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illinitiger
Southern Illinois Fan
North then South
Member since Feb 2009
2282 posts

Italy Trip - Cinque Terre, Siena and Rome
Returned this week from my Italy honeymoon trip and thought I'd share with everyone. Thanks for all the posters on here who have given insight into Italy, it helped when planning the trip. Besides the beautiful views, food and wine the best part were the people. All sincerely nice and helpful to use in our time over there.
We did 4 days in the Cinque Terre area, 5 in Siena, and 3 in Rome. We flew out of MSY > LGA > CDG > GOA. Once in Genoa we took a bus to the train station. ItaliaRail is pretty simple and inexpesive to use. A few recommendations when using it: double check the train transfers you have to do to get to your destination, double check platform number for your train departure, and be sure to scan your ticket in one of their machines before boarding. We took the train from Genoa to La Spezia and then a taxi to the town of Portovenere on the tip of the bay. The town is very small and quaint and has amazing views from the old basilica to the castle that over looks the town.
Hotel

drinks on the hotel balcony bar each afternoon








Cemetery on the hillside by castle



From Portovenere there is a boat transfer that took us from there to the 5 cities depending on weather and sea conditions. The one day that weather prohibited the boat we took the train from Le Spezia to the 5 cities, just not as cool but effective.
We decided to do the hike from Monterosso to Vernazza. Notes on this hike: its very gorgeous and some of the best views I've ever seen. It is pretty strenuous and very steep hills and steps with no railings. Its roughly 2.5 miles one way. Plan on bringing lots of water and hiking clothes and shoes.
Montorosso



Vernazza



Riomaggiore

Some highlights of the food and wine in the Cinque Terre area



Being a port town the area is heavy on seafood. The area is known for having some of the best pesto in the world, can't say I've had better




Squid gnocchi at this restaurant, to me the best restaurant in the area









illinitiger
Southern Illinois Fan
North then South
Member since Feb 2009
2282 posts

re: Italy Trip - Cinque Terre, Siena and Rome
From La Spezia we took the train again to Siena where we stayed for the next part of the trip. I highly recommend this town, while slightly crowded during the day in the evening the crowds are gone and walking around is very relaxing and mood is quiet and laid back. We did a day trip to Florence which I found nice but very touristy and crowded. If you are looking for the more small town feel with small quaint restaurants and coffee shops I'd recommend Siena and then travel from there on day trips.
The town square Siena



View from hotel balcony



Florence for part of the day, though we didn't stay long.



Food and wine highlights from Siena, Florance and 2 wineries we went on in the Montalcino area. The Brunello di Montalcino is everything people say it is..some of the best wine in the world.



Free grappa and amaretto after dinner with strawberry tiramisu







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illinitiger
Southern Illinois Fan
North then South
Member since Feb 2009
2282 posts

re: Italy Trip - Cinque Terre, Siena and Rome
And for the final days we went to Rome. Rome is great don't get me wrong but after having a more laid back atmosphere in the first 2 cities Rome to me was a hectic pass and very crowded. I enjoyed the sights and of course the food and many many pizzas, I would have just done our trip reverse order. Rome first then up to the northern part of Italy.



the Spanish steps

Pantheon

Vatican




the Forum


and of course all the pizza




Tubedog13
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since May 2009
3083 posts

re: Italy Trip - Cinque Terre, Siena and Rome
Fantastic! Like you suggested you should've done, I did Rome first, then Venice, Florence, and lastly Cinque Terre. I loved Rome due to being a history buff. We stayed in Vernazza and did the complete hike of all 5 towns. We finished the hike in Monterosso by cliff jumping. It was such a cool trip. Thanks for taking me down memory lane.


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HoustonGumbeauxGuy
LSU Fan
Member since Jul 2011
17859 posts

re: Italy Trip - Cinque Terre, Siena and Rome
Top notch review!!!! Will add to sticky when I get home....




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Kraut Dawg
Alabama Fan
Member since Sep 2012
3271 posts

re: Italy Trip - Cinque Terre, Siena and Rome
In Portovenere, did you rub the fat lady's boobies behind the church?


illinitiger
Southern Illinois Fan
North then South
Member since Feb 2009
2282 posts

re: Italy Trip - Cinque Terre, Siena and Rome
Why yes...in fact I did


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21
HoustonGumbeauxGuy
LSU Fan
Member since Jul 2011
17859 posts

re: Italy Trip - Cinque Terre, Siena and Rome


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CHEEEEESE
Houston Astros Fan
Pres. of the Mike Lowery Fan Club
Member since May 2006
10458 posts

re: Italy Trip - Cinque Terre, Siena and Rome
Were you wearing a sir saint hat in florence by chance?


illinitiger
Southern Illinois Fan
North then South
Member since Feb 2009
2282 posts

re: Italy Trip - Cinque Terre, Siena and Rome
I wasn't. Were you there around the same time?


jmarto1
LSU Fan
Houma, LA/ Las Vegas, NV
Member since Mar 2008
24488 posts

re: Italy Trip - Cinque Terre, Siena and Rome
Great review sir


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01
Yat27
New Orleans Saints Fan
Austin
Member since Nov 2010
6882 posts

re: Italy Trip - Cinque Terre, Siena and Rome
Great review, love the photos! The food looks amazing except for that steak.


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01
CHEEEEESE
Houston Astros Fan
Pres. of the Mike Lowery Fan Club
Member since May 2006
10458 posts

re: Italy Trip - Cinque Terre, Siena and Rome
Yeah I just got back from a 10 day trip of Rome, florence and Venice. Saw a guy one day in Santa Maria novella wearing a saints hat. Gave him a who dat but I don't think he heard me


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