My time in Italy has gone by like a whirlwind. Not that it’s over–I still have a couple of weeks left! I can’t complain though. The girls I’m with, and family is fantastic. We spend most of our time eating, playing games, swimming, Netflixing, or just saying “What do you want to do? I don’t know. What do you want to do?” to each other.
Celia–the only other au pair I met in Mataró last summer–came to visit me this past weekend. It was nice to see a friendly (and American) face in this little village. The weekend was pretty low key. Both Friday and Saturday evening we had dinner in Sarzana–the small city nearby–and walked around.
We also got in some pool time, and I watched my host parents make homemade tomato sauce!
Sunday was dedicated to Cinque Terre. We woke up and took a train to Monterosso Beach, which despite the tourists held stunning blue waters. I plan to take Kurtis there this weekend so that we can relax by the sea.
Our hike started in Monterosso and should’ve only been about an hour long. Well…..I have to admit something. I haven’t run since April. This is a new record for me. So I might be a little….okay very…out of shape. I was dying up the first portion of stairs and immediately soaked everything I was wearing in sweat.
Once the hard part was over, I also went shopping. Yes. I went shopping on a hike on a little Italian mountain. This is who I am.
To be fair, the first stop was for work! I was writing a piece on local entrepreneurs and couldn’t help buying a cup of fresh squeezed orange juice from a local farmer. I mean, he grew the oranges right there!
Not even five minutes later there was another booth where a man was selling jewelry. Again, yes on a hike on a mountain. He had a table full or bracelets, necklaces, rings, and earrings that were all handmade AND silver! My favorite! After 15 minutes of indecision, I finally picked a cute little bracelet, and we headed on our way to Vernazza.
The rest of the hike was pretty smooth, and there were a lot of lovely views of the seas and terraces with grape vines.
By the way, if you’re doing this little trek, then I’d recommend bringing a big bottle of water because it’s super hot during the summer. Also, please for the love of God don’t wear sandals, dress, or any other cutesy stuff. While the photos you can take up there are incredible, it’s not practical. If anything, pack it away in your backpack or take the $7 cheat trail that’s only 5 minutes and will avoid any significant activity.
The views heading into Vernazza were welcoming and colorful like the rest of Cinque Terre, and I was eager to get down and dive into that blue, blue sea.
We spent the rest of the afternoon sunbathing and swimming around before heading to Manarola. At this point, I’ve been to Manarola a handful of times, so I beelined straight to the gelato shop to get a watermelon granita (watermelon, crushed ice, sugar). Delicious. We went to my favorite overlook of the little village and just sat enjoying the views. Also snapping pics because hello! Look at that sight!
I was dead and a little grumpy (Sorry Celia), so we came back to Ameglia. I made pasta carbonara and we polished a bottle of rose off to end the night.
It was a lot of fun having Celia here and lucky for her she got to experience my au pair life on Monday. Her flight didn’t leave until Tuesday afternoon, so this group of gals ate pasta, watched a movie, and hid from the heat inside.