OK, so just a postscript to my last post from Monterosso: Oh my friggin’ god! The walk back from Monterosso to Vernazza was pure torture. Made the hike to Corniglia feel like a stroll on the walls around Lucca by comparison. Well, maybe it was because it was the end of the day and I was exhausted.

Another evening of relaxing. Tomorrow I have to check out of my room, but I plan to spend most of the day here in Vernazza just watching people frolic in the water and shopping and noshing. Later tomorrow I’ll catch a train for Milano, and I’ll spend tomorrow night in the airport awaiting my flight at 06.20.
Continue reading “Back in Vernazza”

I wish I’d spent my entire two week vacation in the Cinque Terre. I just love it here!

Yesterday at about 18.00 a thunderstorm rolled in off the mountains. I bought a bottle of wine and a hunk of foccacia and sat out on the balcony of my room, overlooking the water, under the canopy, watching the rain and getting happily drunk. It was one of the great moments of this entire trip.

I’ve been keeping a diary of today’s activities. Here’s the rundown.
Continue reading “Monterosso al Mare”

I can’t begin to say what a thrill it was when the train came out of the tunnel into Riomaggiore, the first stop in the Cinque Terre, and I got my first glimpse of the sea. I arrived here in Vernazza about 12:30 this morning and I wish I’d spent my entire vacation here. It’s like a seaside resort and charming, ancient village all rolled into one. Many friendly people (I just had a chat with a nice lady from Venezuela, and met a shopkeeper who remembered me from the train this morning because I asked her which train to take. And I could just sit by the water all day long and watch the kids playing in the surf. Plenty of eye-candy too — 😉
Continue reading “Mercoledì in Vernazza”

My train for Castelnuovo di Garfagnana leaves in about an hour, so Iàve been wandering around Lucca this morning, took a bike ride on the walls (itàs like the Lucchesi version of Greenlake), and popped into this Internet spot, where they charge ten cents a minute. In Firenze I got 30 minutes for a Euro. In Siena the place I was staying had free Internet.

Iàm looking forward to a day away. Itàs not that hot yet, but getting there.
Continue reading “Martedì, settimana due”

No long post right now. Iàm in Lucca. Itàs lovely. And hot. And supposed to be hotter tomorrow, like 35°. So I am going to take a day trip by train up into the Alps, around Castelnuovo and Barga.

Lucca, seen from the top of the Torre dei Giunigi

Thereàs nothing like planning your vacation to try to avoid the hot summer months, only to find theyàve arrived two months early. Normal highs this time of year are supposed to be mid-20s.
Continue reading “Lunedì in Lucca”

Sono in Firenze.

Forget the throngs. (Take San Gimignano and multiple by 1000.) And I donàt know why there is a need for a hundred different booths on the street selling the exact same belts, scarves, and T-shirts. None of that matters. I was here 5 minutes, just walking to my hotel from the bus, and tears came to my eyes. And that has happened repeatedly all afternoon. The entire city is a museum. There wonàt be many photos, because I canàt take pictures of everything, and most of it has been photographed a zillion times. (Enough hyperbole yet?)

Firenze è molto bello.
Continue reading “Venerdì”

Sorry to all who have been waiting for my first report; I only today discovered that the hotel has internet access. And this keyboard types some bizarre (Italian) characters, so if I accidentally type some accents, forgivè me.

So the first thing to report it that it has been terribly hot the whole time. Today and yesterday it was 30°. Do the math, all you American Farenheit lovers!
Continue reading “Giovedì”