[all pictures above were taken in Bologna’s centro storico]
I just got back from a short vacation in Italy. Even though the school holidays in Germany just started I found a cheap flight to Bologna with Ryanair (85€ return). I spent the first 3 days sightseeing in Bologna, Florence and Pisa but the heat and the huge amount of tourists made it almost unbearable, so I was happy when I finally got to the coast where there was at least some wind and the ocean to cool of.
[1. Ponte Vecchio in Florence / 2. the view over Florence from the Boboli park / 3. the Duomo in Florence / 4. the Leaning Tower in Pisa]
At the coast I stayed in La Spezia, a city just south of Cinque Terre since it was cheaper and the trains between La Spezia and Cinque Terre run often and only take a few minutes between the towns. I spent one day exploring all five towns of Cinque Terre: first Riomaggiore, from where you can walk along the cliffs on the Via dell’Amore to Manarola. Unfortunately the path was closed due to landslides, so I only walked around the town for a bit. Then I took the train to Vernazza, which was beautiful but a bit too crowded for my taste.
[1 & 2. in La Spezia / 3. the lovelocks at the entrance to Via dell’Amore / 4. the town of Vernazza]
My third stop was Monterosso, the only town of Cinque Terre with a beach. Needless to say I spent most of the afternoon there; sunbathing, swimming and indulging Granita, a semi-frozen dessert made of ice, sugar and lemon juice. Afterwards I took the train to Corniglia, which is the only town in Cinque Terre not at sea level (and therefore 365 steps up from the train station!) and has the most charming streets and alleys. And just before sunset I got to Manarola, the most picturesque of all 5 towns. On my second day in Cinque Terre I went back to Manarola and fell even more in love with it. I am hoping to go back someday, when the hiking paths between the Riomaggiore, Manarola and Corniglia are reopened. But then I’d go in June or September when it’s not that hot and many of the tourist are gone.