We got married last September at Birch Hill Barn (read about it out here!). It was a gorgeous September day with the sun shining and breeze blowing surrounded by our favorite family and friends. As if that wasn’t enough, we left the Tuesday after for both of our first trips to Europe. Our friends and family made a trip to Italy possible. They gifted us gelato, tours, Air Bnb stays, and more through a Honeyfund.
We spent fourteen days in Italy. We flew into Venice, took the train to Cinque Terre, then to Florence. We spent a few days in the Tuscan countryside at San Gimignano and Siena. Then we finished the trip in Rome. Italy was full of so many amazing things and we loved every city and region we visited. It was truly a dream come true and so we wanted to share our adventure with you all!
We backpacked the entire trip courtesy of our friends’ loaner backpacks. While at times it was tough (read: EXTREMELY tough), the rest of the time it was super convenient to just pack up and go with all of our belongings with us.
This was the first restaurant that we ate at in Italy. We were dying when the restaurants didn’t open up until 8, but then every night we had this amazing ambiance in the dark. It included Tia’s second favorite meal of the entire trip, a pumpkin lasagna.
On the left is the view from our first hotel. We climbed tiny, steep stairs to get to it. There were even stairs in our room from the bathroom to the bed.
A majority of the trip Cameron spent convincing Tia to try crazy things. Here’s one of her crazier tastes, mussels on the island of Murano.
Murano is famous for their glass and while tons of the shops are filled with glass trinkets, our favorite were the glass factories. In this one, we watched glass be blown and then were blown away by the interior of the factory.
Of course, we took a gondola ride while in Venice and were serenaded along the way.
When we arrived in Cinque Terre, it was downpouring. Like literally, you stepped into the rain and were soaked. We purchased umbrellas and ponchos from the overpriced vendors making profit on us tourists and then had to sprint up a huge hill to get to our bed and breakfast. The rain seeped through our backpacks and to be honest, for the entire trip, the clothes never really completed dried. Also, the hill was no joke. Finally we made it to our bed and breakfast perched on top of Monterosso. They had lemon trees and greeted us with fresh lemonade. We napped and then the rain cleared for us to find a spot for dinner.
We had a huge boat trip planned to hit all five cities, but because of the weather, no boats were going out. So instead, we took the train to Corniglia. At Corniglia, there are more stairs. To be exact, 382 steps to get to the city. Once we arrived, we spent the afternoon roaming the city.
We bought fruits and snacks at a market and then made our way up to the Cinque Terre National Trial to hike to the highest point over the five cities. The hike was nuts. Tia cried in the first 10 minutes, haha. And for some reason, the backpacks seemed heavier than ever. But we had the most amazing view of the ocean and Corniglia. When we arrive, there were these two little buildings hanging off the edge of the cliff. One was a cafe with no English spoken where we got a sweet, orange drink. The other was the home of our air bnb owner. We walked a quarter of a mile farther with him to a little home, nestled in a fruit tree garden where we stayed the night. An Australian couple had been staying there for a week, that welcomed us with open arms. That night, while we slept, it stormed hard. The thunder felt like it was going to push our house off the cliff.
In the morning, we hiked down the other way to Vernazza, where we spent the rest of the morning.
Later that day, we arrived in Florence where we spent the next three days wandering the streets and seeing the sights.
Our next stop was San Gimignano, our favorite city. A little town surrounded by walls, perched atop the hillsides of Tuscany. Fittingly, this was Tia’s favorite meal. Yes, just plain spaghetti, but better than she had ever had!
Our second day at San Gimignano, we hiked all the way down to hike back up a hill where we stayed at a family farm by recommendation of our friend Claire. They home grew everything they served. Lunch was five courses and the server explained each item and gave recommendations. For dinner, everyone at the ranch ate together. All 20 or so people at family style tables. It was the best night!
Next we spent a night in Siena!