A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to travel with my sisters to Italy to meet our brother, Chad, who is studying architecture in Rome. Getting there was more of an adventure than I would have liked, which leads me to the following PSA:
Your passport has to be valid for 3-6 months after your intended return date or they will not let you on the plane to a foreign country. You may be asking “Why then do they have expiration dates if the passport isn’t valid for 3-6 months prior to that?” I don’t know. But now you know: get your passport renewed.
And so we had to leave one sister stateside to get her passport renewed and meet us later in the week in Rome, and after a canceled flight and a huge delay that led to us missing our first night in the Cinque Terre, we finally made it to Italy.
Throughout our trip, we were very grateful for the kindness of strangers, friends and friend of friends who helped us navigate, kept the baby entertained on long train rides, let us cut in line, offered us free hot chocolate and showed us where to get the best pizza and gelato. Even though parts of it were much rougher going then we anticipated, any time you get to spend in Italy is pretty magical.
So first up, some reflections on our time in the Cinque Terre. Oh how I wished we hadn’t missed our first night here. It was so beautiful and peaceful. Although it seems kind of silly to fly half way across the world to visit the coast, I don’t think there’s a coast nearby that is quite as picturesque. See for yourself:
I’m so glad our Airbnb host recommended we take the ferry to visit the other villages of the Cinque Terre. We stayed in Riomaggiore, which is wonderful because it is nice and quiet. But getting to see the others from the sea and visit each of them for a couple of hours was a great way to maximize our time there. If we had had another day, we would have spent some time walking the trails between the villages or laying on the beach.
What else can I say about Cinque Terre? It’s great. You should go sometime. The food is all good. The views are incredible. It’s wonderful. Oh, and I really liked that we made the most of our week-long trip by having some quiet downtime here and some fast-paced exploration in Rome. It was the perfect combination.