Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Italy Part I (Venice, Padua, Verona and Cinqueterre)

Day 1:
After a night in Sevilla and an EARLY flight to Bologna, Fernando, Miguel, Arisa and I arrived in Italy on Sunday, April 17. We picked up the hybrid mini-SUV rental car and headed straight for Venice. We immediately stopped at a MediaMart (Europe's BestBuy) for an auxiliary cable to blast tunes from all four of our iPods. We visited the island a bit that night for dinner (see: previous Food Porn entry) and to experience the island at night. There was a huge harvest moon our first night and it took my breath away as it reflected on the Italian Mediterranean.

Day 2:
In the morning and early afternoon, we explored the canals and little shops nestled in the alley ways. This particular day in Venice, our trip overlapped with Alex, Chelsea and her mom's Italy trip, so we got to meet up with them in the afternoon and spend the day exploring and eating (eating, eating) with them. It's always so cool to reunite with people outside of Spain, but still in Europe Kind of trippy.

Riding a gondola across the Grand Canal:

Views of Venice (and yours truly):

Day 3:
We drove to Padua but first stopped at Jesolo Beach to play some frisbee and soak up some sun. In the course of all the days we spent at the beach (three total, I believe) I read a 600-page novel. Typical. But seriously, best part of the beach. ANYWAY, we stopped at the beach but eventually made it to the Tibetan House Bed and Breakfast in Padua.

Me being "domestic" and making coffee for the others.

Around 9 p.m., we met up with our friend Sara who lives just outside of Padua. She lived with us last semester in Spain and once had her boyfriend and friend visit us (Francesco and Marco) who also showed us around Padua. We ate at this fantastic restaurant (see: Food Porn) and they showed us the ropes of the student town of Padua. I loved it. It was like an Italian Granada. I felt very at home.

Dinner with our real live Italians:

View of senate-like building near the centro:

Day 4:
After we had our fill of Padua, we hopped back into the pirate ship and found ourselves in fair Verona where we lay our scene! First stop: the House of Juliet, of course. I wish I could post each picture on this blog, but that would be ridiculous. (If you look at my Facebook album, you can see all of them.) But here's a bit of the house:

Part of outside wall on the way in, covered in "letters to Juliet":

The infamous boudoir:

Views of Verona:

That night, after a 4-hour windy, tunnel-filled drive, we made it to the hidden set of 5 pueblos known as Cinqueterre, which means "five earths" in Italian. I am moving here one day and writing a book. I am usually a big-city kind of girl, but this place was both a labyrinth and a paradise. I fell in love.

Day 5:

We explored Cinqueterre and a few of its pueblos a bit more. We climbed up a hill and saw this 11th century castle! Incredible!

Views of the pueblo Levanto in Cinqueterre:

Later that day, after basking in a couple beaches for a few hours, we stopped in Pisa for the afternoon. Get ready for the second blog, folks!

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