March 23, 2011

Happiness Project 3 - Vacanzina al Mare (Little Trip to the Sea)

I just returned from a fabulous two day trip to the Ligurian coast of Italy. This area is my  Italian boyfriends favorite place in Italy, so we thought it would be a good idea to turn to the cell phones & computers off and hit the road (or train as it were in Italy).

You know those cheesy, romantic movies you see about people falling in love in Italy? Guess what? This really happens. The story I am about to tell you happened in full detail this weekend. We got up early to take the train to Pisa, then change to the Cinque Terre. Thankfully Antonio likes to be early to everything, so we arrived a few minutes ahead of schedule to see that the train was delayed 30 minutes. What this means is that there was no way we could make our connection in Pisa to the 5 Terre directly. We would have to figure out another route once we arrived in the Pisa train station. Eventually we did make it to La Spezia, which is a larger coastal town on the Western side of Italy. We even ran into one of my best friends from Florence standing on the platform. Small world.

We arrived 5 hours later to the little village of Monterosso, to meet our landlord Claudia for keys to the apartment. She was pleasant, with black hair, tan skin and neon pink lipstick. I think she has lived in this tiny town her entire life and will probably never leave. We walk up this tiny little alleyway to our apartment, laundry hanging, sun is shining, piccoli gatti (small cats) prancing by, and believe or not - classical music was blaring from the apartment upstairs. This is what its like in Italy.

After settling in, we decided to have lunch in Monterosso. Antonio, who calls himself "From the Sea" gave the American a lesson on typical seafood dishes. We had Insalata di Mare & Pasta di Scampi Seriously, incredible. It really helps that he can explain the menu to me, otherwise I would of never had the courage to order this stuff. I am so glad he did :)

After our late lunch we took a walk along the chilly beach, put our feet in the water and collected interesting rocks from the water. The sun was setting so it became a little cold, but it didn't matter for us. We were so happy to be there and breathe the clean, crisp air. I have mentioned before that my father loves sunsets, so I wrote a message to my parents from the beach.

The next day we took the train to the other small, sea villages of Manarola & Vernazza, both as equally charming, with some of the most beautiful views of the sea. We had another delicious seafood filled lunch, took a walk on the paths above the towns, and took a nap on the rocks.  Accordion musicians playing for us tourists in the piazzas, so we danced. I said to Antonio, that we are so lucky to be able to be there, even if it was only for 48 hours. We both work here in Florence as much as I did back in the United States, so it was really good for the heart & soul to get out of the little concrete jungle of Florence. I am seriously considering renting a little apartment in this area sometime in the Fall. I have always thought this stuff was only made in the movies, but it really does happen if the setting is right. 

Happiness all around us.



Val said...

Good Stuff Christine!

La Design Boutique said...

I soooo need to make it to Cinque Terre.... looks absolutely heavenly. Make sure you book a romantic getaway to the Amalfi Coast with Antonio as well. You will looove it. Where is he from?

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

A happy jaunt indeed.

Anonymous said...

hey! I'm Karla and kind of new to the blog world. I have recently discovered your blog and i just love it :) Partially because Its very entertaining, Im also living in Italy (near Rome) and Im from Georgia as well!

Murissa Maurice said...

I am also new to the blog world. I just started my own food and travel blog. I'll post the link below if you want to see it. I am really enjoying your blog. Florence was one of my favourite cities in Italy! Next summer I plan to visit Cinque Terre with my sister. We are really looking forward to it!

The Wanderfull Traveler

Neringa said...

I am Neringa from our editorial team has selected your blog to be a part of our program “Travelavenue favorite blog 2011”.
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sdcluv2fly said...

Hello from a fellow Southerner (born and raised in in north Texas now). I just discovered your blog it! And congrats on being chosen by as part of the "favorite blog 2011"! I am a flight attendant and am in the process of selling things/downsizing and gearing up to follow my dream of living in Italy at least part-time...will still have to come back to U.S. and work every 2-3 weeks. I am looking in the area of Brescia as I will have to fly out of Milano.

Your blog has inspired me even more!

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