Monday, September 26, 2016

Italy - Pisa and Cinque Terre

Hello from Italy! It's been a whirlwind week since I left Pittsburgh with seven friends, bound for Rome. The trip was grueling, but we finally landed in Rome, and after several hours of standing in security lines and customs lines, we took off for Pisa where we were picked up by a driver to take us to....

the Leaning Tower of Pisa! We spent some time with a tour guide there, learning more about the buildings on the Piazza Dei Miracoli.

The cathedral was impressive, as all European cathedrals are, with soaring columns, and gorgeous mosaics, sculptures, and paintings. The ceiling was covered in 24 carat gold!

Then it was time to head to our next destination, Cinque Terre. It was wonderful having a driver, so we didn't all have to schlep our heavy luggage on and off trains and up and down steep flights of stairs.

Here's our adorable B&B in Manarola, which would be our home for three nights....

Affittacamere San Giorgio

Cinque Terre is a place of indescribable beauty. You really have to experience walking those almost-vertical streets to even begin to understand what it must be like to live here. The people are all fit and trim - they're used to hiking the hills and climbing the seemingly endless steps that lead from the lower part of town into the upper streets.

Our first day there, we explored Manarola and spent some time sketching, then took an afternoon ferry boat ride up the coast to see the five villages from the water.

Here's a view of Manarola from the water...

We enjoyed a fantastic dinner at Il Casello in Monterosso, overlooking the beach and the Ligurian Sea.

Cindy, Candy, Judy, Teresa, Katie, Carol, Cathy, Jan, and Linda
 After dinner, we strolled along the water....

and walked through town where restaurants and shops were filled with people enjoying the warm evening.

Time to run down and have breakfast now, then head for Certaldo. I'll catch up with you later and share more pictures from the trip so far.


  1. Hi Leslie, enjoy your posts soooo much. Thank you.

  2. Hi Ladies--wish I were there!

  3. What an amazing trip! I can't wait to see your sketches!

  4. Thanks for sharing with us. I look forward to your posts.

  5. I have just returned from Leslie's painting trip to Tuscany. The trip was far and above my expectations. La Meridiana, the International Ceramic School who sponsored the tour, could not have been more accommodating. Trains, taxis, and tours fantastic! Our group enjoyed the villa at Fattorio Bacio with Patricia and Alberto our hosts who together make truly Tuscany dinners with the best wines from Alberto's own cellars. Many thanks to Leslie and my Sisters of the Traveling Paints, you make my life so rich. Yes I am painting every chance I can, so many new skills to learn. Ciao! Carol Startare

    1. It was a dream trip! The best ever. I loved having you along for the adventure, my friend. Glad you live so close - let's get together to work on finishing up our sketches sometime soon.


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