. Passing by bustling bridges and cafes, we made our way through the waters with smiles on our faces.
After our Venetian weekend, we continued our journey to long-awaited Florence. At this point in our adventure, our trip members are experts at navigating trains and even look forward to the downtime for snacking and playing games with each other. Once we arrived in Firenze, we visited Leonardo’s Leather, one of just a few shops in the area who create leather products the old fashioned way. We watched a demonstration and even got custom-engraved products. During our time in Florence, we visited David, the Ponte Noo Vecchio, and climbed to the top of the Duomo where we saw 360-degree views of the city. We went to the Institute of Arts for our cooking class, where we learned how to make fresh pasta and panna cotta. After our homemade feast, we danced the night away at the Space Disco.
After another busy city visit, we were excited to slow it down again and spend the next few days living it up along the Amalfi Coast. After a lunch break in pizza-capital of the world, Naples, we continued our journey via bus to Sorrento. This beachy town welcomed us with open arms. Our first night was spent dancing at the disco for another dance party. The next day, we took the ferry to Positano where we lounged on the beach and sipped on lemon slushies. We made our way to Capri for another day under the sun. Our boat cruise around the island proved to be one of the highlights of our trip, with swim breaks within the harbors around Capri.
All roads lead to Rome, they say, but on our way to this final destination, we stopped in the ancient city of Pompeii. We ventured through the ruins, we were in awe at the ingenuity of the Roman people thousands of years ago. Once we made it to Rome, our awe continued. We gallivanted through the city and saw all the big sights – the Vatican, the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps, and everything in between. For our final dinner, we celebrated our month together with a toga party.
Trip 50, what a time it’s been together. From Paris to Rome and everywhere in between, we’ve eaten all the pizza and cheese Europe had for us. From the hikes to the glamorous dinners, our backpackers were a special group. We’ve learned how to navigate cities and train independently. We have had such an amazing time together.
Until next time,
The Westcoast Blogger