Gelato by the sea!

Our afternoon in Cinque Terre was just amazing! We took the train to the farthest town of Riomaggiore and began our hike back!

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The trail started with Lovers Lane, a winding trail right along the edge of the shore cliffs with breathtaking scenery.

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One story says that if you had grown tired of your lover you could simply push he/she off the trail to the rocks below. I made Stefano walk in front just in case;) Well, that’s just one story…mostly we saw lovers names scratched into just about everything that would stand still. Even the Agave and prickly pear cactus bore signs of everlasting love.

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The trail was truly spectacular. After about an hour of hiking and photographing we made it into the town of Manarola. Very cute, quaint little town…we didn’t spend to much time there, we wanted to keep moving and enjoying the rocky coast of the Mediterranean sea.

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Weeeeellll…while the first leg of the hike was easy and relatively flat, the second leg was anything but. The terrain got A LOT steeper and the path was reduced to mere rubble in some places. Good thing we had picked up our souvenir walking sticks at the welcome center. With a little teamwork we managed to keep from tumbling off the cliffs and eventually we made it into Corniglia (Cornelia) well, the back side of Corniglia. When we saw that in order to get into the town you basically had to climb the stairway to heaven, we decided to skip Corniglia and take the train directly to Vernazza!

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Ok so we took the lazy way, but I’m a realist, there was no way my severely out-of-shape bod was going to make it up those stairs and I didn’t want to spend this beautiful afternoon being airlifted off the side of a mountain!

We eventually made it to the last town, Monterosso, where we had Gelato by the sea. We both agreed that it was a most amazing day!

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Good Morning from 5 Terre

Good Morning from Cinque Terre. (Well kind of. Internet access was sketchy at best so I am loading all these from good ol’ Cuggiono) Yesterday we spent the afternoon and evening exploring the town of Levanto [Lay-ven-toe] . It is really a beautiful seaside town. There is a really cool church that is made from white and black marble (its really dark green) there is also an old castle. For dinner we ate at the Osteria Tumelin (very expensive and mostly fish) Stefano was in Heaven and I was still hungry…

Today we are off to explore the five towns of Cinque Terre. There will be lots of walking and hiking…wish me luck and come back tomorrow for some more awesome photos!

Here are some pictures from the town of Levanto

They had REALLY nice public restrooms

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Fascinating Wildlife

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And beautiful fountains (Drinking Fountains that is)

 

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Journey to Cinque Terre

Ok, I think I am caught up now! This morning we left Cuggiono and headed for Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre (Five Lands) is on the northwest coast of Italy and is comprised of five small towns that you can hike between and enjoy some amazing scenery. Below is a picture of the view from our hotel, La Giada del Mesco (The Jade of Mesco) . Tonight we are going to have dinner in the town of Levanto and do some picture taking at sunset off the coast. Tomorrow we are going to head for the southern most town in Cinque Terre and work our way back to the hotel! I should have some great pictures!

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An Evening in Lainate

OK, I’m a little behind on my blogging so I am going to backtrack a little bit. Yesterday afternoon we went to Lainate ([lay-nah-tay] a suburb Milano) to visit with Stefano’s very best friends. They made lasagna, and OMG I will never eat American lasagna again. It was spectacular! The noodles were very thin and layered with a white béchamel sauce and thin meat and tomato mixture. (Sorry I didn’t take a picture) Then we had roasted turkey with potatoes, various cheeses, a Sicilian ice cream cake and chopped strawberries in a sweet sauce. OMG I almost burst! After dinner we went for a waddle to a park near the house. Here are some pictures form the park.

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The castle in Milano park.

Virgin Fountain

The Virgin Fountain – They used to sacrifice virgins here…or so they say, I wasn’t worried.

Cool Cloud

A cool cloud we saw on the way home from Milano. Stefano was convinced it was a funnel cloud and that we were seeing the first ever tornado in northern Italy.

Easter Sunday in Cuggiono!

I have decided to try out this blog thing while I am in Italy. My goal is to post pictures and information about my travels over the next two weeks. Eventually I will probably have some posts related to glass, but for now its about me in Italy! Which really means its about FOOD!

Since we have been here a couple of days and I am just getting this blog off the ground I am going to show several photos in this post.

The first photo is me drinking champagne in first class! First class was AWESOME I never want fly in the back of the bus again. We had real china plates and everything! The seats folded out flat into beds…it was glorious!

Champagne in First Class

This is a picture of the greatest cheese in the universe…Burrata! It looks like a white heart when you take it out of the package, then, when you cut into it, it bleeds sweet white cream and mozzarella cheese curds. It’s so delicious. (Stefano has told everyone that I like it, and I have eaten three so far. Goodbye bathroom, hello heart attack.)

Burrata

This next picture is Easter Dinner, the FIRST course! There is salami, prosciutto, deviled eggs (Italian style), Russian salad, spinach pie (can’t remember the Italian name) lots of fresh bread and herb cream cheese. All this was followed by kid goat (yes baby goat, which I was a little nervous about) it was actually quite tasty! Easter Dinner

There is a small table by the wall at the top of the picture. On it sits a very special cheese cake that you can only get at easter and only from this one lady in town. It’s cheesecake made with Ricotta cheese and puffed wheat. It was amazing trust me!

Well thats about it for Easter Sunday. I did go to my first Italian Catholic Easter mass…that was interesting. Not to slam Italian Easter mass, to its credit its no more or less boring than US Easter mass. But the scenery was much nicer.

Ciao!