Friday, June 29, 2018


Tour of Italy 

Continuing with my recent trip to Italy, the final days of our adventure. If you missed the post for part-one of our trip go here. If you missed part-two go here
You may want to have a snack and drink if you stay. This post is ridiculously long!

After our stay at a Tuscan Villa, visiting Florence, Siena and a Tuscan winery for a wine tasting, our tour with my husbands retirement group boarded a bus to travel to the picturesque Italian Rivera where we visited Lucca, Cinque Terre and Portofino.

After a wonderful full American breakfast buffet of bacon, eggs, croissants, fresh fruits, pastries and the famous Italian coffee we were ready to board our bus. Only a short ride later we arrived in the charming little village of Santa Margarita Ligure.  There we boarded our boat for a cruise along the Italian Riviera coast to the very glamorous seaside resort of Portofino. 

Santa Margarita Ligure
Fountain and statue of Christopher Columbus in the town center

Pointing West

Italian Riviera ~ Santa Margarita to Portofino
Views from the open top deck of our boat

Glamorous Portofino

Looks as if the French like to visit as well

After our morning of walking and shopping we were happy to find a charming restaurant overlooking the harbor. After a delicious lunch with local wine we boarded our boat back to Santa Margarita Ligure and back to our hotel.

Cinque Terre

The next morning we walked to the train station for a short trip through the rugged coastline to the five villages of Cinque Terre. Entering the first village from the station through a tunnel, we exited out onto a picture postcard view. Charming pastel colored shops and houses. People going about their everyday lives mixed in with tourists. I love how the residents enjoy standing at their windows or on their balcony and looking down at their village. Walking along the paths you come to the edge of the cliffs with sweeping sea views. Stunning! Looking down you see the rugged cliffs with the little harbors and the fishing boats belonging to the villagers. Each village is linked to the next with hiking trails. Our group explored two villages. Hiking between villages with spectacular views requires most of the day.  A lot of stopping to take a lot of photos!

Jim waiting patiently for me while I popped into a shop

Below you can see some of the trails with the sea views. The hike also takes you through cliff vineyards. 

After our day of touring we returned to our hotel.  It was soon time for dinner.  The evening of cocktails and dinner was held at a castle overlooking the charming town. We were fortunate to see a wedding party after their  ceremony, the brides gown was lovely. They were having their reception in the gardens. 
Our evening was magical. The dining room was overlooking the sea and coastline. The sunset was spectacular!


After many "Trains and Boats and Planes" as the song goes, we boarded our bus for the ride to the airport and yet another plane. This flight was for Rome. We parted with most of our group here. Most were returning home but we extended our trip for a return visit to this sprawling city spanning some 28 centuries. We've traveled here several times but with an interest in history Jim could never get enough of this city! The last of my trip photos... I promise.

Our hotel in Rome
Bettoja Mediterraneo

Breakfast was served in the rooftop restaurant overlooking Rome. The view was amazing.

The Pantheon

Trevi Fountain

Monuments and Statues

The Spanish Steps


Constantine's Arch

The Sacred Way
leading to Palatine Hill

St. Peter's Basilica

Meeting friends for dinner our last night in Rome. We dined at the rooftop restaurant of our hotel for a wonderful evening sharing our trip adventures. With beautiful friends, food and views it was the perfect way to end our trip!

If you are still here, thank you. I wanted you to feel as if you had a little tour of Italy, the reason for a lengthy post. I would love for you to leave a comment, it's the only way I know you stopped by.  



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  1. WOW. Emily, your trip and memories of it engraved in light and shadow is QUITE the experience! I had the opportunity once in my life to be in Cinque Terre and I relished in every corner, hilltop and shoreline moment. What beauty you have been able to behold, traveling all of Italy!!!!! Didn't you find it charming, that in Italy, not a lot of people spoke English? I found that in France, you could always find someone who spoke English, but in Italy, it was like going back in time.

    Thank you so much for coming to my blog; I don't blog as frequently as I used to, spending my social media time more on Instagram. But it feels good to reconnect with those of you who still take the time to blog, comment, and connect. CIAO BELLA!

  2. I am so wild about the water so when I see those glorious photos of the Riviera and the fabulously colored buildings of Portofino, I swoon. (Especially today because we're in the 90s. That might be standard operating procedure for you but we're sweating it!) And Rome is steeped in such wonderful history. You have inspired me to add Italy to the bucket list!

  3. I loved "touring" with you....I think Italy is such a "colorful" country, and the history is amazing!! I enjoyed each photo (and was happy to sneak a peak of your tote in a few!!).

  4. Oh I have always wanted to visit Italy. Your photos made me feel as if I were there. I especially giggled at the picture of the clothing drying on the balcony...real life. You have memories to enjoy forever.

  5. Can you tell me the name of the tour company? I've been wanting to tour this area for a long time? Also, what was the brand name of the straw (?) purse in the picture when you talked about the wedding? Thank you.

  6. Oh Emily! I enjoyed your trip so much. From the boat cruise along the Italian Riviera to the shopping and walking your pictures were fabulous. I feel like I was cruising with you but I know it was breathtaking in person. Then to go onto Cinque Terre and hike through two villages seeing up close the sea views and the towns would be thrilling.Your magical castle dinner sounds so lovely overlooking the sea and viewing a gorgeous sunset. What a trip you had.
    And then to go back to Rome for more wonderful history and sights. That farewell dinner on the rooftop of your hotel had to be glorious looking out over the city at night. We've been to Rome but not Cinque Terre or Portofino and you have given me the itch to go back to Italy. Great post.

  7. I've never been to this area of Italy, but can't wait. Your photos are beautiful. For some reason, the Pantheon has always been a wonderful favorite of mine. Thanks so much for sharing these memories. You've inspired me to pack a suitcase soon and hit the road!

  8. Emily, it is great fun to travel along with you on this faboulous trip. Your gorgeous photos take me back to our own Italian trip to these areas. Many years ago, but oh, souch fond memories! Thanks for sharing. It was obviously an amazing trip for you and Jim and the other travelers.

  9. Thank you so much for sharing your fabulous photos!!! It was NOT too long of a post...gorgeous views and towns and cities. I noticed in the last picture of you and your husband, you have your camera in your hand. I know it took your time and effort to compile this blog post but it is so special to those of us who may never get the opportunity to visit these places ourselves.

  10. Oh Emily, I did feel like I was touring right along with you! I can barely imagine all the sights you saw and experienced! Everything sounds incredible, from the boat trip and all that fabulous scenery, to the colorful villages, and all the wonderful meals...your photos are great and I poured over each and every one! Thank you for sharing so many details, a visual feast!

  11. Emily, this trip was fabulously documented with photos, and I thank you for sharing them! I'm not sure I'll ever get to Italy, so having this bird's eye view is just terrific. You captured so much of the romance we all dream Italy is, so rich in historical architecture and events. A trip of a lifetime, no doubt!

  12. Oh Emily! I am green with envy! What a wonderfully adventurous trip that is certainly a once in a lifetime excursion. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, and now have many beautiful memories.


  13. Your photos are so lovely. You have a great eye! Did y'all stay at the Hassler? They have a lovely roof garden!

  14. Super Emily, je n'ai pas manqué un instant de ton long billet, quel régal. J'avais l'impression de vous accompagner tellement tes photos et tes informations sont belles et complètes.
    Je comprends que vous ayez apprécié ce beau voyage, quel bonheur. Un grand merci du partage et de ta visite sur mon blog.
    Bel été, bisous.

  15. Emily, thanks for taking me to Italy. Was always a dream to see my heritage. 100% Italian lady here. With MS and not being able to do the amount of walking needed to visit I got to see through your beautiful trip.

    One of the many reasons I enjoy blogging. Truly, thanks for sharing so much


  16. That's such a cute photo of the two of you! You've gone to so many of the places in Italy that I would love to visit! And to travel some on a train is really special! Hugs, Diane

  17. What an amazing tour! I love armchair traveling when I can't get out there myself. We're hoping to return to Europe next summer and are tentatively planning our trip. All these wonderful photos make me want to visit Italy. Cinque Terre looks like a great place for walking with sensational views. Thanks for sharing.

  18. I really loved this final part of "our" Italian tour, the photographs are wonderful, even without your descriptions I would have known from the start where we were. These scenes could not have been captured anywhere but in Italy.
    Lovely post and thanks for bringing it to MM for armchair travellers everywhere to enjoy.

  19. Stunning!! mosaics and pics. Have a good week

    much love...

  20. wonderful! we spent 2.5 weeks in italy in may, and it was amazing. thanks for bringing me back!

  21. Bella Italia! Fabulous ... thanks for sharing this.

  22. What a spectacular 3rd part of your tour of Italy, Emily! I am thoroughly charmed by your photos and hope that one day I can go. Thank you for sharing your magical trip with us! Happy 4th to you and your hubby!

  23. Oh Emily, breathless. You may remember how I've wanted to visit (actually live) there forever. My husband and I MUST follow through sometime. So much going on now for us in the midst of a transition, but someday Italy. Your pictures are DIVINE.
    Thank you for sharing.

  24. Wow Emily, you sure know how to travel and have fun. Paul and I want to go visit one day. I cannot believe all of the fantastic photos you two have taken. So sorry for visiting late, I have been so busy with my Mom. her surgery is tomorrow. Thanks for sharing your magical trip with us.

  25. I loved vacationing with you and Jim! I enjoyed every photo with my coffee this morning! xo

  26. I enjoyed each and everyone of your wonderful photos as they brought back lots of memories of our own travels there. What was interesting was seeing Santa Margarita Ligure from the water. We stayed there and drove to Portofino for a totally different experience so thank you.

  27. Love your posts. Brings back a lot of great memories from my trip a few years back.




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