December 31, 2012

Italy 2012

A new year is knocking on our doors yet again. It seems that the years zoom by faster, the older I get! And since I'm sitting here with a drippy nose and sinus pain, I rather just show you pretty images than write a bunch of stuff that probably won't make sense ;-). 

Here's a little look at our Italy vacation. We road-tripped for 7 days, four of them were spend in the Cinque Terre area. It was simply BEAUTIFUL!! If I could do it all over again, we would take the train/bus/boat (whatever it takes) to go directly to Corniglia. Driving in Italy was difficult, street signs were non-existent in small villages and we got lost, a lot. 

Our first stop was in a tiny village near Cernobbio, Italy. 

The next day we drove to Corniglia, Italy. This is the smallest, least desirable village in Cinque Terre. I always pick the odd place, since we really don't like crowds and love experiencing the locals. This was PERFECT for us. Corniglia is tiny, you can literally walk across the entire village in five minutes. But if you want to go down to sea level, be prepared for stairs! The first set of pics shows our walk to the small, rocky beach. I about died on the walk back up, lol. And both girls got their feet cut up while swimming. If you ever go to Cinque Terre, bring swim shoes (wish somebody had told me).

Enjoying the evening sky. Looking over at Manarolo.

Day 3 was spent at the beach in Monterosso Al Mare. Most touristy of the five towns. Not my fave, but Grace enjoyed swimming in the sea. 

Day 4 we train-hopped. First Cornigila to Riomaggiore (seen below). From there we walked the "Via dell'Amore" to Manarolo. That was an experience. The walls are full of graffiti, love notes, poems. And there were locks everywhere! Apparently it's a costum to seal your love with a lock during this walk (we didn't have one!! I hope Brian and I will be okay ;-)!

Then we took the train to Vernazza. This village was most affected by the devastating landslides in October 2011. We did some tourist shopping here, since we really wanted to support this place. The mood was amazing, everybody seemed happy and upbeat. Locals were happy to share stories of the storm.

Back in Corniglia, Grace dancing in the streets. By day 2, we were already greeted with lots of "Bon Giorno's" and "Ciao's". Friends are made easily here. We never wanted to leave. 

Our favorite restaurant! And a few examples of stairs... there's only one way to go when your perched upon a rock... down!!

On our way back to Switzerland, we had two more pit-stops. First up was Borgo Priolo. Yet again a place out in nowhere-land that we could barely find, lol. This place was simply gorgeous! But it lacked personal warmth. After four days in Corniglia, this just didn't measure up. Yes, the place was charming, the pool was perfect, the rooms furnished with vintage dreams. But the food was too fancy, they didn't even serve soda (oh, I was craving a diet coke!), the mosquitos ate us alive, wifi wasn't working and everything was too quiet!

Last stop was in Bellinzona, Switzerland. We marched up and down another few hundred steps to see the castle =). I think we were all worn out at this point, plus it was super humid. 

Wow, that's a lot of pictures in one blog post. But I couldn't narrow them down even more!! Thanks for looking!!

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