Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Monterosso, Italy

Monterosso is one of the 5 villages that make up Cinque Terre, Italy, and it was one of the two villages devastated by floods and landslides in October 2011.  We were there in January 2012, and the towns had not recovered.  The day we were in Monterosso was the first day neighboring Vernazza had been re-opened to visitors - Vernazza was the hardest hit. However, after seeing the condition Monterosso was in, we didn't even stop in Vernazza. In Monterosso, it felt really strange to walk as tourists among all the closed down buildings, construction workers and evidence of the tragedy.

After leaving Monterosso, we took the train back towards Manarola, stopping in Corniglia to try to find the elusive Guvano Beach.  This is the only sandy beach in Cinque Terre, and even though it was in the middle of winter and probably 55 degrees, we still wanted to find it.  Our research led us the wrong way hiking in these huge rocks along a seawall...

And then we made our way back and found the tunnel:


However, once we got to the tunnel, the lights and doorbell and everything else we had been told about weren't working. It was darker than dark in that tunnel and we decided to just skip it and turn around.  Looking back, I totally regret not just pushing through into the dark...or bringing a headlamp.  But that's what return trips are for. 

The city map in Corniglia really entertained me.  Not quite as informative as Google, eh?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013

Streets of Florence

Believe it or not, these are the last images from Florence I have to share with you at the moment. I'll have to go back soon and make more!  Looking back on our trip, it's hard to say whether I liked Florence or Sevilla more, but thankfully I don't have to say.  The one thing I learned is that it's much more valuable to me to stay in one place for an extended period of time, rather than spend just a few days in each city.   I don't think I will ever spend less than 5 nights in a city after flying so far to get there.

Can't wait to go back to Italy someday! I'd love to live vicariously through links to your favorite Italy pics in the comments.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Have you heard of the Via dell'Amore? That translates to Pathway of Love, and it's a path linking two of the villages that make up Cinque Terre, Manarola and Riomaggiore.  As you might expect, it's breathtaking and totally romantic - Greg and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary here and I am certain that won't be the last time we have an anniversary in Cinque Terre.

 It's a trend in Europe to put locks on bridges, rails, cables, etc in romantic places to commemorate your love, so of course the Via dell'Amore is covered in them.  Here's a little background info on the path if you're interested.