Postcards from Italy

Catherine Boudreau

¡Hola a todos!

Two weekends ago, I took my first trip outside of Spain! I spent four days traveling in northern Italy. I think I may have seen the two most beautiful places in all of Italy in just one short trip: Venice and the five villages of Cinque Terre.

Two of my friends and I took a flight to Milan on Thursday night, stayed in a hostel,b and then took the train early the next morning to Venice. The city welcomed us with beautiful weather. We stayed at a great B&B in Santa Croce, one of the four districts of Venice, and spent two days eating delicious food (bread, pizza, pasta and gelato galore), drinking lots of wine, and walking around as much as possible through all of the little streets and canals. We hopped on a gondola for a tour of the Grand Canal, stood in front of some amazing artwork at the Peggy Guggenheim Art Museum (personal favorite: Jackson Pollock), and shopped around in San Marco Square.

All the natives own their own boat, and cars are nowhere to be found. It’s an extremely relaxing and gorgeous place to be. My favorite part had to be finding our way around and seeing all the beautiful churches, houses and squares.

Unfortunately, we had to leave Sunday morning. We took a train from Venice, which is in northeast Italy, all the way to the western coast to Cinque Terre. It was well worth the six-hour train ride and four switches! This place is like a fairytale. There are five little towns: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and then Monterosso al Mare all along the coast. Each is vibrant with color and character.

We stayed in Vernazza, probably the prettiest town of them all. It’s indescribable how stunningly beautiful these towns are. The pictures can’t even capture it, although they are amazing. Monday was warm and sunny, perfect for touring each of the villages. We had a great lunch in Manarola, my second favorite village, and took in the sunshine while we ate pasta.

If we had gone in the summer months we would have been able to hike to each town along the coastline. Unfortunately there have been landslides this winter, so only one of the trails was open. Instead we took the train to each one.

Tuesday morning we left Cinque Terre and headed back to Milan to catch our flight. That was a long day of traveling, so I was happy to be back in Madrid. I missed using my Spanish! In Italy we found that a majority of the people we talked with spoke English. Although these places were amazing, Madrid has my heart. I missed having everything at my fingertips. That’s why I think cities suit me so well.

¡Hasta la proximo vez!