italian riviera

A Cinque Terre Adventure

[trip style = sightseeing]

{Editor's Note: My fellow travelista Bianca is serious about a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g Italian. She has a blog about Italy, has lived throughout the boot, and not surprisingly, shares her life with an Italian gent. She recently told me about an Italy-bound trip she's putting together this summer and I had to share it---and would go if I could! I mean, really: daily morning workouts with a fitness guru, personal shoot with Vogue Italia-contributing fashion photog, consult with a personal shopper, wine tasting in the Cinque Terre, and cooking classes in a 17th century villa...are you dying yet? If you're interested, she has three of 10 spots left.}

Where & When June 3-9, 2012 in the Cinque Terre, Italian Riviera, Italy.

Details Aa chance to go to Italy with the friend you didn't know you had. It's not a stuffy tour, but rather a get together on the Italian Riviera with a team of people to inspire, teach and entertain you in a relaxed and ultra-fun environment.

Cost $2470.00 {with a $200 early booking discount---otherwise $2670}. Details.

Includes Six nights in a boutique hotel in the Cinque Terre, daily morning fitness classes {or sleep in and drink coffee on your veranda}, six dinners with wine, six breakfasts, three lunches, photography session with Milanese fashion photographer, shopping trip with a personal shopper, Italian cooking class in a 17th century villa, guided market-to-table culinary workshop, wine tasting of the Cinque Terre wines with sommelier, wine cantina visit, day trips to Portovenere, Manarola, Vernazza, Monterosso, Levanto and Genoa, welcome cocktails, a farewell party, collection from the train station upon arrival in Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre park and trail passes, ground transport. *What's not included: Airfare to Italy, transportation to Riomaggiore, cocktails and alcohol beyond what is mentioned, three lunches, health and travel insurance.

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[photo credit: ho visto nina volare, Lomoody, MMChicago, Lomoody (2),kruder396, supermuch, Werner Boehm (3), Villanova (2), supermuch, Villanova, Werner Boehm]

Euro Month :: Italian Riviera

italian riviera in september[trip style = sightseeing] [more pics below]

Heaven? For as long as I can remember, pictures of the Italian Riviera beckoned me to visit. Could it be that a land exists where lemon trees dot the countryside, you can buy a bottle of prosecco for one Euro and gelato isn't a treat, but part of the daily diet? Is this heaven? No, it's earth, and this place is called the Cinque Terre.

30 Days Last September my husband and I set out on a 30-day adventure starting and ending in Italy with stopovers in Africa, London and Paris. Exploring two continents was the whirlwind trip of a lifetime involving: hiking, biking and eating with friends in Italy; attending a wedding in Nairobi; going on safari in the Masai Mara; seeing Wicked (Broadway show) in London and sipping bellinis (at their birthplace) in Venice!

Cinque Terre The 5 towns dotting the tumbling and rocky shore of the Mediterranean seem true to their roots, yet basking in the wealth of tourism. The old buildings, traditional dress and lack of anything new seems to indicate an aversion to travel's commercialism; still behind the scene upgrades have been made to accommodate the region's burgeoning tourism, highest in the spring, summer and early fall.

Magical We arrived in Monterosso---one of the more popular towns to stay---deliriously tired from lengthy encounters with planes, trains and automobiles. Despite our extreme tiredness, we were boosted by a sense of excitement: that night we were to meet up with friends at 6pm for a glass of prosecco, for the first of many toasts on our indulgent journey. The whole experience was magical, and the pear and asiago ravioli I enjoyed that night confirmed it!  I'm not sure if it's the light mist, twinkling lights, intimate courtyards, cobblestone walkways or wineries kissing the edges of each town, but Monterosso is one of the most romantic places I've ever been.

Check back next Friday for more euro pictures and parables. Every Friday this month we'll be featuring Italy and France. Each post will be picture-intensive since my prose can only do the region so much justice!

Pictures cinque terra money shot {Us in Riomaggiore, overlooking the Mediterranean}

lovers locks {Lovers locks. In case you're not up on the trend---I wasn't either until there---people who are in love attach locks in special places they visit to bind their love 'forever' and mark the significance of the destination.}

lovers locks cinque terre {And more lovers locks, in such an inventive, original spot}

cinque terre path {Pathway between towns 4 and 5. This one was easy. The paths between the other towns can be steep and tiring, but the reward is a) amazing views and b) working off the pasta you eat at every meal.}

manarola {Manarola ~ notice the grape vines surrounding every corner of this town}

manarola {A diff view of Manarola ~ we ate lunch, pizza & salad under the yellow umbrellas fronting the ocean}

man in the cinque terre {Man going about his daily business}

pizza shop cinque terre {Pizza Shop, notice the stacks upon stacks of choices}

vernazza looking up {Vernazza, looking up}

vernazza money shot {Vernazza, looking down ~ a taste of the stunning views the hike between towns offers}

monterosso {Views coming into Monterosso}

monterosso {Monterosso ~ where our humble, yet 250 euro (per night) 'hotel' sat somewhere in there}

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