Well, I finally went back to work today after three weeks off. It's so amazing how long you wait for a trip and then how fast it's over. I definitely could have stayed away longer! I guess the next best thing is to relive it here, so let's start with Italy. Here are some stories from our time there.
Our first stop was the town of Santa Margherita right on the Italian Rivera One of the best parts of this little town was our hotel! We stayed at the very sweet, family run Villa Anita. They had the cutest place with a pool, amazing breakfast and balconies in every rooms. Our first morning there I laid in bed with our balcony doors open, looked out at palm trees and listened to a nearby church play bells. Heaven!
Santa Margherita is only three miles from the very ritzy Portofino. We borrowed bikes from the hotel (free!) and road the three miles along the coast to this crazy expensive little town. We followed Rick Steves' advice and avoided eating there, but splurged on drinks (four drinks = $80!).
A model was being photographed in the plaza! She walked with back and forth a million times until they got the perfect shot. Loved her.
Our next stop was the Cinque Terre. We stayed in the town of Vernazza at La Mala. I loved this hotel although, if you go, I would recommend room 26 or 31. The other rooms are very small. However, the rooms are very clean and have a beautiful shared terrace that overlooks the water. This was our favorite hang out spot!
We hiked a lot while we were in the Cinque Terre. On this day, we accidentally took a wrong turn and turned what was supposed to be a 2 mile hike into a 6 mile hike! We ended up hiking through vineyards and tomato fields. We were so happy to finally reach our destination...2.5 hours later.
See that little town? Um...yeah, that was our destination!
Our favorite dinner was at Belforte, which sits on the side of a cliff in a thousand year old building. Order the trofee pasta...it's the best.
Part of the trail is a paved path between the last two towns. They call it the Love Walk and couples leave locks to represent locking their love.
I loved everything about Italy. The wine! The food! The people! It was honestly everything I had pictured in my head and more. I really hope someday I can go back and explore more of the region. Until then, I'll be making lots of pasta at home. Yes, please!