Our second day in Italy started with the breakfast buffet, but I discovered one thing that I hadn’t noticed the day before. Nutella!
I enjoyed some delicious chocolate hazelnut spread on my banana with hard boiled eggs on the side. Nutella is just so good!
The Uffizi is an art museum with an amazingly huge collection of Italian artwork including pieces from Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Michelangelo with some dating back to the 13th century! The Accademia is the museum that houses Michelangelo’s David. Both museums are known for their extremely long lines, so we took the advice of our Rick Steves book and made reservations for each museum about a month in advance. We were so thankful that we did this!
Because we had reservations, we were able to walk right to the front of the huge line and show them our confirmation. We then went to the ticket counter and paid for our tickets and went in the museum to explore. The process probably took about 5 minutes per museum, which was so amazing because the lines outside the museum were seriously long!
We even had time for a cappuccino in between museums 🙂
Once we were done admiring the beautiful artwork, we headed back to the Alba Palace Hotel to check out, grab our bags, and head to the train station. We also made sure to sign the book in the lobby that all of the international travelers sign.
The train station was packed!
We didn’t have to wait long before the train arrived to take us to our next honeymoon destination: Riomaggiore in the Cinque Terre.
I had big plans on this train ride to read through the Rick Steves book to refresh my memory about what the Cinque Terre had to offer…
Then, I fell asleep!
When I woke up, it seemed like no time until we reached our final destination: Riomaggiore.
The Cinque Terre is an isolated portion of the Italian Riviera. These five beach towns are built into an area where the ocean meets the rocky land, so the towns are essentially “beach-towns” but the beach is just very different than what we are used to seeing when we go to the beach in somewhere like Florida. Each town has it’s own personality and is slightly different from the rest, but they are all offer very friendly locals, beautiful scenery, sun, and the components to a relaxing vacation.
Riomaggiore is where we called “home” while staying in the Cinque Terre, and it is also the town that is the least “touristy”according to Rick Steves.
We got off the train at the train station, and we were ready to explore our new home.
We walked through a tunnel to get to the main portion of the town and there it was.
The town looked just as it had online. The buildings were bright pinks, yellows, and oranges and the one street in the town went straight up hill. We walked up the one street to find the woman we were renting an apartment from, Edi (we are still not sure if that is a person or just the company name!)
After checking in, we were instructed to follow a woman back through the town and up a dark, windy staircase to find our apartment. The apartment was great, but the view was better. This was the view we had from our home away from home:
Pretty great, right!?
We then popped into our bathing suits so that we could explore our village and join the rest of the crowd in the water.
Our apartment is in the gray building with the two white chairs on the balcony in this picture.
The water was crystal clear and absolutely gorgeous, but the beaches were complete rock which made it very hard to walk on. After exploring the main beach area and deciding that it hurt our feet just a little more than we would prefer, we found some bigger cliff-like rocks with people sunbathing on them.
There was an awesome view and it looked pretty relaxing, so we decided to join them!
Then, Brian saw someone jumping off of one of the “cliffs” into the water and he just HAD to do it too…
He said that it was fun and a little scary, but he was so glad that he did it! I enjoyed my dry view from the land 😉
After swimming, we wanted to explore our little city even more, so we headed into the main portion to visit all the little shops. Brian needed a little snack so he got a yummy pesto foccacia (I snagged a couple of bites and boy it was good!!)
As we were walking I noticed a sign that really caught my eye…
They have gluten free pizza crust in Italy!! Honestly, seeing that sign in a relatively remote part of Italy made me so happy 🙂 So, gluten-intolerant friends…if you were wondering, you CAN go to Italy and enjoy the food!
Once we were done swimming and exploring, we cleaned up for dinner and headed into the town to a little restaurant called Trattoria La Grotta. This restaurant was not on the water, but it did have amazing views for people watching!
Our meal consisted of two dishes that were labeled as “meals of the local area.”
First, we shared stuffed anchovies. These were salty and were stuffed with egg, seasonings, other fish, and were just plain tasty!
We then shared some prawns stewed in a delicious tomato sauce.
We loved that each of these dishes represented the local flavors.
After dinner, my feet were not doing so well. My right foot was especially painful and they were both pretty swollen. I am going to attribute this problem to the fact that I was not wearing supportive shoes. (bad idea!)
Because my feet needed to rest, we sat on our balcony, people watched, drank wine, and iced my tootsies.
It was a perfect first day at our new destination.