ciao, ciao

Ok, so I’m back. We had such a good time in Italy. We arrived back this week and am I happily exhausted. If you’ve ever or never been, it is both beautiful and hard work at the same time. In Firenze {Florence}, the history, the views, but oh those ancient cobblestone streets and steps, oy!

We climbed to the top of the Duomo of Santa Maria del Fiore, only 463 steps. There were little windows where you could stop and take in the city. Part of the cat walk is along the inside of the dome and you get to see the frescoes up close.

 taking in the view [otherwise known as catching your breath or resting]

taking in the view [otherwise known as catching your breath or resting]

We traveled with friends that were fun and adventurous. We saw ancient art, we saw graffiti art and we ate. A day wasn’t complete without cappuccino, pastries, pasta, pizza, wine and gelato, not always in that order and not necessarily only once a day. There was a lot of walking to do and stairs to climb and we needed fuel. [In case you’ve never been, you will be happy to know that carbs are still cherished in europe, so we ate them joyfully-and often.]

To rest our legs we rented vespas and toured the Chianti classico region for a day! [lunch in Castellina in Chianti]

2018 ITALY_firenze_dave_sara_dana_gelato.jpg

A special treat came halfway through the trip when Dana flew in to join us and celebrate her 30th birthday [so of course we went for gelato!] and the next day we headed to Vernazza in Cinque Terre on the Italian Coast. {map]

and then there was the hiking. This is most of the reason people go to Cinque Terre. There are 5 fishing villages that you can “walk” to. [You can take trains and boats as well] Since this trip was planned before I was diagnosed I wasn’t really sure if I was going to be able to do the “walking” when I got there. I told myself I would just take the train and meet them in the next town, but FOMO took over and I decided to give it a try, I mean, how hard could it be???

Wellllllll with stairs and steps that are sometimes narrow, uneven and steep, sometimes I found I had to lean on someone or grab a helping hand or just hold back and rest. I found with resting I could really enjoy the views ;-) I did better and much more than I thought I was going to, not without pain of course but I would have felt the pain of missing out if I didn’t give it a go. [You will be happy to know that when they all hiked back to our village, I took a boat ride, which was lovely.] Truth be told, I would have had a hard time with these hikes with or without ovarian cancer, they are tough because of all the up and down, but they were so gorgeous!

Since I knew I couldn’t hike every day, we came up with other things to do. We took a cooking class and made pesto and gnocchi which was so much fun.

We rented scooters again so Dana could have the experience and then rode the train for some of our transportation.

we made it to all 5 towns while we were there, plus we went north to Levanto to get out of the crowds and loved that too!

 I suppose I shouldn’t be smiling if I am going to be a bad ass biker chick, but hey I am in Italy!!! [we are not far from the mountains of  Carrara  as I am sitting on these steps in this ancient village]

I suppose I shouldn’t be smiling if I am going to be a bad ass biker chick, but hey I am in Italy!!! [we are not far from the mountains of Carrara as I am sitting on these steps in this ancient village]

Eating award winning 2nd pizza dinner after 1st pizza dinner wasn’t great. Also pictured are our morning bowls of coffee

 heading back to Vernazza here and then one day in Firenze and then home, which I won’t get into because it will tire you out! As you know I would have preferred taking this trip a few months later to have more time to recover, but I am so glad I went, it was nice to get off my butt and make these wonderful memories. Ciao, Ciao amici miei 💋

heading back to Vernazza here and then one day in Firenze and then home, which I won’t get into because it will tire you out! As you know I would have preferred taking this trip a few months later to have more time to recover, but I am so glad I went, it was nice to get off my butt and make these wonderful memories. Ciao, Ciao amici miei 💋