Friday, October 22, 2010

Home again- Italian Memories Part 1: Cinque Terre


I can't put into words what an amazing trip we had! I feel like such a lucky girl! I am sure many of you can relate- I juggle working part-time, 3 young kids in a zillion activities, and a husband who also has a busy career. Not a ton of time for myself....most of which I spend sewing!....and life is wonderful, but certainly not glamorous. But for ONE WEEK, it was all about me and my husband, living what the Italians call "la dolce vita"- THE GOOD LIFE!!

I am going to break this into a few posts to savour it :-)

The grandparents graciously offered to take care of our kids as I planned this adventure, which was a surprise for my hubby to celebrate our recent 10 year anniversary. We had always enjoyed travelling in the "BC era" (before children), so I thought this was a wonderful opportunity to do so again (though without backpacks and hostels this time!). We have never left the kids for more than a weekend, so we didn't want to be gone too long, and as such I thought it best to do one small area well, instead of trying to run all over the country to see it all, and instead spending most of our time on trains. I chose this area of Italy on the coast in the north west, as it had always appealed to me for its beauty.

Cinque Terre is a series of 5 small fishing villages, suspended between mountain and sea. Historically only accessible by foot or boat, there is now a train that connects them, and some have a small amount of road access, though no cars within the town. They have been declared a UNESCO world heritage site, and the buildings have not changed for over 300 years, and each town has a population of under 1000 people. Small, quaint- perfect.
We got a small room in Vernazza (ver-NAT-za) and enjoyed 3 days of hiking and exploring in the area. The hiking trails between the towns are incredible, going up and down the mountains, and offering magnificent views.

Don't worry, we balanced all this exercise with copious amounts of pasta (this area is where pesto was originated), fish, wine and pastries! Yum!

This is not a big shopping area, but what was there, was homemade. It was so nice to support the local artisans. I bought this knit hat from a lady, who was busy knitting another at the time- magic (note- you can also see my camera case in hand!).
One of the walking trails connecting two towns is referred to as Via Dell Amore, "lover's lane."
It has become a custom for lovers to place a lock along its path, to signify their bond. So, we bought a lock, and scratched our initials into it... ...attached it to a bench together....
....and my hubby threw away the key into the ocean.

I guess that means we are stuck with each other!


Anonymous said...

Beautiful Kristie! It looks like a 2nd honeymoon for the two of you. I think it was well deserved & overdue. The pics remind me of Portugal & how much life is so different over there.
Will be waiting for more updates of your trip.

Anonymous said...

Great pictures, Kristie! Looks like you had a great trip. It's only been 4 months for us an already it's hard to remember travelling "BC"!


Rebecca Waddell said...

Beautiful pics - Hubby and I had our honeymoon in Italy and Croatia and your pics take me back. Glad you enjoyed your trip! Can't wait to see the rest of your pics.