The Update #24 – Under the Italian Sun

by Jasper and Lonneke
5 October 2021
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Cittadella, Italy

On the way to Venice we made an extra stop in a fortress town, Cittadella. This “city” is completely walled and we went there because you can admire the city from a different perspective, on top of the city wall. Just something different and so very nice. It is almost election time in Italy and a speech was held on the lawn by a political party, so there was also a lot of security in the town. We strolled over the wall, the flea market and through the streets. And of course had a nice cup of coffee, with yes, of course something sweet for the gentleman. The Italian sweets needed to be tested extensively by Jap. haha. It was a pleasant town, we felt we were the only tourists there and that is sometimes a nice feeling.

Venice, Italy

When we had finished looking forward to Cittadella, we continued on our way to Venice. It is always a challenge to leave your bus near a city with a good feeling. But Kas and Danique had recommended a campsite to us and left their bus here with confidence, all reviews were good and it was 10 minutes by public transport from the center, so a winner! Here we first did some laundry and charged a lot of things. In the meantime we had contact with Bruna because she was already in town. Of course! We had arranged with Machteld and Bruna. Coincidentally, they had already plans here for a few days because Machteld had to fly to Venice a few days in a row and had a day off in Venice in between. Machteld only had to fly today and would have her day off tomorrow. So we agreed with Bruna to have something to eat together in the city. However, when we arrived Bruna immediately received bad news… Machteld was snotty, she had a negative test but a long story short, Machteld was stuck in Amsterdam and could no longer join us in Venice… Our exploration together and our meeting in Venice unfortunately fell through. But luckily at least we still had Bruna. Bruna had been walking around the city all day and guided us through the city as if she had been there for years. And what a special city this is. Water everywhere, boats everywhere and small streets and bridges everywhere, really special and so photogenic. We got lost in the streets looking for nice places to eat and chatted about all Bruna’s experiences in Venice that day and about anything and everything. It was really super super super sad that we will not see Machteld tomorrow and that because of this Bruna will also fly home early tomorrow instead of Tuesday. But it’s really nice that we could at least see Bruna for a while.

Together with Bruna we hadn’t seen everything of the city yet and so had some sight seeing to do the next day. We were both a bit hesitant about the crowds, Lon had been to the city before and remembered an irritating bustle. Also, you always hear a lot of stories about Venice and its extreme crowds. Verona was already quite intense and we hoped that Venice wouldn’t be much worse. But once in the city, the crowds were not that bad for both of us. Sure, it was busy and there were a lot of things going, but it wasn’t as bad as in Verona. That was a relief. So we went zigzagging through the city on our way to San Marco square.  We walked through narrow streets and over beautiful bridges and finally arrived at the San Marco, which was a really impressive church with a big square in front of it. It was during the middle of the day so the shadows on the buildings were not nice, we decided that we had to go back in the evening for some nice pictures. Bruna almost literally give us a list of things to see which was lovely. On the way there we took a detour all the time so that we wandered through the city and were surprised by the beautiful streets. The next stop was a second-hand bookshop, there was a gondola in the middle of the bookshop filled with all kinds of books and on the terrace behind the shop a staircase was built of books. From the staircase you had a nice view over the canal and houses behind the shop. The shop was very funny because everyone wanted to have their picture taken but we had to quickly move on to our next stop. Yesterday Bruna had made a reservation to look out over Venice and the Rialta bridge from a shopping center roof. Because we had 4 places to see the view and because unfortunately Bruna and Machteld were not there to join us,  we spontaneously asked a Dutch couple to join. They were thinking out loud at the bookshop what they wanted to do, they liked this idea and so we walked to the mall while chatting. The view from the top of the roof was really great, you could look out over the city with all the water and the beautiful buildings. We could look around here for 15 minutes and then we had to go down again. After chatting with the Dutch for a while, we continued on. Because we already started to get a bit hungry and already had a lot of kilometers in the legs, we went looking for a restaurant. So, more walking because the further from the San Marco square the better. We chose the exit to the university on the other side of town and here we found a fantastic restaurant in a quiet back square. We ate the very best lasagna ever with pumpkin, it just melted on your tongue. We also ate delicious cannaloni filled with spinach and ricotta and gnocchi with gorgonzola. It was really all fantastic. We could have eaten so much more, but we decided to stop at the peak and only have dessert and a delicious coffee. We were actually really tired but dragged ourselves back to San Marco square to end the day here and also to be able to take pictures in better light.  And it was well worth it.

Pisa, Italy

A road trip wouldn’t be a road trip if you did not make unexpected stops along the way. We found out that we were almost driving through Pisa on our way to Cinque Terre. So we had to make a pitstop here to admire the leaning tower, since we were so close. Lon had been here once before, but Jap had never been. We parked the bus and walked towards the Tower and he is really very crooked!  Skewed and made of very beautiful white marble. There are also many other beautiful large buildings around it that you feel are very out of place in this small-looking village / town, it all seems much too big. We walked around the square for a few laps and looked for the best spot for the classic photos. It was a case of everything was better in the past, because in the past you were still allowed to walk on the grass, which makes taking pictures a lot easier. They will probably have their reasons why that is no longer possible, but it is still a shame. After that we went looking for something to eat and we found a nice takeaway with a baguette with delicious roasted vegetables.

Cinque Terre, Italy

Then it was time to drive further towards Cinque Terre, as the name suggests (even though Jap only found out really late hahaha), it consists of five villages that are all built on the coast in the mountains. To start, we drove to the southernmost village: Riomaggiore. We parked the car in a parking lot higher up the mountain and walked down to the village. We walked through beautiful vineyards and past beautiful farms to the village. Everywhere they have a kind of rodel ways with a cart on it to transport stuff from top to bottom or vice versa, really funny.  At the information center we got advice about the walk you can do between the different villages. Unfortunately, the hiking trail between this village and the two following villages was closed. We could walk there but that would be a very long detour. So we decided today to just enjoy this village and walk from the other side. We would not see village number two, but we think 4 out of 5 is a good score. We explored the village and took pictures, it was a really cute village built right up the mountain with small streets. We found a lovely terrace where we drank iced coffee and homemade very sour lemonade. We chatted about our next plans and what we wanted to do in Tenerife.  You immediately noticed that this was a very touristic area because it was very busy, especially very busy with many Americans, who we had not seen so much before. Then, sweating are asses of, we walked back to the bus and drove to the northernmost village of the 5, Monterosso. We could park here in a parking lot on the beach and park 24 hours for 25 euros.  So we packed up our swimming gear and headed to the beach. This was really completely covered with those paid beds and umbrellas, this was a different kind of tourism than we had seen until now.  Anyway, we found a spot (not an umbrella or bed), blew up the beach band and dived into the water. It was really delicious…super refreshing in this warm weather. Unfortunately, the sun quickly disappeared behind the mountains and it became quite chilly, yet we dried up on the beach for a while and then walked down the boulevard. We decided we had to celebrate our last evening in Italy, Jap had been wanting pizza for a few days so we went looking for it. We found a nice restaurant which was unfortunately completely full, so we made a reservation for later that evening (read 21:00) and walked back to the bus to have a drink. The food in the restaurant was good, but after the restaurant in Venice nothing could come close.

The next day we started the walk to the next village at 7.30 am. We walked along the cliff for two hours and in the end got a nice view of the next village, Vernazza. Until now, this was really the nicest village with really beautiful streets and a cute square. We drank a cappuccino here as a stopover and then went on our way to the next village. Along the way you had an even better view of the water than in the previous part and around 12 o’clock we arrived at the last village where we could walk to, Corniglia. This village is slightly higher on the mountain and therefore does not have a real harbor like the other villages. But it is really by far the cutest and most beautiful town together with Vernazza. Here we ate the most delicious foccacias we have ever eaten, we walked through the small streets for a while before we walked towards the train to go back to Bob. It was starting to get really warm again so we quickly packed up our swimming gear and dived into the water. Here we floated around for a long time and we were surprised about the mega touristic atmosphere that hung here. From the wilderness in Sweden to places like this in Italy, the difference could hardly be greater. But it is precisely these differences that make you realize that we have already been to so many different and fun places. And we really like variety, so a nice touristic village in between is also super fun.  Also, these kinds of places are often touristy for a reason, because it was really beautiful here, even if you sometimes have to look through the sunbeds, umbrellas and hordes of tourists. There are many nice restaurants and tasty ice cream parlors where we also stopped by after we got out. For the last time an Italian ice cream.

 Much love from us,

 Jap and Lon

Menu of the week

SundayItalian Diner
MondayItalian Diner
FridayFresh Tortellini

Spendings of the Week

Budget per day €54 and per week €378 and per month €1700

What/WhereCost (€)
Eating out181
Toll road169,5


Driven kilometers: 1757

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