10.12.2018

671. Day 19 of 28 | Rome and Vatican City

Piazza di Spagna leftbanked
Early the next morning, we took a train from Monterosso to La Spezia to Rome. The last time I've been in Rome was only about 2 years ago so the city still felt pretty familiar to me. We were only in Rome for one night, mainly coming since it was the most convenient way to go to Greece afterwards. We just walked around the city, had lunch, visited Vatican City, then met up with my boyfriend's friend for dinner and then the Lazio soccer/football game (as he kindly got us tickets). It was my first time ever going to a game.

spaghetti in Rome
Rome
Rome Trevi Fountain
streets of Rome
watermelon granita
Delicious watermelon granita..I had two of them!

Vatican City
Vatican City leftbanked
Vatican City guards
pizza Rome
Rome Lazio
Lazio soccer game

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10.05.2018

670. Day 18 of 28 | Manarola

Manarola
The final day in Cinque Terre was a bit more relaxed. We went to Manarola. In the beginning I was more excited about Riomaggiore and Vernazza but I ended up liking the view of Manarola the most I think.

Manarola Cinque Terre
Manarola
leftbanked cat
Petting all the cats..

Manarola
Manarola Italy
watermelon gelato
This watermelon gelato was so good!

Cinque Terre Monterosso
pizza
leftbanked cinque terre
Going out for a quick swim (well, just a dip in the water for me since I can't swim lol). I think this was the previous night actually.

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9.27.2018

669. Day 17 of 28 | Hike to Vernazza and Riomaggiore

view of Vernazza
The next day, we decided to hike to Vernazza. At first I didn't know it would be an actual hike like that. I thought it would be more like a 1-hour walk over on nicely paved roads. However that was not the case. It ended up being about 2.5 hours and some parts were pretty difficult to walk. It was extremely exhausting but worth it in the end.

We started off the day by having breakfast at a focacceria. Actually this was our 2nd breakfast of the morning since the first one was pretty bad lol.

focaccia
Monterosso Italy
leftbanked hike
Then began the hike..

Monterosso Vernazza Hike
Most of the route looked like this. Very narrow and you had to be careful not to lose your balance. Also there's only space for one person so sometimes you'd have to wait to the side while the people in the other direction passed (and vice versa)

Monterosso Vernazza Hike
The first encounter: an accordion player

Monterosso Vernazza Hike
The second encounter: a man selling lemon juice, fresh from his farm.

Monterosso Vernazza Hike
The third encounter: an old man we got orange juice from. He didn't speak a word to us but was really nice and friendly and used hand gestures. I kind of felt like I was in some kind of video game. Like on a journey somewhere and making our way to each rest stop/drink place to replenish our energy lol.

Vernazza Monterosso Hike
Nice views along the way..

Vernazza Italy
Then we finally made it to Vernazza. We walked a bit around the village (which was very small), had a drink and gelato, and bought some souvenirs.

Vernazza Cinque Terre
Riomaggiore
After Vernazza, we took a train to Riomaggiore (~10min ride or so)

Riomaggiore
fried seafood cinque terre
gelato
In the evening, we went back to Monterosso for dinner beside the sea. It was forecasted to storm the following day and the waves were incredibly strong. We ate here with the sound of crashing waves. It was pretty cool.

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9.23.2018

668. Day 16 of 28 | Arriving in Monterosso, Cinque Terre

leftbanked despacito
After Pisa, we went to Cinque Terre. It was a destination thats been on my list for a long time and I was excited to finally be there. The place consists of 5 different villages, built on the edge of cliffs and full of colourful little houses. We stayed here for three nights in total. The first day, we arrived in the early evening. The place we stayed at was in Monterosso. At first I wanted to stay in Riomaggiore or Vernazza (as those are known to be the most beautiful villages) but I'm really glad we ended up at Monterosso instead. It's the most easily accessible and largest village (even though it's still super small) with the most restaurant options, beaches, etc. & it was the most "walkable" which is convenient when you are a traveller with luggage. At the other places you'd have to carry your luggage up and down staircases and the buildings seemed older. I really loved Cinque Terre overall. I loved literally every place we visited during the trip but the three days here were a few of the most memorable for me.

The weather wasn't looking that good when we arrived. It was forecasted to rain/thunderstorm all of the days we were there..but we ended up getting super lucky because it was hot and sunny each day instead. Literally the opposite of what the forecast had said. Cinque Terre is definitely best enjoyed without the rain (as with most places..but especially here hahha).

Monterosso
Monterosso
MiaChi Monterosso
We stayed at a place called MiaChi which was really really nice. I highly recommend it if you are visited Cinque Terre. I loved the blue and white interiors of the room. It was only a quick ~7min walk from the train station.

Monterosso Cinque Terre
After checking in, we headed out again to the old town in search of dinner. The place we stayed at was on one end of the village and the old town part is on the opposite end. Since it is such a small place, it only takes about 15min to walk from end to end.

Monterosso Cinque Terre
church under renovation
Monterosso restaurant
seafood spaghetti

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9.17.2018

667. Day 15 of 28 | Pisa and Lucca

Lucca
The next day, we were in Pisa. I guess the main reason Pisa was on our itinerary was because it was the closest "big" city to Cinque Terre, our next destination. We only spent a day in Pisa. It's a pretty quiet city and there isn't much else to do besides seeing the Leaning Tower. Since Lucca was a quick half hour train ride away, we decided to go there for the evening. I LOVED Lucca! It's a very charming and cozy little town. I really liked the atmosphere there. (The photo above is from Lucca by the way)

Italy food
Lunch in Pisa. I ordered an "Aperol" which tasted like orange cough syrup. I never had it before (only aperol spritz) and didn't know that it was alcoholic..the effects of that hit me pretty hard hahah.

Pisa Italy
After lunch we continued on our walk to the Leaning Tower

Pisa Italy
The gelato shop on the left corner here is very popular. It was my favourite gelato from the whole trip!

Lucca
Leaning Tower of Pisa
Lucca Italy
Then we went to Lucca..

fat cat
Piazza dell'Anfiteatro Lucca
The city center of Lucca is walled-in and filled with narrow alleyways and cobblestone streets. We wandered around a bit then reached Piazza dell'Anfiteatro which was the coolest "square" I've ever seen as it's actually completely round like an oval. The area was filled with restaurants. We had dinner here, then gelato, before heading back to our hotel in Pisa. I really love Tuscany. Would love to go back and explore more of the countrysides someday.

Piazza dell'Anfiteatro
Piazza dell'Anfiteatro
Lucca

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