Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sketchbook Journeys - Italy: Day 14 (Cinque Terre)

Our stay in Lucca was much too short. I'd love to go back there some day and have more time to explore the town. It's always a challenge choosing where to go and what to see when vacation time is limited. I want to go everywhere and see everything! But you have to pick and choose: cities or countryside? museums or shopping? sketch or walk? linger or hurry?

10" x 7" ink & watercolor, Stillman & Birn Beta series sketchbook

We had been waffling between visiting Florence or Cinque Terre ("the five villages".) Florence would have been ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL, without a doubt, but we were running out of time, and, with only one day to spend there, it seemed like it might be more of an exercise in frustration than fun. I didn't want to be one of those tourists who rushes around the city, nose in a guidebook, checking things off a list of "The Top 20 Things to See and Do in Florence."

And I really longed to see Cinque Terre. Those cute little villages with their colorful houses perched on cliffs overlooking the ocean were pulling me that way. Finally, Suzie and I decided we should follow our hearts and take the train to Cinque Terre. Florence would have to wait for another time.

10" x 7" ink & watercolor, Stillman & Birn Beta series sketchbook

We never regretted our decision, not for a moment.

It was the perfect way to wind down our trip - relaxing, exploring, eating wonderful food, and sketching.  We definitely made the right decision this time.

I only have a few more pages to finish in my Italy travel journal. (You probably wondered if it would go on forever!) It's been a big project, but it has really helped me to get through this seemingly endless winter. Thanks for hanging in there with me. :)

Coming up tomorrow...the quintessential Cinque Terre sketch...


  1. reading your post and seeing your sketches only makes me want to go there more :)

  2. I love seeing the tables in the piazza below the town. The Cinque Terre was one of my favorite places. Have they totally recovered from the landslides last year?

    1. We didn't see any signs of the landslides, but I know many of the walking trails that connect the villages were still closed. They haven't been repaired since the disaster. Cinque Terre is definitely open for business, though. It was one of my favorite places, too. The best part was being there in the evening after all the tourist groups were gone. So peaceful and quiet.

  3. Wonderful sketches… thanks for sharing your wonderful trip


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