We just wrapped up a great few days in La Speiza and Cinque Terre. The group really enjoyed our scenic hikes, the small Italian towns nestled into the hills, the beaches, and of course heaps of gelato.
Hannah, Lana, and Patrick took full advantage of our beach surroundings. They gave tribal body tattoos to the group. Their natural and spiritual paint was accumulated by rubbing Italian rocks together. The group enjoyed the bonding experience, finishing off the day with a quick swim to leave the paint and the beach behind.
While in La Speiza the group started a nightly photo competition which all the trip members were excited about! It’s just like choosing your instagram photo for the day, except better! The group submitted their pictures taken from the hike from Vernazza to Monterosso. The pictures captured some of the breathtaking views of both the villages and the blue waters. Thanks to Sammy who was our hike leader on both of our hikes.
In Venice, some of the group has been enjoying taking turns navigating our routes. Yesterday Hannah, Amanda S., and Jordan took their turns through the narrow streets. Today, Rachel is leading us to the sights of Venice. While walking, Carson, Michaela, Hailey, and Jayne cooled off by purchasing a whole watermelon today at the fruit market.
Before we knew it, we had landed in Italy and embarked on our own journey to get through customs and read the Italian signs. While we waited for the rest of our group to arrive, Marc taught us how to play a traditional Italian card game and Madeline P. assigned us our Italian names. After everyone had landed and introduced him or herself, we played a few rounds of a memorization game. By the end of it we knew each other’s names, hometowns and favorite television shows. It was obvious how interesting of a group we are when the favorite T.V. shows ranged from Sex and the City (Sammy’s favorite) to Sherlock (Allison’s favorite) to Trueblood (Jake’s favorite) to Adventure Time (Seena’s favorite).
We were all starting to feel like a true familia when we slung our backpacks onto our backs and hopped a bus to the train station. We decided the train station was our first culture shock of many, but quickly recovered in time for a much-needed lunch of pizza, fragola and many more delicacies. Our fabulous navigator, Marissa S, led us to our hotel where we spent some down time unwinding and relaxing. Our adventurous and tiring day was topped off with an incredible dinner and dessert. We fell asleep happy and psyched for the rest of the trip and everything Italy has to offer.
The next day we awoke, filled up our water bottles, tied our sneakers and departed for our hike from Vernazza to Corniglia in Cinque Terre. We walked up to the base of the hike, feeling confident and ready for anything. As we walked, Lindsey and Marissa led us in a sing-along of Hilary Duff and we marched to the beat of The Lizzie McGuire Movie’s soundtrack. We belted “This Is What Dreams Are Made Of” until we reached the top, incredibly sweaty and proud of our accomplishment.
We stepped into Corniglia and headed straight for a little café that would seat all of us. Our meals were incredible, especially the pesto gnocchi, because of the basil festival that was taking place.
We decided that we weren’t too full for gelato (we never are) and wandered around town, stopping at a gelato shop. The limone, tiramisu and crema getalo were delicious and we sat in a patch of sun, laughing and relishing in the beauty of Corniglia. We made our way to the beach, where we jumped into the clear turquoise water and cooled off. While at dinner we celebrated Gabby’s birthday with a piece of tiramisu, a card signed by everyone that sings in Italian, and a good old American “Happy Birthday”. Of course, one verse wasn’t enough, and we serenaded her once more while waiting for our train to arrive.
Ciao Familia, Waking up in the small town of La Spezia, to the sights and sound of the local villagers beginning their daily routine as they opened their shops and food markets gave us a sense of excitement for the exploring we had in store for today. We were all well rested after our travel […]
Dear friends and family, As we depart La Spezia, a town located at the southern end of the Cinque Terra region (and our home base for the past 4 nights), we can’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment, knowing that we fully explored all five villages: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. On our […]