Bel and Phil's Adventures

Our adventures through Europe, America and Asia

Posts from the ‘Italy’ category

Cinque Terre, Vernazza, Italy

We went for a last quick walk around the Square of miracles (the Campo dei Miracoli) in Pisa this morning early, before the crowds arrived. It was beautiful. We headed to the train station and were super early – as neither of us wanted to be late -so we were there an hour early. We got caught up with typing the blog (or blob as my mother calls it). We changed trains in La Spezia Centrale and caught the train to Vernazza.

We caught glimpses of a beautiful blue ocean and a rugged coastline as we were travelling on the train. We got off the station at Vernazza and headed down to the square, lugging our cases, luckily with wheels on them. We have needed to pack for the warm weather in Italy and the much cooler weather in St Petersburg and the Scandinavian countries we are visiting on the cruise. We reached the town square and were amazed by the view with the sparkling Mediterranean Sea right in front of us, restaurants surrounding the square all with brightly coloured umbrellas, the sun shining and taking a deep breath, smelling the sea air, we were momentarily stunned and took a moment to let it all sink in.

We met Giuli (our Air BnB hostess) as arranged. We were able to go up to the room straight away as it was ready (and we were a little later than planned due to delayed trains). We climbed up, and up, and up (or so it seemed when carrying all of our bags). Giuli helped me up some of the last stairs, which I was very appreciative of. The beauty of the place was absolutely mind blowing.

She showed us around the place and orientated us to the apartment and Vernazza. We relaxed for about 20 minutes and then headed into town. The first thing was to get some lunch, so we headed back to the square to a place that she recommended, under the coloured umbrellas. The meal was delicious. We had pasta to start. Phil tried black spaghetti with prawns and I tried penne with pesto. The penne that I had was not like the penne we have in Australia, but still delicious. We then had veal – Phil having veal in wine sauce and I had Milanese escalope – both meals equally amazing. All washed down with Prosecco and Phil also tried one of the Italian beers.

After this amazing lunch, we went for a walk around the harbour and took some more photos. We finished with a gelato each, which we bought from a little shop on the edge of the harbour, which was surprisingly reasonable in price given its location. I had cinnamon and it was brilliant. Phil had chocolate chip and vanilla. We sat down by the harbour and enjoyed our treat, watching all the people wandering past.


We headed back to the room and relaxed for a while. We then headed up to the tower, with an entry fee of 1.50 Euro (about $2.25 AUD) each. The views were amazing.


View of Vernazza from the Tower

After this, we decided to go on the trail a little way to get a different view from Vernazza. There are lots of stairs in Vernazza. We crossed through the main square and took some photos.

We then hiked for a little way along the trail between Monterosso and Vernazza. We came to a view where we could see Vernazza laid out before us. It was amazing. We stayed here a while so that we could get shots of the town as the sun set. Pretty spectacular.


Late afternoon sunlight (although it was actually about 8:00 pm)


Sun starting to set










Whilst we were there several Instagrammers showed up to take photos for their page.


Once the sun went behind the mountains, we headed back down to the city centre. We didn’t want to walk down the mountain in the dark. We found some amazing photo opportunities on the way down the mountain too.

We headed to the break wall to take some dusk photos there (after 9pm). We are very pleased with how they turned out.

We were a little hungry again, so headed to another place to have a light dinner. When we asked Ryan about Italy, he responded with ‘Pasta! Pizza! Gelato! Repeat!’ We had tried the pasta and gelato, yet hadn’t had any pizza. We found this beautiful restaurant on the edge of the breakwater looking out to the ocean with amazing pizzas on the menu. We ordered one to share – a pepperoni with tomato and mozzarella. It was amazing! We then had a chocolate mousse and a chocolate pannacotta. This was perfect! It was also reasonably priced!

We wandered back up to our room to relax (it was after 11pm by this stage).

Today we walked 7.3 kilometres and 41 flights of stairs (not including the flights of stairs within the apartment – the bathroom is downstairs).

We had a superb first day in Cinque Terre




Pisa, Italy

Wednesday 13th June

It was a VERY early start this morning, leaving Megan and Paul’s at 3:45am. We had a lovely driver in the taxi who was providing further information about the history of Dublin on the way to the airport. We checked in, without incident and made it to our gate. The flight with Aer Lingus was fabulous. We got to Pisa and made our way to our hotel – the Grand Duomo Hotel. Luckily they had a room available (as we were early). We were exhausted. We just wanted to relax for a while. We opened the shutters and looked out the window and were gobsmacked. The view was stunning! Then Phil looked the other way and there is the Leaning Tower of Pisa! Oh my goodness! We couldn’t believe it.


The view from our room – after the rain

It looked like it was going to rain, and we were very behind on the travel blog, so decided to relax and update the blog. This turned out to be a great decision! The rain started pouring down. There were heaps of people out around the Leaning Tower and in the Via Santa Maria (the pedestrian area outside our hotel) and they were getting drenched. There were so many people it was crazy.


The rain cleared up (and we were starving). We decided to go and get our first Italian meal in Italy in 12 years! We asked for some recommendations from the hotel and went to Il Toscano. The service wasn’t amazing, but the food was delicious. We started with bruschetta, then Phil had spaghetti bolognaise – which was really good. I had tortellini with ham and cream sauce. It was amazing. I’m not sure I can go back to the Latina pasta again J. Clearly we needed a bottle of Prosecco to wash it all down with! It was amazing. Phil then had some vanilla and chocolate gelato.


We wandered down to the Leaning Tower to take some of the normal tourist photos. There were still a lot of people around. We wandered around the square and then headed back to our room. We were exhausted and fell asleep.

I slept for a few hours and Phil woke me up so we could get some photos at sunset. The view from our room was fabulous. We then went up to the rooftop bar. That was stunning. We took photos of the sun setting and then headed down to take photos in that light around the Leaning Tower and the other buildings in the square. We were very surprised that there were hardly any people around in the square, near the Leaning Tower. Clearly the tourist groups don’t stay in the area, they just zoom in and out. We were so glad that we stayed the night.

We went for a walk taking photos in the increasing darkness. Neither of us were that hungry, so we both decided to just get some gelato. Phil had vanilla and chocolate. I had strawberry and lemon. It was just perfect. My first gelato in Italy! We headed back to the room. Finished getting the travel blog up to date and edited the photos from today. We were really pleased with the photos that we had taken today, including the night shots. We’ve enjoyed our time in Pisa and are really glad that our travel guru convinced us to stay the night here.

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