14 July 2010

Honeymoon photos - Pisa, Milan, Lake Como, Verona

The hire car (a Fiat Punto) really got a work-out on this stretch of the trip. Driving from Florence we arrived in Pisa, walked to the Leaning Tower and saw this:

People posing in Pisa

Now, I get enough of that sort of stuff with Wii Fit at home, so Adriana and I got a very creative photo taken, and I think you'll agree:

Leaning tower of Pisa

After Pisa we drove north to Cinqueterre, which I've already posted about. We must have driven through about thirty tunnels on the way there, and it was great how they indicated the length of each tunnel before you entered it. It gave you an idea of whether you should try holding your breath or not. Also, although the countryside may be scenic and the weather near perfect, try to avoid driving with the windows down. A small wasp could get sucked into the car, get caught in the back of your shirt, and then sting you, which can be quite fun if you're driving. Just saying.

After Cinqueterre we continued driving north to Milan, where we arrived at our really nice West Elm-like hotel, "The Hub".

The Hub hotel, Milan

In Milan we got to see 'The Last Supper', though unfortunately you aren't allowed to take photos of it. Some people did put a door through it at some stage though, so Jesus' feet are cut off, something I only learned about on the day.

A day trip was planned to the Lake Como area and this, along with Civita, turned out to be another highlight of our trip. It was simply amazing. I somehow navigated the car through narrow roads up to Menaggio where we had a scenic lunch.

Lake Como - Menaggio

Ferries transport you between the three lakeside towns of Menaggio, Bellagio and Varenna:

View Larger Map

So we left Menaggio:

Ferry view of Menaggio

visited Varenna:


and then headed to Bellagio:

Bellagio, Lake Como

before heading back to Milan. On the next day we started our drive East to Venice, and stopped off in Verona where we saw Juliet's house, a small Colosseum, and a nice view over the river:

Adige river, Verona

Click here for a link to the set on Flickr.

10 July 2010

Honeymoon photos - Cinqueterre

About an hour's drive north of Pisa is Cinqueterre, or "The five lands". This national park protected area consists of five 'preserved' towns situated along the west coast: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare. All are connected by train and walking paths (you can walk between all of them in a day), and most are connected by water ferry.

We spent two nights in the area, giving us a whole day to explore the towns, starting with Monterosso al Mare:

Monteresso al Mare

Departing Monteresso al Mare

We caught a water ferry to the next town, Manarola:


We caught a train, which turned out to be express to the town we planned on visiting last, Riomaggiore. Oh well!


We walked from Riomaggiore to Manarola, along a path known as "Via dell'Amore", or the "path of love".

Via dell'Amore

The "thing" to do along this path was bring a lock and lock it into the fence or... anywhere you possibly could.

Via dell'Amore

We had a pesto-filled lunch in Manarola, and Adriana made friends with a group of pensioners.


We caught a train to the last town, Corneglia, which is the only town that was not situated on the edge of the water, but rather up on a hill. While there we sampled and purchased some of the sweet dessert wine "Sciacchetrà" and I got my bottle of regional dry white wine.


After this trip, we continued to head up north to Milan. That (and photos from Pisa, by the way) are for a separate post.

You can see the whole set for Cinqueterre here.

04 July 2010

Honeymoon photos - Civita, Florence, Siena and surrounds.

The flickr link for this part of the honeymoon is here.

We spent around five days sightseeing Rome (and getting over any jetlag). After that we picked up our car rental, somehow navigated our way through Roman traffic, and headed up towards Florence. On the way, we stopped off at a small town called Civita (civita di Bagnoregio).

Civita di Bagnoregio

Civita di Bagnoregio

We ate at the restaurant just before the starting the walk up to Civita, and ate some of the best Italian food we've ever had. That, combined with the sights seen in Civita itself, made it one of the highlights of our honeymoon.

Continuing north we visited Orvieto, ate some more fantastic food and took in some of the sights.

Walking around Orvieto

We arrived in Florence late that night, and spent the next day visiting the Uffizi galleries and any of the obvious tourist sites (although some places we couldn't be bothered waiting in the line for, like with this first photo. At some point you just get churched-out)

Duomo, Florence

Sunset in Florence

We then spent a day travelling back down South to visit Siena, which we actually ended up enjoying more than Florence (fewer tourists and prettier in areas).



If you visit the flickr link given above, you'll also see a woman having a fairly heated discussion on her phone. Not the first such discussion we saw in Italy, mind you.

Ever so often while driving around we saw a field of poppies. Actually driving to a point where a photo could be taken of such a field proved to be fairly difficult. After taking a very local dirt road (thank you GPS), we came across a field, so I was able to get my photo.

Corn poppies