Tips & Tricks for a day in Cinque Terre

Italy_coastlineSummer is around the corner and some of you are beginning to plan your trips to Italy. Many of my friends and family that come to visit during the summer months usually have one thing in mind: the beach. Excellent plan. While there is lots of “coastline” to choose from in Italy, Cinque Terre (chink-way ter-re), or the five earths (aka towns), has risen to the top of the popular spots for tourists. This is an especially great escape from Florence (which can be very hot during the summer) and can easily be done in a day!

Recently, while writing to a friend who is planning just such a day trip, I was trying to remember all the ins and outs and I realized that there were maybe a few more than the average person can just “pick up,” especially if the Italian is limited. So I thought, why not make it easy (for me and for others) and put it all in one place. Below you will find all the need-to-know info from how to get there for less to what you can skip to save time and from where to hike to where not to. Of course we’ll tackle the food, I mean, the cuisine is worth the trip in itself, but we’ll also be sure you know how to make it home without getting stranded there (unless that is part of the plan). Enjoy and see you there this summer!
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Italian Cities in Review: Torino (Turin)

San Lorenzo Turin


n an attempt to spread our travel net ever further afield, we grabbed our camera and boarded a three-hour train to Torino, the first capital of unified Italy and home to its once Royal family, the House of Savoy. This city has been given two strikingly dissimilar mottos: “the Detroit of Italy” and “little Paris.” While car manufacture is one of its most important industries, I think you’ll agree from the photos below that the French influence dominates in this mini Paris on the Po.
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Highlights from Week Three: Cinque Terre, Chianti & Siena

Week_three_tripsWhy go to just one new place when you can go to…say…three? Our thoughts exactly. This week, instead of going to one city, we went to three very different locations: Cinque Terre, Chianti (Montefioralle), and Siena. Essentially, in one weekend we saw the Italian coast, the Tuscan countryside, and one of Italy’s most beloved hill towns. What else could one ask for?! Oh, right. We also ate…like queens. Would you expect anything less? I thought not. Onto the pictures!
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Highlights from Week One of Select Study Abroad!

It’s that time again. Not just summer, but also the time where our world stops and we get to take some of the best students (ever!) around some of the best cities in one of the best countries, for an entire month. The first week is always a favorite. Everyone fights off the jet lag and tries to stay awake so as not to miss one precious moment. We were blessed with some breathtaking sunsets on our first week in Florence and some glorious Pisa-Leaning-Tower-photo-bomb-magic during our first weekend trip to Pisa and Lucca. Can I just say…it is already going too fast.
Check out the magic below.
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Photo of the Week: Holy Capri

Photo of the Week: Holy Capri

If I had not taken this photo myself I would think it was a fake; an island shot masterly blended with moonscapes and imagined places by some unknown artist. However unbelievable, this is a real place. It is the view from the highest point on the Island of Capri, Mount Solaro, looking out towards Sorrento. In the lower foreground is the city of Capri. To the right (out of the shot) would be the recognizable Faraglioni, a word meaning “stacks” and used to refer to the limestone crags that jut out of the water off the corner of the Island.
Want to recreate this stunning view for yourself? I don’t blame you. Getting to the top of the highest hill in Capri is not easy, but if I can do it, so can you. First things first, get to Capri. Easier said than done, I know. It took me ten years to get back there after my first visit way back in 2003, but I am so glad I did. While you will have to change your mode of transportation several times (in my case, five times), it’s well worth it. Pack light and get ready to be mobile (all you need a swimsuit anyway).
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