Italy´s Neverland: the Cinque Terre

My first traveling tip is about my motherland, Italy. To be precise I was born in Carrara, Tuscany, but the Cinque Terre is not far away from there.

I have spent so many summers gazing at the colorful and happy houses, that I think it is such a shame not to share this experience. Anyone who is planning a trip to Europe should try to visit this magical place.

But what are the Cinque Terre exactly? Well, they are a 12 km long village compound on the North West (sorry Kim ..) coast of Italy. The compound is formed of five villages (from south to north), namely Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso al Mare.

Together with Porto Venere (a village adjacent to Riomaggiore), the Cinque Terre – with their beautiful landscape and steep vineyards, are an Unesco World Heritage site.

It is very important to know that they are not accessible by car, so in case you hit the road and travel around Italy (like I enjoy doing sometimes) I recommend staying in Porto Venere, which is a beautiful site, and is accessible as well.  At Porto Venere´s port you can take ferries to different destinations, including a round trip to all of the five villages, Genoa and Portofino (these two cities are worth a visit but only if you have the time for it).

You should definitely take one of the hiking routes as well as go for a wine tasting, eat original focaccias, pasta with homemade green pesto, and swim in the crystal clear waters (some parts are very rocky due to the nature of the landscape, make sure you have some good sandals with you!)

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For your stay, I can heartedly recommend the Grand Hotel Porto Venere. A historic building with 54 rooms welcomes you at the gates of the old town. The location is perfect, the small but modern rooms are comfortable, and the breakfast is rich, with a big assortment of both Italian and American fresh goodies.

I personally loved having breakfast on their big terrace, with a view over the port and the old town. The terrace is chic and romantic, even though you do get one or the other surprise visit from sweet birds looking for something to eat. Don’t give them anything by the way; if you do the y won´t go away, I am talking from experience. I had one who visited me during breakfast for five days straight, I called him Jimmy J In the hotel the staff speaks fluent English and German on top of Italian of course.

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Breakfast guest

I used their gym, too. A nice option in case of rainy days, but if you would like to go for a run I would recommend to do it on Portovenere´s “Lungomare”.

Going forward to where to eat… well let me start by saying “take care” ! In this region the Aperitivo is amazing! By going out for a beer or an Aperol Spritz, you don’t only get the drink, but also a complimentary snack, or rather a huge plate with mini pizzas, capers, focaccia, olives, chips and many other local specialties. So if you are planning to go out for dinner take your aperitivo way before that! (trust me, you don’t want to miss out on dinner and you don’t want to miss on the aperitivo either).

What I suggest you do is have a good breakfast, have an aperitivo sometime in the afternoon, then take a little walk, go to your hotel to shower and then go to dinner. You can have one or the other snacks in between of course because well, what is a vacation in Italy without your Gelato?

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Porto Venere

So let´s move to dinner, and personally I think you should dine in Porto Venere, place where you should also stay at.

Don’t be fooled by the good looking restaurants on the promenade, they might be ok, but the real deal is somewhere else. Believe me, if you want a taste of authenticity go to “Portivene Un Mare di Sapori”.

This is a tiny, cozy, family run restaurant on a side street, which serves pure freshness. I would recommend you order some typical dishes, and fish. During our last stay we went twice in a row.

In case you want to try it out don’t forget two things: one is to reserve a table and two is to eat sea food! You will be delighted!

Have you been to the Cinque Terre already? Email me your experience, would be great for next time I go!

Love

Pete ♥

x

Ps: here are the links to the hotel and to the restaurant, and remember September is still a good time for hiking in the Cinque Terre!

http://www.portovenerehotel.it/eng/index.html

https://www.tripadvisor.de/Restaurant_Review-g194862-d2653328-Reviews-Portivene_Un_Mare_di_Sapori-Porto_Venere_Italian_Riviera_Liguria.html

Timelines and Plans of a Third Culture Kid

orange drink

At the verge of my 30th birthday I started to think about all the goals I have set in my twenties. Goals I was sure to reach before that age. Well I am not thirty just yet, but I came to realize that, after all, it is better not to set a timeline for one´s own life.

I wanted to get married (well looks like I will do that very soon actually), have children, have a house I can call my own (on the way, yay!), have my own business (nope, not happening yet), and have time to run a blog (let´s give it a serious try, even though my agenda does not look like the one I would like to have). But instead of concentrating on all those plans, I took the decision to culturally enrich myself, so here I am, let´s brag.. Altogether I lived in four countries, I speak six languages, I worked in different branches,  I read tons of books (and even more magazines) and I travel here and there from time to time (as soon as my wallet allows it).

I really did enjoy my twenties, I got to know so many people, and I learnt so much. But the time has come for me to find a place I can call home, to have a comfort zone and to start being selfless.

So today I begin a new journey, the direction has changed but the means haven´t. I will remain the eternal child I am, but I am getting married very soon (tips and hints will follow after I am back from my honeymoon), I collect experiences on pretty much an hourly basis and I learn everyday something new.

Born in Italy to a Hungarian mother and an Egyptian father, and soon to be the Mrs of a German man, I can definitely call myself a real third culture kid, whilst it is hard for me to call any place home, I am pretty happy to have encountered such a mix of beliefs in my life. I plan and drive German, eat and dress Italian (ehm or more like minimal Nordic?), dance Egyptian, party Hungarian and love like all of these countries put together.

It might not be as easy as it seems, and in a way or another I am home and yet a foreigner in all the countries I have lived in, but I know I love and enjoy every minute of all I do, through the good and the bad.

I am looking forward to putting down my journey into words.

If you would like insights or to just share your experience, just drop me an E-mail.

Have a lovely day and stay tuned!

meaug2016

Pete ♥

x

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