Eating and Sleeping in Florence

A last-minute decision to visit Florence meant a lack of accommodation options. Hotels were mostly fully booked and mostly extortionate. After much searching we stumbled upon an apartment – Apartment Francesca on HomeAway which happened to have availability for the three nights we wanted and those nights only. Serendipity, we booked it immediately. A bit of a…

Florence – Useful Stuff

Florence is a gorgeous city for walking, strolling and just taking it all in. One of  its real pleasures is that everything is packed into less than a square mile. From churches to museums, from markets to artwork you can see an awful lot of stuff in a very short amount of time. We stayed for…

Florence – Our Best Bits

Husband and I visited Florence years ago B.S. (before Son). I remember a mad dash from work on a Friday to catch the flight for a long weekend in the city. We arrived promptly, the luggage did not. Cue a sweltering weekend in totally unsuitable clothing before an exciting reunion with our suitcase on the day we returned…

Exploring Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore, last of the Cinque Terre hamlets for us and where we spent our last afternoon. Having been well and truly blown away by the four other villages, I feared complacency would have set in by Riomaggiore, so used were we to amazing views and stunning scenery. Perhaps this fifth little hamlet would not stand a…

Exploring Manarola

Our last full day in the Cinque Terre started off cloudy and grey. We dressed accordingly anticipating rain as per the forecast. A quick train ride to Manarola emerging blinking from the railway station the clouds cleared, the sun came out and the temperatures soared. Note to self –  treat weather forecasts with caution, dress with removable…

Exploring Monterosso

Son stressed we should shun the coastal path from Vernazza to Monterosso and take the train. Another hike would be a hike too far he reasoned and then proceeded to make a serious case for some beach time. We didn’t argue. Train was boarded, we arrived in Monterosso and emerged in the conveniently located station right in the…

Exploring Vernazza

Happy and relieved were we to spy Vernazza. Relieved that we had almost arrived, hungry and thirsty after a hard hike. Happy to glimpse this simply stunning little place sticking into the sea on a rocky spit. Vernazza is as perfect as it gets. I would have climbed (almost) any amount of steep stone steps for this…