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Cinque Terre, Italy

When I think of Italy, I think of breathtaking landscapes, pastel colored houses dotting the Tuscan countryside, the luscious green rolling hills of Valdobbiadene, rich wines tasting of earth and chocolate, fresh ingredients used to make the best sauce to be poured over homemade pasta, aged parmesan, refreshingly cool blue water in the summertime, I taste sparks on my tongue of the deliciously dry prosecco and I think of the warm welcoming smiles of the Italian people.

Going to Italy is always a dream within a dream and nothing ever quite seems like reality there. I have been lucky enough to visit Italy a couple of time and my most recent trip was to Cinque Terre, a place I had been wanting to visit for a while. I can’t even begin to describe how heavenly this experience was for me and my soul. Italy often finds me when I am sad, struggling, worn out and/or just plain tired.

Initially I was supposed to meet up with some friends at the time but that changed and so it ended up just being me and one other friend, a great travel companion. We flew into Bergamo near Milan, rented a car and drove down to Sanremo. Arriving before sunset we found a little place right on the water to enjoy our first of many bowls of pasta and glasses of wine for the week. My soul was already settling in and calming down as I watched the light disappear and listened to the tide ebb and flow.

 Sanremo, Italy

Sanremo, Italy

We then followed the coast towards La Spezia, staying in some interesting places along the way. Cinque Terre can be quite expensive but one of the benefits of having a rental is that you can stay a bit farther outside of town and drive to where you would like. (Just be prepared to pay for parking) We stayed in Biassa for a couple nights and drove to each of the little towns, Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. (You can always take the train for quite cheap from one town to the next and it doesn’t take very long) While they were all quaint and lovely to visit, Riomaggiore was probably my favorite of the towns, with it’s stacked, brightly colored houses gradually leading you down the the ocean, towards the fishing boats and cliffs where people jump off into the refreshing salty ocean, despite the explicit no jumping signs. We sat with a bottle of wine and watched as tourists come and go, speaking all different languages, trying to capture a bit of the Italian style in the sun to take back home with them.

Riomaggiore, Italy

Riomaggiore, Italy

 Manarola, Italy

Manarola, Italy

Vernazza, Italy

 Biassa, Italy

Biassa, Italy

After several days of exploring, eating pasta & gelato, drinking wine and soaking up the sun, our trip was coming to an end and we had to drive back up to Bergamo to catch our flight out but on our way we decided to make a delicious detour. Parma, Italy wasn’t too far out the way so we stopped in for lunch at Trattoria al Tribunale, we arrived a bit early which turned out to be a fantastic accident because as we sat there we watched as the line steadily grew to a whole crowd standing outside waiting to be eat at this insanely popular restaurant that served Parmesan but the pile on a plate. There was not a single thing we tried that did not make our eyes roll back as we devoured every last morsel of prosciutto, cheese, pasta and risotto washed down with a delicious dry red wine. There may not have been a single better way to end our week in Italy than in this famous little town, Parma.

Italy will always be on the top of my favorite countries list because here, life is lived to the fullest, embracing all the senses and accepting each moment as a gift.

Coco Betty Travels About Me

Hi Friends!

My full name is Courtney Elizabeth and growing up some of my nicknames were Coco & Betty, thus the name Coco Betty. Feel free to call me Coco, I still answer to it. I empower women to love themselves through travel, one trip at a time.

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Coco Betty Travels About Me

Hi Friends!

My full name is Courtney Elizabeth and growing up some of my nicknames were Coco & Betty, thus the name Coco Betty. Feel free to call me Coco, I still answer to it. I empower women to love themselves through travel, one trip at a time.

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