Both of which have kept me from posting at the regular kellinahandbasket.com. And, in turn, the server problems have kept me from posting about a trip to Venice and a trip to Pisa/Tirrenia/Livorno/Cinque Terre (basically the Tuscan Riviera). I'm not sure what city we were technically staying in, but most of my time was spent on the beaches of Tirrenia...and at the risk of sounding spoiled, thank god for a beach trip...sightseeing is getting old. I thought I would include one of my favorite pictures (above) from the most recent trip. Too bad I couldn't slip a Euro or a paper clip next to him/her so that you'd have some idea of it's actual size...
There's too much to recap from the trips, but I will say:
- Lonely Planet guides are great not only for their included walking tours but because they donate a portion of their profit to aid projects, human rights campaigns, and wildlife conservation (Let's Go simply puts another feather in the already privileged cap of Harvard students) (The New Yorker recently had an interesting biography on the founder, Tony Wheeler, in their travel issue)
- Tirrenia is SO cheap, has gorgeous, clean, and huge beaches (bagnos), is located in the Pisa province or region or whatever it's called, is *only* an hour away from the art haven of Florence, and is *only* an hour away from Italy's national park, Cinque Terre
- Anyone who goes to Italy *should not* miss a hike along the coast in Cinque Terre (the five cities including Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterrosso). I only walked from the first to the third and back (in 4 hours ?) but check out the flickr pics for the incredible scenery. I wish someone could have been there with me...both Italy trips were work trips for Ryan.
- Foccacia and pesto came from the Cinque Terre region. If nothing else, the pesto and cheese foccacia was worth the 8 hour drive and traffic jam on the way home.