Italia

• 02 September 2008

I'll try to wrap up our 4 day trip to Italy in one long post :)

One of the highlights of our trip was vacationing in Italy with our dear friends Paula & Mark for 4 days sans the five kids between us. We don't see them often enough (now that we don't live in San Francisco anymore), so we find that meeting up in Italy works well :) What a trip. What a trip. Wanna do it again guys?

We met up Sunday night in Cinque Terre, Vernazza to be exact. This is a lovely little town with just one main walkway, gelaterias & restaurants galore. Il Pirate serves the best granitas I've ever consumed and if you are ever in Vernazza, you must try one. Make sure to opt for the dollop of cream on top. Divine.

Monday we rented a boat there in Vernazza (the only town in Cinque Terre that rents boats to my knowledge) and cruised out into the Mediterranean hopping town to town to town (there are 5 in Cinque Terre). It was as dreamy as it sounds (unlike many things in life) and I highly recommend you trying it should you find yourself in Vernazza. Words can not adequately describe how glorious that day was but I'll give it a whirl anyway...

Best. Day. Ever.



Mark wanted to head further, past Cinque Terre to a resort town called Portovenere. It's a fun stop via boat. Clear inlets for swimming, delicious food shore side, and darn good gelato as well. Portovenere is also home to an amazing castle right on the water with to-die-for views. Paula also spotted a vending machine serving pesto...pesto?? I guess that's Italy for you. Who needs a Sprite when you can toss back a jar of pesto.



We started at 10:10 a.m. and made it back by 7:06 p.m. What an unforgettable day...

We left Cinque Terre Tuesday and drove to Florence en route to Siena with a 5 minute stop at Pisa along the way. Literally, 5 minutes (Mark wanted to check it off "his list")...and then off to Florence because we couldn't drive so close to this glorious city without stopping by for a few hours. So we stopped by...and thanks to "Tom Tom Girl" we found a parking spot, off the beaten path, just 2 blocks from the Duomo. Gotta love that girl...


To discover a new place is euphoric...to have already discovered is also a wonderful feeling--very relaxing actually. This time around we just enjoyed the ambiance, a little art and eating more gelato... 5 times that day :) Hands down, the best gelato in Florence is Per Que No (Fiordilatte con Miele i Sesamo) and Grom (Abricot & Blueberry). Take note for that future visit someday. You won't want to miss either of these places, both with excellent locations near the Duomo and what not.

Then off to Siena for a day and a half...then back to reality, which featured a 9 hour drive back to Dijon to pick up the children. Thankfully, it was picturesque and we drove right through the Alps. It was amazing to see the blue glacier ice on Mont Blanc and amazing views driving through the Valle D'Aosta. Just don't drive too fast or you'll get a ticket...:)

Mark & Paula, we miss you already...


18 comments:

Marilou said...

Wow, what a great trip your family had. I really loved that picture of the castle on the water. Very cool!
Looks like a really neat place to visit.

KJ said...

What a fabulous trip! Florence and Siena were highlights of my brief trip to Italy several years ago. I ache to go back!

USAUS said...

We had dinner by the full moon on the piazza in Siena where you are standing - THAT was a magic night with our Aussie friends... we can relate to good food, good view and good friends. But Vernazza... happy gelati memories.

Mary said...

Looks like a beautiful trip! My sisters went several years ago and had similar gushing descriptions. One day I'll find my way to Italy.

lynne said...

i am SO jealous!!! looks amazing.

Robin Lunt said...

looks SO fun. When we were taking the sod off of an excavation site by Stonehenge, I definitely thought to myself, "we could be eating gelato with the Brubakers and the Kokanoviches right now!" LOL! You all look great and I am so glad you got to get together in ITALY!

Amber said...

Cinque Terre is amazing! It looks like you had a fabulous trip. It's oen of those places that I can't get over. People live like this!It's amazing scenery everywhere you look. How fun to go without the kids:)

Jen said...

Unbelievable! Thank you so much for the tips. I have been a bit overwhelmed by Italy, but your tips make it seem more obtainable. Glad you loved it!

Lulu Belle said...

I am insanely jealous too! I can't believe all that you packed into your European vacation. And here I thought taking our family to Disney World at the end of the month will be exciting :)

Georgia said...

What a fabulous trip! You've got me dreaming of a Mediterranean getaway to celebrate my graduation next year! I'd love to have you for a tour guide! XOXO

melissa said...

Wow, you all have had the dream summer! Looks like fun. I especially love the kissing photo!

MelancholySmile said...

Oh. My. Goodness. You are making me miss Vernazza so much!! Lovely trip and what wonderful photos! I find myself wishing fervently that I could live your exact trip- France and Italy! Ah well, live vicariously through your blog. :)

Celia said...

That light had to be mediterranean! lol...
Enjoy!

tam said...

We'll have to compare notes on Florence, Siena, and the surroundings. So happy you and been had a wonderful time, these are the memories you will always have! xoxo

5 terrre said...

Hi, just want to invite you and your readers to our site about the cinque terre
( in my signature ) and to the blog where you can also vote the nicest of the Cinque Terre

Lisa said...

I loved reading this post! A few years ago I was able to tour around Italy for 2 weeks! I also stayed in Cinque Terre...so incredibly beautiful! And I also stayed in Siena... so it was so fun to see pictures from there! I'm just waiting for the day when I get to go back

i'm kelly said...

absolutely beautiful pictures! looks like you had a wonderful time. i'm so jealous, i love italy!

Hidleberry said...

My favorite gelato in Florence was Gelateria de Medici, over by Santa Maria Novella. It's a little more off the beaten path, but it's right on the 20 line. There is another one across the river that has the most amazing pistachio gelato I had my entire time in Italy. I still dream of it...unfortunately I can't remember the name of it. One day I will go back!

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