Venice is one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world and I'm glad I got to check it off my bucket list earlier this year. Check out my video below for highlights from my Venice trip. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhevDh30eDo
Cinque Terre is the most beautiful place I've visited to date. Seeing the beauty of this place in books and on social media made me want to experience it for myself and its just as beautiful in person. We took the train from Rome to Cinque Terre which took us about 3-4hrs. Cinque Terre translate to five lands. It's made of five gorgeous seaside towns along the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. The five villages are Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso.
We stayed in Monterosso which is the northernmost village and the biggest of the five. Monterosso has many streets and even a few cars driving around. If you want a more resort feel to your vacation, then I suggest staying in Monterosso. It's also the only place out of the five villages that a car can drive in, so I suggest not driving there. It's relatively easy to get to all the villages since they are about 5-10min train ride away.
Lodging - If you're planning on visiting Cinque Terre make sure you book a place to stay way in advance. There aren't many hotels there so the ones there tend to book out fast. While in Monterosso we stayed at Marvit. It's located about 10min walk from the train station and very central to most things. We were greeted by Claudio when we arrived and he was nice and helpful. It's a very nice, quiet and clean place just about a 5min walk away from the strip and the beach. We stayed in the purple room that had a small balcony; perfect for drinking wine when we returned home from our daily adventures. Breakfast is provided and its a good one to start your day. Yes they have wifi and Marvit will set you back about 120 Euros a night.
Things to do - This place is a hikers dream. You can hike between the villages but depending on the time of the year and weather the entire trail might not be open. You have to pay about 8 euros to access the trail or about 14 euros for a unlimited day pass that gives you unlimited access to the trains as well. Don't forget to get your ticket validated before leaving the station. If you're not in good health, certain part of the trail might not be for you. The most difficult part of the trail is from Monterosso to Vernazza. Bring water and some snacks with you because there aren't places to stop and get some along the way. It could take you about 1.5hrs to 2hrs to complete depending on your fitness level. Apart from hiking try getting lost in all the five towns, they each have their unique qualities about them. Cinque Terre is known for its seafood so try it out and eat as much as possible. Enjoy a local bottle of wine. Try seeing the towns by boat. Watch the sunset every evening and don't forget to check out the beach in Monterosso.
Cinque Terre is a very beautiful and serene place and I can't recommend it enough. It's one of those magical places that will always have a place in my heart and it truly lives up to the hype.
Check out my highlight video below.
A few weeks ago I traveled to Italy on a four city stop. My first was the Eternal City, Rome. From Miami, FL we flew to Chicago which was about a 3 hr flight then from there we flew straight to Rome which was about a little over 8hrs. We only had 2 days in Rome so time was limited. We stayed at The Building Hotel which is pretty close to everything. In Rome its fairly easy to get around. You can walk or take a cab. Our average cab fair was between 8-16 Euros. Cost of the taxi increases at night.
Attractions - We visited a few of the popular attractions like St Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, The Colosseum, The Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and The Roman Forum. We took a tour of The Vatican Museum. The Trevi Fountain, The Roman Forum are free so no need getting tickets for them. Before you go to the Colosseum visit the Roman Forum first. Buy your tickets online in advance directly from The Colosseum site and the Vatican website or else you will be waiting a long time to get in. They are definitely worth the visit. The Vatican tour to me was a bit too long. If you're into history then you may enjoy it.
Weather - I couldn't have asked for better weather while I was there. I basically wore shorts and t-shirts during the day and at nights you may need a light sweater.
Food- The food there is amazing. Some of the best food I've had in my life. Do not eat close to the attractions because it will be more expensive. Instead go to the local restaurants that aren't too touristy. If you order pizza it won't come sliced. You have to cut it yourself or asked for it to be sliced. Ask for the house wine, its normally cheaper and pretty good. Be careful what you order because if you order something and change your mind because you don't like it after one bite you will still have to pay for it. Make sure you order cappuccino and of course gelato. Gelato shops are on every corner so it won't be hard to find. The best service I received while in Rome was from Roma Sparita. You must make a reservation to get in. There was a cover charge for normally around 2-3 euros and when I asked what was that for I was told for the just sitting down or for the napkins lol smdh
Tips - Wear comfortable shoes because you will walk a lot. Bring sunblock depending on the time of year. Do not let "Do you have wifi" be the first thing out of your mouth because Italians don't like that. They may actually be mean to you after if thats the first thing you ask for lol.
If you don't speak Italian you will be fine. A lot of Italian I encountered spoke english and if they don't you should still be fine. Its a very busy city, sort of reminded me a bit like New York. I only stayed 2 days but think I would have preferred staying 3 days instead. Over all nice city.
Below is a quick highlight video from Rome. Hope you enjoy it.