Friday, July 1, 2011

Cinque Terre

Last weekend, Jeff and I headed off for a holiday weekend. I decided to take him up to Cinque Terre, which is a place that I hadn’t been to, but had on my list. Cinque Terre is a region of five small towns that are built into the coastline of Italy. I thought it might remind us of the time we spent in Santorini on our honeymoon. My, how times have flown by in just a few years, having gotten married in 2008, Keegan was born in 2009, and now here we are in 2011. It seems like it was just yesterday that we went to Santorini.

But I digress…

The region of Cinque Terre is lovely. We decided to stay up in Levanto, which is just north of the last town and easily accessible by train. I have to say, it was perhaps my favorite area of the region, which surprised me somewhat. Don’t get me wrong, the 5 lands are beautiful, but Levanto is the type of town that you can see that families from all over Europe come to year after year for their summer holiday. We stayed in a beautiful villa overlooking the ocean and wandered the streets the first day that we arrived in town…..We even managed to catch a pretty good sunset. I love this picture of my two boys!

Evidently, i am contemplating something as i check out the view from our room...

The next day, we set off for Riomaggiore, the first of the five towns.

We didn’t spend too much time in each of the towns – they have mostly touristy shops (seen one, seen them all), but we did find our way to the Via della amore (the Lover’s Walk) which is the first part of the trail that connects the five towns. As we walked along the path to Manarola (the next town) we got to experience some pretty amazing views from the coastline.

Someday.......i want this.

We even had the opportunity to participate in a tradition along the way where you bring a lock to seal your love along the way. Keegan helped us out by choosing a spot for our lock and helped to close it up.

Next we hit the train to go to the town of Monterosso, which is more of a beach town area. We found a little café on the beach to enjoy our lunch. We then headed back to Levanto and went to the Casino. Those of you who know my husband are probably laughing here. So was I when we first saw it on the map. But the “casino” was actually a beach club, complete with a swimming pool. So we decided to spend our afternoon here. Now Keegan is not a fan on the ocean and true to form, was a bit unnerved when Daddy took him out again. But after spending some time playing in the sand, he seemed to be slightly better when all three of us went out for a swim. But both K and I are more “pool people”, so we headed up to the pool where we donned our swimming caps (a requirement and oh so fashionable) and water wings for Keegan and off we went to splash around.

After a few hours of water play, we changed back into our clothes and headed off to Vernazza. This was perhaps the town that I was most looking forward to. We made it here for dinner and I was hoping to be able to head up the trail to get one of those postcard views, but alas I wasn’t able to find the right trail and the one that I did manage to hike up a bit had the sun right in my lens. Still, here's one that was worthy of posting from sea level of the town.

Apparently, Keegan is like his mama as he considers life in Italy....

We decided to come back a bit early to relax from our weekend away (I am here for work after all, so occasionally there is work to be done!). Alas, our plans were thwarted by the train strike. We ended up getting stuck in Pisa for a few hours, but made it home safe and sound.

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