Posts filed under "cinque terre"

Buon Viaggio! Visiting Italy


It's that time of year.

Everyone is starting to plan 
their spring break travels
and begins to dream 
of a summer vacation somewhere fabulous.

I love that we all have this in common.

One of the most common places people want to visit is Italy.





Duh.

It's incredible.

I get a lot of questions asking me logistics 
about traveling to this amazing place...
and I'm flattered to have you associate me
with such an amazing place.

I'm happy to answer specific questions for your planning,
but general "advice" for an entire country or multi-day itinerary
is a little tough for me to field at the moment.





There's just so much to say
and because it's such a loaded question,
 it takes me about an hour to reply to each email.

In efforts to help make my travel posts a bit easier to find
and to prevent you from waiting weeks for a reply
while planning your own trip to Italy,
I thought I'd put them all here
in a central location.


Look at these sexy blogger husbands (liz's corey, my tyler & megan's stephen in florence.)

So if you aren't sure about my opinion on training somewhere
or if you are looking for a particularly special souvenir,
email me and ask!

For the rest of it,
I've put down most everything I know in these links
in efforts to help you out.

Happy Planning!





Other great places you might be dreaming of are:





*images original to Aspiring Kennedy & Liz Denfeld
**if you saw the original version of this post, sorry. it was written before delivery.

Pack Your Bags: Cinque Terre




Last summer, 
I posted about Cinque Terre
to this gorgeous chunk of heaven
that sits dotted along the Italian coast.

This time I just want to hit a few of the highlights
and show you some gorgeous pictures
from the rebuilt town of Vernazza.

You might remember that last year
by severe flooding that swept down from the hillsides.

My cousins visited Vernazza in June
and described it as a ghost town 
compared the vibrant place that it used to be.

Mi non piaci.

The idea of going back was a little scary to me...
I wasn't in the mood to see one of my favorite places in deserted shambles.

But we had a free day with Megan & Stephen before our flight
and decided to give it a go.




Besides the 45 minutes of sun-tannings & relaxing that we had on the pier,
I was so glad to go and see that life was, basically, back to normal in the Cinque Terre.

The people of the 5Terre have worked tirelessly
and, to my delight, rebuilt the town.




The same places have come back and are now freshly standing where they once were.




For those that asked if the Cinque Terre is worth visiting after the floods,
I can now say, yes!




I give my blessing for you to go back to Vernazza...
because you were all, obviously, waiting for that, right?

It's alive!

{And ready for some tourists to get it back in business!}


*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy

Tuscany Day Trip: Cinque Terre


Ok... another day trip that isn't technically in Tuscany,
but is easily do-able from there...
so, don't fret about it.



Thanks to Rick Steves, 
this hidden paradise has become a hot spot
for American tourists over the past decade.

While Cinque Terre may be loosing a bit of it's secret charm,
it's definitely not shedding any of its beauty.

We went with friends for the day,
and decided to take it easy.

As the five towns 
("Cinque Terre" = "Five Lands")
are connected through a hiking trail,
you can spend several hours taking the gorgeous walk
along the sparking Mediterranean sea.

However, if you are feeling a bit lazy,
like we were,
you can also take the train. 




It's about $1.50 to take the train between each town,
and takes about 5 minutes to reach the next spot...
which means, it's a great option if you're ready to relax.

While each town has it's unique charms,
my favorites are Manarola & Vernazza.

Manarola wins for it's amazing swimming right off the marina
and Vernazza shines for it's perfect sunsets and idyllic dining.

Liguria (the region that the Cinque Terre is located)
has a few famous dishes that are great companions
for your time in the Cinque Terre:
Foccaccia & Pesto!




My recipe for the perfect day in the "5Terre:"

Hit the beach in Manarola first.
The earlier you get there, the better position you'll have for the day.

Grab a slice of (cheap) pizza from the shops above the natural marina.
One should never lay out on an empty stomach...
heaven forbid your tummy look flat. :)

The theme of Italian beaches is to wear as little as possible...
so be prepared to see a lot of skin.

The Mediterranean sun is very intense, 
don't forget your sunscreen & a hat
or you may end up looking like an Italian meatball...



In case you're in need of good sun protection,
I personally use

{Brush-on powder, foundation, sweat=proof, &... SPF 26!}





There is a refreshing shower at the marina
 that is nice for washing off salt water stickiness
that you'll be feeling after your (glorious) swim in the sea.

When you've had enough sun for the day,
head to Vernazza via the train
and for the evening.







Many of the small groceries will provide you 
with anything you could dream of having at a seaside picnic
along the town's iconic rocky harbour...


....olives, fresh mozzerella, meats, fresh bread, sun dried tomatotes....

It cost us $15 to get drinks & (a lot) of salty goodies
to enjoy between the four of us.


I just love cheap pleasantries like that.





For the rest of the daylight,
we just lounged and watched the cutest Italian kids swim
by us in the harbour.

It was one of those moments that makes Italy... Italy.







If you're looking for a good dinner,
head to the middle of the main drag in Vernazza

It's a staple spot for us,
and the owners are just so nice.

The local special, fresh anchovies, are pretty amazing...
even for those of us that would typically be a bit squeamish at the thought.




I would definitely recommend hiking at least one of the trails-
after all, it would be a shame to go all that way 
and miss out on the area's scenic views and lush landscapes.

The path between Riomaggiore & Manarolo is the most famous,
and probably the least difficult. :)

Whatever you decide to do while you are there
or which town you decide to spend your time in,
the good news is:
you'll still most likely have the time of your life!





*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy