Day 5

Trip Start Apr 09, 2012
Trip End Apr 19, 2012

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Flag of Italy  , Italian Riviera,
Saturday, April 14, 2012

The day started off a little rough with the lack of sleep from a very loud hotel; but we met a nice, young British couple at breakfast that righted the day. We packed up and hit the road again after paying 30€ for a parking spot, YIKES! To top that off it is raining, cold and hard to see the beautiful country side; however, we are navigating the roads like pros!

Our first stop of the day was Volterra. When I was doing the research for this trip I read that it is under a blanket of clouds a lot, and it sure was today. It is a very steep climb of switchbacks to get there and we couldn't see it in the distance because of the clouds and rain. We found a free parking spot outside of the walls and then had a long, steep stair climb into the town. It is a very green, tree filled, charming place. I would love to come back next time and spend more time here. It is small so we walked the streets and found our way to the duomo, roman theater, main square, and lunch quickly. We ate at a quaint trattoria on a back street and had some Tuscan specialties. Jon had frog risotto and I had a game hen with salad. We tried a few farm fresh cheeses and their specialty bones of the dead cookies. After lunch we found our way back to the car and descended for Pisa.

The drive to Pisa wasn't as pretty because we got onto a major highway. We made it to drop off the car only after filling up with half a tank of gas that cost us 50€, or $67!! For a Fiat! Crazy! But it was well worth the money to have our freedom around Tuscany and go to the towns we wanted that do not have train stops. We had a few hours to kill and Pisa, so we jumped on the local bus to the Leaning Tower, Torre Predente. Glad we did, it is very cool to see in person. We rested our feet a bit and grabbed a snack at the neighborhood McDonald's and got a NYCrispy burger and Miami fries. It definitely tasted different! No ketchup, just mayo and different bread. Then back on the bus to get to the train station to leave to La Spezia... then onto Vernazza! It has rained and been cold the whole day, but has not dampened our experience!

We made it to Vernazza and it is gorgeous with the drizzle and over cast, so I am sure if the sun comes out it will look unreal. It is much more sleepy and relaxed than what we have experienced on the trip. We might not make it to Florence after being here! We had dinner at El Capitano, 1 of 3 restaurants that has re-opened since the floods in October. They have done so much work here and recovered pretty well for such a small town. We met Giovanni, the owner of the restaurant and he is the nicest person we have come across. We had some yummy insalata caprese, seafood spaghetti, anchovies with potato and marinara, white wine, and tiramisu. Very good! We are looking forward to sleepy strolls of all 5 towns of Cinque Terre tomorrow and maybe some sleeping in! I have some pretty water logged feet from all of the puddles I stepped in! We are completely exhausted after today, so Buono notte!
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Kelly on

Have fun tomorrow (or today since it's 4 am for you!) going to all those towns! Crossing my fingers for good weather for you!!

Kelly on

Oh and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! How amazing to spend it in Italy!! We're going to celebrate when you get back! Have fun and enjoy that birthday vino! Love you :-)

Megan G on

Happy Birthday!!! I love the updates, they're for crap weather, fingers crossed that the sun understands it's your birthday and MUST SHINE! Love ya!

Myranda W. on

Happy birthday!! Hope your day is full of sunshine and wonderful adventures! Enjoy that bottle of wine :)

Mescinna on

Looks beautiful to me, even in the rain! Glad you are able to make the best of it and enjoy the beauty and food of Italy! I do hope you make it to Florence! We absolutely loved it there! A real difference from Rome, and I am sure it is quite different then all of these sleepy little hill towns. Enjoy, and I hope the sun find Tuscany!

Mescinna & Family on

Happy Birthday!! Hope you had gelato for breakfast!!

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