Leaving Rome

On the sixth day in Rome, we packed up our bags and took a taxi to the airport so we could pick up our rental car.

We drove in a lovely, large Fiat from Rome to Pisa where we saw the famous leaning tower. We had a quick bite to eat and were pleased to see that the food outside of the city of Rome was vastly less expensive.

Around 3pm, we got to our next stop: an abbey along the coast in the Cinque Terre (chink-ua tear-eh). Driving on the freeway is pretty easy compared to driving on city streets that are wide enough for one of these little European cars. Just BARELY big enough for the tank we were driving. We were lucky that Carolyn was a master operator on a manual car, otherwise Ryan & I would be screwed since neither of us know how to drive a stick-shift.

The abbey in which we are staying is just that: a church with an attached abbey that was transformed into a hotel. About a dozen rooms are located in the abbey, all on the second floor with an open air terrace on which I am currently sitting. Breakfast is served every morning from 8am-10am, a wide range of yogurts, granola, fresh fruit, juices, cakes, pies (for breakfast?!) and made-to-order eggs & bacon. They will also make you a cappuccino, latte or hot chocolate – all have been tested and are all delicious.

Our first full day in the Cinque Terre was spent traveling first by train and then by foot between the five towns along the coast: Monterosso, Vernazza, Cornelia, Manarola, Riomaggiore. The 2 1/2 mile hike from Monterossa to Vernazza was BRUTAL. It was some of the most treacherous hills I have ever traversed. It was mostly up hill, but with some downhill – all of it extremely rocky and it took us about 2 hours to complete. By the time we got to the next town, we stopped for lunch and then made our way to the train station to pop in at the next 3 towns.

None of the towns had as much going on as Monterosso, which is a beach-side village with a lot of sun-bathers, kayakers, bicyclists and our favorite: gift shops. We will probably return to this town to do some shopping before we leave.

Tomorrow, Clark arrives in the early evening, so we will explore more of the town where we are staying (Maneglia) and grab some dinner after we retrieve the fourth member of our traveling party.

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 13th, 2012 at 9:11 am and is filed under Miscellaneous. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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