Excited to bring you part II of our Italy travels!
We took the train from Rome to La Spezia and from La Spezia to Manarola (Cinque Terre) which was a four and a half hour train ride total with beautiful scenery and to be honest, our feet needed the break anyways! We bought affordable train tickets on raileurope.com.
Once we got on the train to Manarola we saw the warm sun reflecting on the bright blue water and that was so exciting!
Our hotel was on top of the hill in Manarola and I was exhausted by the time I made it to the top, little did I know it would be an up and down affair for our entire stay in Cinque Terre! We spent the first day in Manarola completely in awe of the picturesque views of the pastel colored stacked houses in the fisherman village, ate at Nessun Dorma which I found on Instagram because of it’s beautiful and perfect view of the village.
We watched the sun delicately set over the town over a bottle of wine and it was both peaceful and romantic. I can’t imagine what the town is like during the summer!
We had intentions of hiking to the other little towns of Cinque Terre the next morning but the connecting trails from Manarola were closed so we took the train instead. We stopped in Monterosso first which was directly on the water and super cute. We had intentions of stopping in Vernazza (and would still highly recommend) but the train doors refused to open at our stop (total fluke) so we decided to head to Corniglia first and walked the 50 flights of stairs to the top of the town and spent so much time envying this little village. Gelato at Alberto Gelateria was highly recommended and did not disappoint. I had chocolate pistachio and it was so yummy! We had dinner at Il Porticciolo which is family owned and felt really special in addition to their selection of incredibly fresh seafood made it a delicious and wonderful experience and I would highly recommend it!
Next we headed into the tuscan hills and to be honest, I didn’t book our hotel until the day of because I couldn’t decide how far we would feel like traveling. My vision of Tuscany was super duper relaxing in the beautiful, serene hills surrounded by olive and cyprus trees so that exactly what we did at Villa Vignmaggio. A place I’d love to go again… especially to photograph a wedding! I felt like my heart was living on the outside of my body in Tuscany…. with my deepest feelings surfacing. I cannot imagine saying “I do” in such a place and I’m still blown away at the magic and capability such peaceful and serene places have on the human body. We were one of very few guests a the Villa (many were still closed and preparing to open for the season). We ate dinner in a very private atmosphere which ended up being our favorite meal of the entire trip. The pasta, meats, cheeses, olive oil, and bread were all made from their own land right on the property and it completely blew us away. I’d go back to Tuscany ever year (and specifically this Villa) for a relaxing vacation filled with the most amazing food selections. YUM!
We worked a lot in Florence (and I can’t wait to share that with you soon!!!) but we also had a little bit of time to explore and my favorite places to visit were the Ponte Vecchio (viewing it from the first bridge over) which was only a few minutes walking from our Airbnb and the Duomo. We had a shoot at sunrise one morning and seeing the city at sunrise without the flocks of tourists was a real treat! I also really enjoyed walking around Florence at night, it felt so lively and fun! Just like in Rome, my absolutely favorite thing to do in Florence was to just get lost in the little streets and shops!
This concludes our travel photos from Italy. Seeing all of God’s beauty in new places is truly a special experience and I’m beyond thankful for this trip to Italy.<3