My good friends J and M invited me to meet them on their Spanish and Italian holiday and I jumped at the chance. I took a couple of days off and met them in Milan and then we headed to the Italian Riveria.
Here we are on the bus to the train station. In order to get to the tiny town of Monterosso we took planes to the airport, a bus to the train station and a train to the beach.
The views upon arrival. The train station sits in the center of town between Old Town and New Town. You exit the train station and view the ocean - and we just headed to the right and walked two blocks to our hotel.
Look just above the pier to see the man carved into the rock...
Once we got the lay off the land, we stopped off for some prosecco (Italian champagne) and some people watching.
Here's a photo of J heading down the pedestrian area carrying our after dinner drinks (we haven't had dinner yet however)
The view from our table at dinner. It really couldn't get better than this.
Just proving we really are at dinner! More prosecco....
....as the evening moved on we discovered a beach party in full swing. The flyers described it as a 'cartoon party' and after a few sightings of Minnie Mouse and a few other interesting characters we decided to join the fun. To all of you who we emailed, called and texted during this hour - our sincere apologies. It was the Smurfs that made us do it! Well, more likely it was the beer that the smurfs kept giving us in exchange for money. It could have been the prosecco or vino rosso too, but in the end - we absolutely apologize for antagonizing you while we enjoyed our vacation.
The next day J and M went off hiking and I spent some quality time by the beach. We ended the day with another lovely evening - starting off with some wonderful meat and cheese plates while relaxing by the water....
Just a quick photo - I like how the bidet has a hand soap dispenser. We challenged J with figuring out exactly how this works.
After two lovely days in Monterosso we heading back north to Milan. Here M writes postcards and J takes a siesta.
In Milan, we toured the Duomo. Built to hold 40,000 worshippers (the entire population of Milan at the time construction started) the church is impressive inside and out.
After climbing to the roof, we admired the spires and pondered the structural phenomenon of creating this masterpiece without modern technology.
For our last night in Italy we wandered down another pedestrian walkway for some delicious food and a final gellato.
Amazingly enough, to close our Italian visit, as we were wandering back through the park - we came across a concert being held in the local stadium. This photo is obviously useless, but I didn't know if you would believe that we snuck into see R.E.M without it. Yes, that's right - we saw R.E.M in Milan!! Holy crap!
Thanks again to my wonderful friends for inviting me along. I cannot wait for a return trip to Italy - let me know if you would like to join me. Ciao!