Venice, Italy. Bellissimo! Bellissimo is the absolute superlative of the adjective “bello” (meaning that there’s nothing better at all). So, when I say “questo città è bellissimo” it translates to “this city is very, very, very beautiful”. Bellissimo Venice! I add the exclamation point because Venice holds a special place […]Read More
Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go. ~ Truman Capote I have to agree with Capote. Romantic Venice is intoxicating, rich, and too many of her pleasures in one sitting will definitely leave you with a tummy ache. But to me, Venice Italy is […]Read More
Venice! The charming grandeur of this city in the sea grabs you from the very moment you step on her shores. Romance and history abound. However, her labyrinth streets and bridges can present a bit of a challenge for the newcomer, so having a knowledgeable Walks of Italy guide to […]Read More
The world’s largest collection of original drawings from Leonardo Da Vinci – his Codex Atlanticus – can be found on exhibition in the Basilica of Santa Maria Delle Grazie and the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan. Leonardo completed these works from 1478 to 1519. The variety of contents is astounding. Subjects […]Read More
Come join us as we feast on the glorious food of Florence with Walks of Italy! Wine, olives, crostini, cheeses, meats, and even a sampling of the famous Florence Lampredotto…what an (umm, unusual) experience!
Our Florence Food Tour was more than just eating – it was a wonderful and unique way to taste a different side of Italy. Read more about our Florence Food Tour experience – including all the stops we made and the amazing food and drink we tasted – HERE.
We hope you enjoy being a part of our Italian travels as much as we enjoy sharing them with you!
Cheryl & Lisa
It’s hard to say much that’s bad about a place where every single view is “postcard-worthy” – that’s my indication of how beautiful a place is :-). Cinque Terre is a picturesque line of five waterfront villages just begging to be photographed from every angle. We choose a slightly different viewpoint on our visit. Arriving in La Spezia as most visitors do, we purchased the Cinque Terre Train and Bus pass for $12 euro. This allows unlimited train and bus transport between all 5 towns.
Perfect! We hopped on the train and headed for Monterossa al Mare, the charming village at the end of the Cinque Terre chain. Our plan was to walk the paths (many were closed due to recent earthquakes and storms) or take the train/bus and see all 5 towns. That was until we discovered the ferry service from Monterosso to all of the towns instead. The water was calling us…so blue it practically hurt your eyes…we really had no choice in the matter.
So began our discovery of the villages of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore – the odd way around – by sea instead of by land. The day was perfect. Light winds, blue skies, and just warm enough to make the sea breezes feel incredible. Each place we stopped we had a chance to explore the village more carefully…which in our case meant scoping out the best gelateria, coldest vino bianco or seafood so fresh it tasted as though it was caught as I placed my order.
Seeing Cinque Terre from the sea gave us a completely different perspective. We were able to see things we couldn’t if we’d stayed on land. Watching children jump from amazing heights of rock into the clear water (yikes!) or seeing areas of the walking paths completely obliterated by the power of a landslide. Our final stop at Riomaggiore gave us the chance to climb to the highest points of any village and receive stunning views in return.
A magical day in Cinque Terre – the odd way around!
Fish Eyes everywhere! It’s the Rialto Fish Market – where you’ll find the freshest creatures straight from the Venetian Lagoon. Careful of that one – he’s got a mean set of teeth! And what on earth are those?? OMG! Those are snails and they’re wriggling around!
Definitely NOT for the faint of heart or nose (Cheryl was far away sipping an espresso by the canal – she said even the canal smelled better). The Rialto Fish Market is a tradition among Venetians, foodies, and photographers alike. Ink-stained squid, plump baby octopus, angry-looking shrimp, and even bags of perfect whelks compete for our euros.
Watching the locals haggle with the fishmongers was a treat. There was lots of gesturing and shouting before the tiny grandmother was finally happy with the quality of her purchase. The seafood is fresh and seasonal. You may see different varieties on each visit, but the variety is always top-notch.
If you’re a seafood lover like me, your mouth will be watering at the thought of tonight’s scampi with garlic sauce. I’ll just not think about the fact that I could have been looking into its eyes this morning.
Helpful hints of the Rialto Fish Market:
* Open Tuesday through Saturday
* Best time to visit is early in the mornings (opens around 6am) or just before siesta around 1pm
* Vaporetto stop is Rialto Mercato
* Look around carefully and you might see someone famous – some of the best chefs of Venice pick their restaurant’s own seafood personally
* The Rialto vegetable and fruit market is just next door. Perfect to pick up the side dishes for tonight’s dinner if you’re lucky enough to be cooking at home.