Thursday, May 20, 2010

Italy, Day 3: Travel day to Cinque Terre

This was a train day, so not too many pictures. We took the water bus in Venice to the station and caught a train to Florence (about 2 hours). From Florence, we took another 2 hour train to La Spezia, then a quick local train to Riomaggiore, part of Cinque Terre in the Italian Riviera.

It was a little rainy when we got there. This is just outside the train station. Past the mural is a tunnel you go through to get to the village.

The tunnel had mosaics on the wall, very interesting. I think I read that the townspeople stayed in the tunnel during air raids in WWII.

First taste of the rocky shoreline:
This is looking downhill (steeper than it looks) from about where our hotel entrance was. It wasn't easy pulling our suitcases up the hill in the pouring rain! And then the room was on the "3rd" floor but up more than 3 narrow steep flights of stairs. I'm glad I packed light, but next time would pack much lighter!
That night we ate in a local trattoria called Il Grottino. I had a dish with pasta made from chestnut flour which was traditional in that area. After dinner we stopped for a caffe at Bar Centrale and met Ivo, the very fun bartender there. I think I'll have to let my co-travelers add thier comments about Ivo. We had a great time with the 80's pop songs, and luckily Jennifer's video malfunctioned so there's no evidence.
Lessons learned:
Pack light! Most of the train stations don't have escalators, just stairs. It was not easy lugging that suitcase down the stairs then back up again to cross the tracks and I bet we did it twenty times on this trip. Plus two of our hotels had only (narrow and steep) stairs. I had a pretty small suitcase, but next time I would take some kind of backpack with wheels. Do they make those?
Tomorrow, exploring the villages of Cinque Terre!

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Blogger Jennifer said...

I am happy to comment on Ivo!
He was instantly enchanted by Rebecca and felt the need to seek her approval.
He volunteered to convert from Jewish to Catholic if that would win him the grand prize: Rebecca!

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Rich said...

And that night is when I first saw my girlfriend with her mother at the restaurant!

I think you could have half of Ivo's restaurant if you would have stayed.

5:24 AM  

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