|You can see our apartment--the burnt orange building, bottom left of center. Our balcony is on top.|
|Our kitchen/living room.|
|Living like locals with our wash hanging off the balcony.|
One thing I was not prepared for was ALL THE STEPS. Seriously, it was an aerobic workout to get from the girls room (on the bottom floor) to the kitchen (on the top). Major stairs. And usually I was carrying baby doppleganger so add another 20 lbs to the mix. All in all, it was a great physical workout wherever we went. As you can see from the pictures, the towns are crammed into the crevices in the cliffs, so they are easy on the eyes...tough on the legs. :)
We visited four of the five towns, and really enjoyed riding the train between them. Italian trains are not like German trains, however! Sometimes a train is late; sometimes a train changes tracks; sometimes the names don't match the tracks shown on the monitor. (These things would never happen in Germany.) So you take it all with a grain of salt and chalk it up to "that's just Italy."
|I love how they're hanging out like two little Italian ladies, chatting on the front steps.|
I didn't get many chances to have tasty coffee in Italy, so this really stands out. Seriously, the kids happily playing on the playground and Jon and me enjoying macchiatos (lattes) and bruschetta? Definition of vacation, baby.
After lunch, we wandered up into the hills about Monterosso and found this little gem: Burano Vineyards. (Kate is hiding behind the barrel.) The sign on the door said (in English) "Tastings" so we headed in. We had no idea the incredible experience that awaited us.
Enjoying Burano's wine while sitting on their huge veranda. See the terraced vineyards in the background? They also grow lemons to make a fantastic lemon liquor. (Lemoncino) When we paid for a tasting, they gave us three kinds of wine and a bit of lemoncino, along with a whole plate of complementary food. We even tried another local specialty--anchovies. (ugh!) :)
The girls were deliciously rewarded as well, with cookies and limeaid. The best wine I tasted was the Sciacchetra (ski-uh-chet-trahh). It's incredibly expensive and comes in a very slim bottle. Probably because it's wonderfully sweet and has to be picked at night, under a full moon, yadah yadah. What an unforgettable experience. The owners of the vineyard were so nice and they enjoyed all three of our girls. We sure enjoyed their wine!
Of course we had to visit the beach, and even though the weather wasn't great, the girls had a wonderful time.
|Enjoying the waves|
Here's the best pic we have of the five towns, taken from Monterosso. Vernazza on the far left, Corniglia just above the boat, Manarola to the right of Corniglia, and Riomaggiore just peeking out on the point on the far right. Such a beautiful area of the world!
We also located a playground in our own town. Climb a ton of steps and see this incredible view, right from the playground:
|View from the swings|
|Don't need much more than this in life, eh?|
|Enjoying our picnic lunch before heading to the beach.|
|Sporting the biggest souvenir expense in 5T: Jen's Italia sweatshirt. I had so underdressed for the weather that I needed something to keep me warmer. (Can you believe it?) This fit the bill and I wore it every day during the trip.|
|Levanto's beach from the far south side. It was neither pebbly nor smelly--great!|
It wasn't the greatest of days to be at the beach, but at least it didn't rain. We had fun! There were a lot of German speakers on the beach, so we felt right at home.
I can't finish our post about Cinque Terre without posting the picture of our favorite pizza place in Riomaggiore. The restaurants opened after our kids went to bed, so we'd feed them from the food we brought, then one of us would go out and get food for the mom and dad. We'd sit on the balcony and eat our pizza or fresh pasta...it was wonderful. What a great way to taste all the yummy food.
|Can't forget the gelato!|
We had a wonderfully relaxing time in the 5T. Despite a baby that kept the entire block up at night, the days were great and we wish we were going back to enjoy the fantastic scenery again. Ciao, Cinque Terre.
Final installment: Lake Como!