With the semester winding down, it's about time that I did a little traveling on my own. I'm really happy that I spent my designated travel breaks on DIS tours but it was a wonderful treat to spend this past weekend in Italy with a good friend from high school. I took one semester of Italian at Georgetown and I was surprised at how much I retained; I was able to read most signs and menus which was pretty cool.
EasyJet has super cheap flights to Milan so back in September we booked a weekend trip. I hadn't been to Italy previously; as an art history major there is SO MUCH I want to see and do there but trying to do Rome or Florence in just 2.5 days felt like a waste of time (plus I'm a hopeless romantic and would really like a future boyfriend/fiancé/husband to whisk me off to Tuscany, or something cliche like that). Milan isn't always a top travel destination but it served as a great introduction to the country. We spent all day Friday climbing the Duomo, window shopping and eating gelato and pizza.
Because Milan is considered a business city, one day was enough to see the major sights. Since Italy is well connected via train lines, we opted to do a day trip on Saturday to Cinque Terre. Oh. My. Goodness. It was just as picture perfect as Pinterest would have you think. We took an early morning train to Monterosso al Mare, the first of the five villages. From there we spent the afternoon hopping from town to town and taking in the colorful charm of the world heritage site.
Vernazza had great harbor views and the most charming winding side streets. I could have easily spent several hours just walking through them all.
Corniglia was a short bus ride up a (very steep) hill and offered stunning panoramic views of the sea and farming terraces.
Manarola was the most iconic village, nestled in to the cliff overlooking the Mediterranean.
We ate lunch (pasta with lobster and a glass of moscato) and the best cannoli I've ever had in a cute little cafe on the main square.
Last but not least we caught a sliver of a pink and orange sunset from the streets of Riomaggoire, the last of the five towns.
It was a little cold and the streets were quiet since it was the off season but I had an incredible time. I've seen so many pictures of the colorful villages online and it was such a "bucketlist" kind of day that it was worth every minute and penny. I can only imagine how glorious it must be in the summer. Even though it was December the hills were still lush and green and orange and lemon trees were dotted with colorful fruit.
I have to keep reminding myself that I'm only 20 and still have my whole life to continue to seeing the world. If anyone is looking for a good gift to give me, I'll happily accept plane tickets to anywhere in Italy. If you want to include a moped, bottle of wine and a private villa I'd accept that too.