Items filtered by date: September 2021

Thursday, 28 October 2021 10:22


RiomaggioreUpon exiting the train in Riomaggiore, we chose to walk up to the town. What were we thinking? This path is best suited to true hikers and those in great shape. The easiest walk is through the tunnel from the train station to the bottom of the main street which is full of trattorias, souvenirs and gelaterias.
There are incredible views and this is definitely not a town to be overlooked!

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Thursday, 28 October 2021 10:10


MonterossoMonterosso is the only town in Cinque Terre with an actual beach on the Mediterranean. The town is divided into old and new by a tunnel. The views are spectacular and can be enjoyed in the many cafes and surrounding restaurants. We had dinner at Miky..great food and wonderful service! And as with all of Cinque Terre, Monterosso is only minutes away by train.

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Monday, 25 October 2021 13:15


IMG 2983How can you drive to Siena and not stop in Pisa? Although this was not our first trip to this historic landmark, we knew we had to see it one more time. It’s easy to park nearby and walk to the tower. Afterward, we had a delightful lunch at Pisa Cafe and had an unobstructed view of the tower as we ate. On to Siena!

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Monday, 25 October 2021 13:14

The Blue Trail

IMG 2895Everyone says the blue trail from Corniglia to Vernazza is the easiest of all the hiking trails in Cinque Terre. Being believers we took the train from Manarola to Corniglia. ( 3 minute ride ). The town of Corniglia is high on the cliff above the train station. You can reach it by walking up many many steps or taking the public bus included in our train pass. Silly us, we chose the steps. We finally reached Corniglia after many stops to catch our breath and then started off to the blue trail.

The blue trail is about 1.9 km of mostly ups until you finally reach a second bar/ restaurant where we decided to eat and drink and gather our remaining energy before beginning the climb down to Vernazza. We were two very exhausted, weary people who were incredibly happy to finally walk around this charming town that has an easy access back to the train station.

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Monday, 25 October 2021 13:13

Cinque Terra

IMG 2566The five towns that comprise Cinque Terre have their own unique personalities. The train ride makes it easy to see all 5 in 2-3 days as it’s only a 3-4 minute trip between each town. One can stroll through each town in about an hour. Besides the breathtaking views, there are hiking trails and wonderful trattorias and gelatarias. Cinque Terre definitely should be on your Italian itinerary

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Monday, 25 October 2021 13:07


Bill..Piazza JFK Ravenna Ravenna is certainly worth the little over an hour drive from Bologna via the autostrada. It’s an old city center that reflects Byzantine architecture and many buildings with incredible interior mosaic designs. The Neonian Bapistry and the Basilica di San Vitale are two must sees. Shopping abounds and we found many stores open on a Sunday afternoon.

Interestingly, there is even a Piazza John F. Kennedy here.Many of the piazzas are dotted with shops and cafes. Ravenna is best known for its most famous native son, Dante Alighieri ( Divine Comedy) who is buried here.

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Monday, 25 October 2021 13:06


IMG 2942Vernazza is a really pretty town dotted with shops and cafes and restaurants. As with all the Cinque Terre towns there are gelatarias every few feet. It’s basically a one street town bordering on the Mediterranean that one can easily traverse in an hour or so. The train station is at the top of the street and is an easy walk from the center of the shopping area. And as with everywhere in Italy, the food is wonderful.

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Monday, 25 October 2021 13:00


IMG 2869A 3 hour drive on the autostrada via winding mountain roads finally brought us to Manarola in Cinque Terre. Parking is limited to residents and there is a gate that is permit activated. There is some free street side parking and also a parking lot for 20 euros per day. Due to the long walk into town, we checked into our hotel (thanks to directions from a local citizen ) and reception contacted a luggage transport service for 20 euros including tip to bring our luggage to our room.

Manarola is basically a town on a cliff so be prepared to walk up and down steep grades. We decided to enjoy the coming sunset at Nessun Dorma -definitely a challenging climb but well worth it…Best Mojito ever!!!

And dinner at da Aristide, Lasagna and Spaghetti di Mare were just what we needed to complete our day.

Best of all, there was an ATM right across the way.

Manarola is a small town and is very busy once the first trains of tourists and day trippers arrive.

You can see all the town has to offer in a few hours but it’s a great place to use as a base.

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Monday, 25 October 2021 12:56

Arrivederci Bologna

Pizza in Bologna..Yum!It’s really difficult to say goodbye to this city. The sightseeing, the fabulous food, great shopping and the energy of the university students all combine for an unparalleled adventure. The city is safe, many people are wearing masks outside ( they are required inside ) and communicating is easy as English is spoken almost everywhere. But one sad side note is all the graffiti displayed on these ancient buildings plus there are homeless that have carved out their own niche. These 2 factors diminish the environment but unfortunately are all too commonplace elsewhere in the world.

So with regret, we once again are on the autostrada bound for Cinque Terre. Our eataly continues!

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Monday, 18 October 2021 12:57

Driving in Italy

If you’re from New Jersey and used to driving circles, Italy is a cake walk. Now, if only the Italians knew how to drive them!? There are roundabouts everywhere.

But most importantly, your phone is your best friend. Use maps or google maps to guide you and have a usb cable to plug into your rental car and keep your phone charged. Additionally, always carry a charged power bank with you.

There’s no speed limit on the autostrada . We were doing 150 km ph(approximately 93 mph) and were being passed.

But rental cars are regulated not to surpass 150 km ph.

The roads are in great condition and the drivers are courteous.

Oh, be sure to get a telepass(ez pass)..definitely a time saver and all charges are sent directly to your bill at the car rental company.

Highly recommend you take collision and damage insurance from the rental company. Most U.S. insurance companies do not cover damages and collision but be sure to check with your insurance company prior to your departure.

Also, obtain an international drivers license . AAA will issue it but you must do so in person as a picture is necessary.

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