This post is dedicated to the beautiful places I have traveled to in Italy. Having a home base in Florence was an amazing way for me to be able to see other small cities that normally would’ve been too rushed or impossible to seeif it weren’t for the time I had to spend there.
This was our very first weekend trip. We took the train from Florence to Liguria and found ourselves on a magical movie-scene part of Italy. Cinque Terre, or “five lands” are five small coastal villages along the Ligurian Sea. We stayed in a hostel in the second town, Manarola, and hiked our way from the third town, Corniglia to the fourth town, Vernazza – it was hot. The beaches were magical and looking out to the ocean looked like the world was never ending.
THIS PLACE. Ugh. What a hidden gem. We went towards the end of September and it was the first week of their “off” season. We were the only English speakers on the island and were taken under the wings of our camp’s host – this cute and incredibly kind Italian man drove us around town and cooked us dinner each night. This place has me feeling that type of way, every time I think about it. There are several beaches around the island and each beach has its uniqueness – some had different colored and some had sand. Some had old people in the nude and some had luxurious pool houses that you can sneak on to like we did. When you go to Italy, there are perfume stores that sell the one and only perfume, “Acqua dell’Elba” – the scent based of of the beautiful aromas of Elba Island. I bought my mom a bottle of this perfume right from the island itself. My dream is to go back here one day.
Meredith & I took a day trip to Lucca – just an hour train ride from Florence. This city still has Renaissance walls surrounding its perimeters. We rented bikes here to ride along the wall and if I remember correctly, I had the best risotto ai funghi.
This was the first stop on a one-day bus trip we took one October day. The Siena Cathedral was STUNNING inside. Built in the 1200s, the paint work and construction is paralyzing.
Ah, the Tuscan hills. This medieval little town was full of life and the best gelato in Italy. We stopped at a winery here and had the best views in all the land!
Hmm what to say about Pisa. The Leaning Tower was definitely cool – even funnier watching all the tourists try to get the perfect leaning picture with it. The actual city, however, was nothing special and kind of run down. If you plan on seeing the Tower, definitely make it a quick part of a day and don’t plan on staying here for too long.
On our way home from Budapest we had to fly into Rome. So, when in Rome, you go see Rome. We did a quick day trip here so I didn’t take my time seeing everything like I would have liked, but we made it work. The Trevi Fountain was under construction so I couldn’t have my Lizzie McGuire moment, but the rest of the city made up for it. Rome just feels old when you are walking around it. It may have been the way the sun was hitting the ground that day, but I actually felt like I was walking around in a biblical time.