the Italian adventure: lake Garda, Verona, Cinque Terre
Italy is one of those countries that has this special aura about itself. I have always wanted to go there and explore a bit more as I only visited Venice when I was around 8 years old, so I don’t really remember a lot about it. Therefore, when it came to planning a longer holiday this year, Italy was a no brainer.
There were four of us and the plan was to go and visit Lake Garda, pop to Verona and drive to Cinque Terre. So, we flew to Bergamo, rented a small Opel Corsa & went open the road. First stop - Lake Garda. We decided to stay there for three days, meaning that we will drive to the most beautiful small towns around and sleep in three times somewhere on the road. We booked the hotels via booking.com and airbnb.com , which was very convenient and easy!
Firstly, Sirmione was the first little city that we visited and it was absolutely beautiful. It had that special aura I was talking about and I already fell in love with Italy. We had pizzas, cappuccinos & of course, the gelato. It was hands down the best gelato I’ve ever had! Next up, we went to Salo, Desenzano di Garda and to the little town where we slept - Gardone Riviera. The airbnb was literally out of my dreams - up in the mountains with the best view of the lake and next to the mountains. Something absolutely insane, I swear! In the next days we visited Riva del Garda, went for a shot hike in the mountains and had pizza for dinner (obviously). The last days we dedicated to Malcesine and going up the Monte Baldo hill to walk around in the clouds (literally!). Our last night was spent in a beautiful airbnb house up in the mountains, which has the cutest Italian host who cooked us breakfast at his own kitchen, how cool is that?
To continue our trip, we headed to the city of love - Verona. It surprised me quite a lot as I didn’t expect a lot from it, to be honest. I thought it was overrated and let me tell you, Juliet’s balcony was not impressive at all, we didn’t even go in because there were just too many people taking selfies. However, the actual city was absolutely beautiful. I adored the architecture and all those windows, the main square had the most beautiful buildings.
After Verona, we drove down south towards Cinque Terre and we stopped to have a sleepover in Parma. It is actually the city of all glorious foods as parmigiano reggiano cheese, parma ham & many other hams and cheeses, obviously. Unfortunately, since we came late in the evening and left early on a Sunday we weren’t able to visit the local shops to stock on some of those goodies.
Next up, was finally, Cinque Terre! We stayed at La Spezia and traveled to Cinque Terre by train, but before that we spent a beautiful evening in Porto Venere, which was a very cute fishermen’s town. The big day came and we woke up early to go to Cinque Terre - our first stop was Monterosso al Mare. Absolutely beautiful and we were so gutted we didn’t take our swimsuits because ti was hot and the beach was rather empty and convenient. Then, we headed to Vernazza - very small but cute little town & there we actually spotted the first colorful houses that Cinque Terre area is actually known for. As we had only one day, we moved on to Corneglia - a town on the hill and we decided to walk up instead of taking a bus. That was quite difficult because of the sun, but the views didn’t disappoint. After having some stracciatella flavored ice-cream we went to Manarola, where we were supposed to have lunch. When we arrived, it was super crowded as we later realized it is the most popular of the little towns because of the view. We were lucky enough to wait in line just for 10 minutes to have a table at Nessun Dorma - a cafe on the hill with a view to the famous Manarola and its glorious colorfulness. We had paninis and a real fruit smoothie, which were very delicious and combined with the view, it was everything that I’ve ever dreamt of + of course, the beautiful instagrams I got to take. After Manarola, we took a train to Riomaggiore, which was very beautiful as well, I took most of my pictures there as I realized that I haven’t really taken any on my camera - whoops.
Lastly, after the most beautiful day at Cinque Terre, we drove to Bergamo, spent half of the day walking around the city and flew back home.
This was a truly glorious trip that I will never forget and which made me fall in love with Italy. I wanna go back as soon as I can - Florence & Tuscany are waiting for me!