Let me just start out saying that I have a love-hate relationship with Italy. It was hands down the most frustrating, difficult place to travel and I lost my mind at the lack of organisation / general chaos so many times. There were no systems, no logic and hardly anyone was willing to be helpful everywhere we went. Despite that though, we did really enjoy our time in the Cinque Terre! The train ride from Nice to Cinque Terre was stunning, and we were so so relieved to be by the ocean again! We hadn’t realised how much we take for granted being near the sea at home; in normal life we definitely expect to be able to go for a swim whenever we get hot during summer, so we’d been struggling with not swimming up until this point of our trip. 

We stayed in Vernazza (the second town in Cinque Terre), which is the only town with a sandy beach. It was such a good decision staying local, rather than training in each day from La Spezia (which lots of people do when visiting here, as it’s cheaper); we didn’t have to catch trains by staying in Vernazza, which was a BIG win in my books.

Ultimately, Cinque Terre provided what we love in any holiday- a beach, great walking trails, and lots of cheap and delicious lemon slushies haha!   

Only two of the walking tracks between towns were open during this time. We walked from Vernazza to Monte Rosso (so many stairs and so hot!!) and then Vernazza to Corniglia and back (a much easier walk). Starting early in the morning was key to beating the midday heat! 
We found this (above left) way too funny. It’s a wild cat ‘sanctuary’… people have built little houses for wild cats half way along the Vernazza-Monte Rosso track, and there are signs asking people to leave food and water for them. There were a few very pissed off looking cats growling at us as we walked past chuckling. 


Next up was Milan. The Duomo (below) was the most impressive building we saw during our trip, and it was so much fun to photograph! We got a ticket that allowed us to walk around the roof, as well as inside, and we spent hours taking it all in!  

We ate more Gelato than we could count! Also, not pictured, the whole purpose of being in Milan was to attend the Formula 1 for my beloved. He loved it, and I was glad it wasn’t as crowded as I’d originally expected haha! 

Our final day was spent at Lake Como. We went up the gondola to Brunate, which gave us an amazing perspective of Como. We ate more gelato and walked around some more before returning to Milan and preparing for our flight to Japan.  

Although we had a great time overall, I left Italy saying “Cya never again Italy!”