Cinque Terre was amazing! It is five villages situated on the coast of the Italian Riviera.
There is a hiking trail and a train that connect all five villages, but few roads that lead directly into the villages.
We did drive on a scary, narrow road that lead to a parking lot about a mile from Vernazza. Several parts of the
road were crumbling down the hill, and it was pretty nerve wracking to drive past. Six months prior to our
visit, there was a massive mudslide that came through Vernazza, causing significant damage to the town.
Here is a YouTube video showing what it was like: http://youtu.be/zrXx4VHPpFM
It was interesting to see the damage and also to see everyone repairing the buildings, trails, roads, beach, etc.
The hiking trail was full of spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea, terraced vineyards, groves of olive trees,
and lots of cats! Seeing the little white kitten peaking out of a man’s back pack was probably the best moment of
my life! Ha! I will never forget how great it smelled there………..it honestly smelled like flowers, pesto,
pizza, and salami The Cinque Terre trail is definitely a hikers & photographers dream!
After we camped in Levanto, we stayed at a wonderful little place we had booked called Rooms La Torre.
We had reserved a small room with a view of the walkway because it was cheaper. When we arrived, they
let us know that no one had reserved the seaview apartment, so we were welcome to have that at the same
price! I’d say that worked out pretty well! We had our own patio, where we enjoyed drinking wine,
early morning dance parties, and photo shoots!
Levanto quickly became my favorite place I have ever visited in Italy. It is the next town to the northwest
of Cinque Terre. In fact, there is a trail that connects Levanto to the Cinque Terre trail, so we kept calling it the
6th Cinque Terre. The town is adorable and full of color. We were also there at the perfect time of year for beautiful
fragrant flowers to be in bloom everywhere. The beach and the color of the water was amazing. We also stayed at the
best campsite I think I have ever been to, called Acqua Dolce! It is walking distance to town and the beach, and the
trail basically started directly from our tent. I learned that camping is quite different in Europe than it is in the US.
It is common for campgrounds to have nice, clean bathroom/shower facilities, often solar powered. Many campgrounds
also have a restaurant, a store, wifi (wee-fee as they pronounced it!), etc - and it is all pretty cheap……….
a really cost effective way to travel. Levanto is definitely a place I would love to visit again someday!
It was a beautiful drive from Venice to Lucca, through the Italian Alps.
Google maps told us to take an ancient looking cobblestone road straight up a mountain……….so, we did!
This route was very exciting! There was absolutely no one else on it either. It was pouring rain as well.
We ended up getting our rental car stuck in a little patch of snow. With the help of John and a cereal box,
and Emily’s driving skills, we were able to get out of there. I just took pictures!
We thought it would be smart to turn around and find a different way. The ol’ Ford C-Max handled
terribly in the snow, and we could see that up ahead the road got very close to some cliffs.
I arrived in Venice, Italy exactly one year ago from today. Yep, it took me a year to post these!
I didn’t mean to be so precise with posting exactly a year later, I just noticed and thought it was a funny coincidence.
This week, I will be posting the rest of the photographs from my Europe trip I took last year.
We only spent one day exploring Venice. It is very expensive to stay in a hotel there, so we camped on the
mainland at Camping Fusina and took a boat over. I definitely recommend this! Although, when I stayed in Venice
about 8 years ago, I was right in the middle of everything and it was pretty neat to walk around in the evening
without the swarms of tourists. The crowds significantly diminish after travelers get back onto their cruise ships.
Venice is a huge maze that you can’t help but get lost in. There is something interesting everywhere you look!