Exploring Northern Italy in 10 days (we manage to throw in 24 hours in France too!) Part 2/2
|I have a soft spot for greeneries and countryside!|
|A simple brekkie|
It was nice walking around the place, looking at the various poses every tourist tried to come up with. Some are quite amusing but I must say they are really creative.
|A touristy shot|
|Loving the church architecture as well|
|The tower doesn't look leaning in this shot|
|Farewell Fattoria Fibbiano....|
|Loving the crystal clear water- taken along the walkway between Manarola and Cornelia|
Parking is covered by the hotel but finding a spot is very hard. The same goes to all the town in CinqueTerre which explains why most tourist either stay in nearby town or take the train.
We are quite lucky that our apartment is a mere 5 mins walk to the train station and from there we can easily visit the five villages. The day pass only valid till 12am on that particular day so this need to be taken into consideration when planning your day.
|Beach at Levanto|
After many meals of pasta and pizza, we decided to have sushi for a change.
We had breakfast in our room and headed to the train station. Purchasing a Cinqueterre card ( €42 for 2 adults and 2 kids http://www.cinqueterre.eu.com/en/cinque-terre-card) allows us to take unlimited train, bus and enter the National Park trails along the coastline. Do remember to validate the card before boarding the train. You only need to validate once and it is good to be used for the whole day.
NOTE: Walking trails that are not along the coastline are free!
We spend the rest of the day exploring the villages.
|A cliff at Riomaggiore|
|Via dell'Amore- check out the lover's lock along the rails...|
|We are all set to hike but alas, it is closed and the other trails are too lengthy to hike at this hot weather|
Manarola town is very scenic and this is where you could take the famous Instagram photo of Cinqueterre. Walk through the town towards the ocean and take the right pathway that leads to Corniglia. You should be able to see the whole Manarola town from there and the photo is great.
|Manarola, one of the five villages of CinqueTerre|
|Beach at Monterosso- check out the crystal clear water|
|Enjoying the sea in Levanto|
It was a last minute decision to head to Nice, France. We have yet booked any hotel because it is our first time crossing border from Italy to France. We did some research online that there is no checkpoint but to be safe, we decided to only book the hotel after we cross the border into France.
Nice is 3 hours drive away from Levanto and indeed, crossing the border is easy. No documents required, we just drive pass the sign Goodbye Italy and then Welcome to France, just as easy as that.
|Our lunch at Menton, France|
Travelling to Nice town centre can be done via tram or walking. We bought 10 one way ticket for €15.
|Notre Dame in Nice, a smaller version compared to the one in Paris.|
|Beach at Nice|
|First escargot experience|
|One could tell from his expression how much he LIKE the escargot!|
TIPS: Do book earlier especially if you would like a table outside as it is quite a small restaurant.
We had light breakfast in room before checking out. Leaving our luggages at the hotel, we venture into the town centre once again looking for lunch before heading back to Italy. There are many lunch deals and we went for it but alas, was not a good one.
We bought some pastries from Paul and kids found a huge macaroon from one of the pastry shops. They enjoyed it very much!
|Favourite macaroon in gigantic size!|
|Sand playing at Lake Maggiore|
We checked out and return our car back to Hertz counter at Terminal One. For tax refund, do head to airport earlier as the queue is really long. You could do tax refund before checking in your luggages if your item is to be checked in. If you are hand carrying your item, do tax refund after custom clearance. Any items bought in other EU country needs an additional stamp at custom counter before heading to tax refund counter. There is a €4 service charged by the tax refund counter.
|We could not leave without tasting another scoop of Venchi's ice cream|