I can't believe it's time for my last installment of Italia Nostalgia! It has been so fun looking through my photos and deciding which ones to share (which is nearly impossible, might I add!). I planned the posts so that they basically encompassed the time I spent in Italy. I flew back to the US on July 2nd, so the timing was almost perfect. This post features the last five places I visited. I stayed a week after my class ended to travel some more, and that's how I was able to visit Cinque Terre and Venice. Italy is a truly beautiful country, and I highly recommend visiting! (If you missed the other parts, here's part one, part two, and part three!)
Pienza is a freaking adorable town in Tuscany kind of off the beaten path. I went there with my class for a quick tour and bite to eat before making our way to Siena. The town center is relatively small, but it offers incredible views of the Tuscan countryside!
Siena is another absolutely lovely Tuscan town! It's larger than Pienza, but not as big as Florence. It felt like a small town with all of the tight, winding roads (to be honest, most Italian cities feel this way!). I had amazing gelato here and got pooped on by a pigeon while sitting in the square taking in Palazzo Pubblico (photo three). I stayed the night in Siena before catching a train to Florence the next day.
Oh, Florence. What can I say about Florence that hasn't already been said? It's a quintessential Italian city right up there with Rome--full of life and a whole lot of history. The Duomo (cathedral) is breathtaking, and I loved exploring the Galileo Science Museum (what can I say? I love science). The only downside was the large amount of people wandering around, but I still had an amazing time. I'd spend more time there next time I go!
My trip to the five towns along the Italian Riviera that make up the Cinque Terre was simply amazing! I love the Cinque Terre so much; it's seriously a must-see. I stayed in Riomaggiore (the first photo), walked to the neighboring town of Manarola along the Via dell'Amore (third photo), and from there, took the train to the other three towns: Corniglia, Vernazza (fourth photo), and Monterosso al Mare. There are 382 steps from the train station up to Corniglia--talk about a workout! I was hoping to hike around the many trails, but it ended up being too hot and uncomfortable. I had to include the photo of the sunset I took my first night there--isn't it stunning?!
Venice was my last stop on my trip. Some people really don't like Venice, but I loved it. Yes, it is touristy, but the many canals make the city unlike any other. I really enjoyed getting lost wandering down random quaint canals. I'm also in love with blown glass and loved visiting the neighboring island, Murano. St. Mark's Basilica was one of my favorite stops because the interior is all a mosaic. I definitely think it's worth visiting; next time, I want to do a gondola ride. They're pretty expensive and super touristy, but whatever! It seems like so much fun.