Italy Continued.

Who knew??? It didn’t take me that long to follow up from my earlier post. On-wards to Italy. First stop… Cinque Terre.

London – Cinque Terre – Florence – Lake Garda

Cinque Terre is a UNesco World Heritage site along a rugged portion of the coast on the Italian Riviera, comprises of five villages. Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. We flew in to Genoa and took a 2 hr train ride to Riomaggiore where we booked an apartment for 2 nights. Info on the 5 towns provided Kelly (my now Sister in Law that helped us decide on staying at Riomaggiore.

·         Monterosso – For night life and the beach. Least stair-climbing.
·         Vernazza – Very picturesque. Quite touristy.
·         Manarola – Quiet. But very beautiful. No beaches.
·         Corniglia – Very quiet. Inaccessible. Requires most stair-climbing.
·         Riomaggiore – Closest to La Spezia (a larger city nearby). Quite a number of people recommended staying here, but didn’t really give specific reasons. One said it felt the most “real” and “lived-in”.

The best way to enjoy the cities is to hike between the cities and take iconic pictures.

I was taking a fair bit of food pictures and my set up (Canon 450D with kit lens with canon 50mm F1.4) was giving me a bit of a problem. With crop factor of 1.6X, my set up was giving me equivalent focal length of 80mm!!! To take pictures of my food I had to either 1) Take the picture standing or 2) take the picture sitting on my chair and tilting backwards (with the risk of falling of course).  Either way I was catching too much attention… (its awkward as I am a rather shy guy… Hahaha!)

LondonCinque Terre – Florence – Lake Garda

Florence is definitely one of my favorite European city. Artsy Fartsy city, good shopping (outlet shopping – the Mall) and most importantly good food.

Mercato di San Lorenzo is the central market in Florence. There is an outdoor shopping area where vendors sells leather products, t-shirt and other local souvenirs. Its in-door where all the magical things happen… There are local produces offered, cheese, hams,  vinegar etc… I bought a 2kg block of 3 year old parmesan reggiano (Wooooo those cheese crystals…) some vinegar and olive oil, like a boy in a candy shop!

The other highlight of my market adventure was Da Nerbone, an eatery within the central market that has been serving up Tripe and Boiled Beef Sandwich since 1872. Tender Juicy greatness stuffed between a bun… Yums…. We destroyed the plates like champions!

There was an art piece hanging in front the window as a center piece that caught our eye… We went to the store twice and it wasn’t a difficult decision for Wayne and myself to give our first art buying experience  in the charming town of Florence.

LondonCinque Terre Florence – Lake Garda

Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy. It is a popular holiday location (during SUMMER!!!) and is located in northern Italy. Since we were there for the marathon in October… it was pretty much ghost town like quiet. So whomever we saw on the streets, we presumed they were there for the Marathon.

It was a tough marathon given the lack of crowd support and cold temperatures. We conquered it anyhow and bringing the trip to and end. 🙂
























































































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