Hello everyone! ♥
Yesterday I went on a day trip to the beautiful Cinque Terre on the coast of Italy. It's my first time being out of Florence, which really made it all the more exciting and special to explore somewhere new since coming to Europe. I went with a group for students called Florence for Fun which I recommend if you're ever here (Bus 2 Alps and Euroadventures are good too!). We left early in the morning by bus for two hours and then took a short train ride to the first island.
I can't tell you all how beautiful it was. Words, photos, recollections cannot describe it all. It's just something you have to see for yourself. I did a two hour hike from the second island to the third through the mountain and the views were seriously spectacular. I was also very intrigued by the terrain here because it seemed so tropical, almost like something you would find in South America. Not how I imagined Italy to be! It was so, so hot out and the hike was exhausting, but well worth it...because then I got to lay on the beach and swim in the Mediterranean Sea for a bit! The water was so clear, so blue...breathtaking. I was surprised at the bathing suit choices here because I had read that Italians were pretty conservative people when it came to dress, so I had bought/packed a one piece for the trip. But when I got here, it seemed everyone was in two pieces! What I really admire here in Italy is that there doesn't seem to be this body shaming like there is in the US. Women of all ages and sizes wore two pieces and didn't seem to think anything of it. Back home, if you're bigger you're told the public doesn't want to see you in a two piece or if you're above the age of 30 it's like you've committed a crime by wearing something so youthful. I hope that the US progresses its beauty standards like Europe's eventually! Haha, but maybe not so much in the men's category. Speedos are very hip here and I saw lot of...umm, somethings, lol! Also to note, I found it interesting that the little girls don't wear swim suit tops like in the US. Interesting take on feminism that in the US we feel like we need to cover our little girls up because they are 'girls' (although they have no actual breasts), but here in Europe it seems the anatomy differences don't matter.
Cinque Terre is such an easy, leisurely place where it seemed many were just on vacations with their family, having a good time. It was relaxing to lay on the crowed beach and the water was refreshing (but I'm not used to salt water!). After a bit of sun, Haley and I got some dinner on the board walk where you could view out into the sea and beach. I'm not a big sea food fan which is what I know Cinque is known for, but they're also known for some good pesto so I got pasta with that! Can I also note that I had the most amazing peach Italian soda ever?!? I didn't even mind that I paid 4 euro for it! After, we went and got some gelato and by then it was time to start heading back to Florence. I was exhausted and the apartment sure felt like a comforting home to come back to by the end of the evening.
Although I do love Florence, it is a small city and you somewhat run out of easy things to do on an every day basis (meaning, it takes a long time to do things like museums and tours which is hard to do when I'm in class part of the days). So that being said, it was nice to have a little change of scenery and get a different view of Italy. Definitely a beautiful one at that! I am greatly looking forward to a school trip to Siena this weekend, a trip to the Almafi Coast the weekend after that, and then PARIS for five days also with the school. Cannot wait! x
With much love, Lauren.