From Ireland to Austria Series: Alright, Make a Note In Your Diaries
This is from a series originally posted on my original blog: Seefahrer Thayer. While I don't recommend it, you can view the original posts here. Because the content had value and useful tips I've decided to repost them here, however, they've since been heavily edited and updated.
I was wrong. And because it never happens I'll go ahead and admit it. This time.
Mind you, I could've gotten away with never owning up to it, as I never wrote about the reservations I had about going to Italy. But you've stuck with me this far, and so I cannot tell a lie.
So, to be honest I kind of dreaded going to Italy. After my experiences in Belgium I didn't like the idea of going somewhere that was known for not being accomodating to English. My reservations were totally misguided. While there's been many times I've have to use a make-shift sign language (like dramatically acting out putting on and taking off a heavy backpack then turning a lock- to ask for a "left luggage" service) for the most part everyone's been proficient enough in English to help me with what I need, or were friendly, creative, and patient enough to play charades. On top of that, Italy (minus Milan which you already know I'm not a fan of) has been absolutely gorgeous and full of wonderful people.
I'm so glad to be out of Florence.
Don't get me wrong, I loved Florence; it's my favorite sized for a city. After two days I can already instruct tourists on where to go and give directions- which feels great. My favorite cities are ones I can do that in two or three days. But the litter of tourists quickly became unbearable.
I'm in Lavanto, Italy now- in the Cinque Terra Italian Riviera. The train ride in from La Spenzia was beautiful. It was mostly spent in tunnels, going through mountains, but the flashes of Tyrrhenian Sea were incredible- picturesque clear blue, surrounded by mountains...
So Lavanto is just a little town, but on the Riviera there are 4 other small cities, all along the coast- and all gorgeous. Unfortunately, all but one or two are closed because of some sort of rockslide, but more on that later.
In fact, I wrote this at dinner then went out on the beach and wandered around 'til I found an open bar... where I ordered wine and only had a 2€ coin (it cost 4€) but he gave it to me instead of breaking my 20.
I love Italy.
PS, the little tripod truck is becoming increasingly common, there was at least 4 in that little parking lot. And that delicious food is gnocchi, with tomato and basil sauce... oh my God. Amazing. Top 3 favorite meals of Europe.