I’ve been in Italy for I think 10 days. I keep forgetting what day it is. Oops! Anyway, Friday August 3 I flew into Turino, Italy and then took the train to Genova. It was a super beautiful town with many UNESCO sites. One day I took a day trip and went to Cinque Terre. That was so amazing. I wish I had more time to spend there.
Cinque Terre means 5 lands and so 5 cities makes up the area. I was able to visit all 5. I started in a city called Monterosso and then hiked to the next city, Vernazza. It was crazy hot out and the hike was mostly all up hill. Lots of breaks were needed and when I arrived in Vernazza a lemon gelato was required. From there I took the train to Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. One day was not enough to see it all, so if you’re planning a trip to Cinque Terre definitely stay at least 2 days and stay closer to the area. I had about a 2 house train ride one way.
I think I spent too much time in Genova; I ran out of things to see and do. I did meet some very friendly German girls at my hostel and we went out for drinks one night. So many wine options at such a small price! Plus it was all very good wine. We even found ourselves in the middle of a Italian bachelor party where we had to sign the back of the bachelor’s t-shirt. Apparently there is a point system and writing “Wisconsin” gave him mega points.
From Genova I took 3 trains and 1 ferry to get to a city called Menaggio on Lake Como. I wish I spent more time in this city! It was smaller, but there was so many things to do in the area. One day I hiked to the Menaggio Refuge. That hike was all uphill and at one point I drank water from a stream hoping I would not get sick. (I later learned that all the streams are safe to drink from) I was exhausted and ended up having a 4,000 foot incline to the refuge. The views from up there were definitely worth it (and so was the 2.50 euro beer).
That night a group of us hung out at the hostel, drank some red wine, played Cards Against Humanities, and talked. I didn't understand a lot of the humor in Cards Against Humanities because it was the UK Version. A girl I met from Montreal and I were the worst at this game; we were the only North Americans playing against 4 people from London. I guess North American humor is definitely not the same!
The next day in Menaggio I went swimming with the girl from Montreal and another from London. I was going to leave around 1pm to catch the ferry that day, but the ferry never came, so I had to wait 1.5 hours for the next one. Luckily I planned to take a later train that left at 3pm so I was able to make it just in time. The rest of my trains that day were a mess though. Every single one was delayed, which then caused me to miss the next one and then the next one. I had 3 connecting trains and missed them all. Even my last train to get to Venice was delayed by an hour. I’ll be sending LOTS of emails to the train companies hoping I can get some sort of refund. Fingers crossed.
Because of all these delays I ended up only having 1 day in Venice. In the morning I did a lot of walking and saw all the highlights and then took a boat tour to 3 local islands (Murano, Burano, and Torcello). In Murano I saw their glasswear factory, in Burano I saw all the colorful houses of the fishing village, and in Torcello I saw the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, which is "one of the most ancient religious edifices in the Veneto" (thank you Wiki). I met an Australian lady on the boat tour who was probably in her 70s. We spent part of the day together walking around the different islands. She’s taking a cruise out of Venice and going around the Mediterranean Sea for a few weeks. Lucky her!
After Venice I headed to Bergamo. There I just relaxed for the day, did some laundry, and edited photos. The next morning I flew to London to meet Jenna.
Now we are off discovering London and its surroundings!