Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monterosso al Mare, Italy

For our first Thanksgiving overseas we decided to head to Italy and visit the region of Tuscany. We left bright and early (4am) Wednesday morning and headed out for the 7+ hour drive. Our hope was that leaving early in the morning would make it easier for Jack to sleep the majority of the drive. But as soon as we got him out of bed he was wide awake and excited for our trip. Thankfully I brought our small DVD player to keep him occupied in the car:

We drove through France and through the Mt. Blanc tunnel and into Italy. The first thing we noticed in Italy is how careless the drivers are. We were warned about the Italian drivers, but I couldn't believe how bad they actually were! I don't think the white lines on the road mean anything to Italians. The cars were swerving in and out of the lines like they were drunk. We were almost side swiped several times.
Note, these are not cars who are changing lanes. They are just swerving back and forth without regard for the lines.

Another thing that took us by surprise were the tolls to use the freeways. As soon as you enter the freeway you have to grab a ticket
And then when you exit, you pay the fee. 

We decided to take a short detour and spend the afternoon at one of the cities of the Cinque Terre. The Cinque Terre ("the five lands") is a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera consisting of five villages. We stopped at the largest of the villages: Monterosso al Mare:

 An intense game of tic tac toe before lunch

Another observation about Italy is that there are cats everywhere!
 After lunch we decided to take a short walk along the coast to the old part of town:
But we had to stop for a while and let Jack play in the rocks. Unfortunately he got a little to close to the water and was taken down by a large wave. Thankfully I had a spare pair of leggings in my backpack so that is why he is wearing tights in the rest of the pictures. 

 Jack could spend all day throwing rocks into the ocean
 Attempting to find walking sticks for everyone

 A view of the old city of Monterosso al Mare
 A castle on the side of the cliff. Luke is standing on the old WWII bunker in the middle of the photo

 The old town was filled with tiny little streets

The long drive started to take its toll on Luke
 Center of town
 Time for coffee!
Jack is ready for his nap
Fell asleep before he could even finish his sucker
Gotta love nap time in the car! We were able to drive the rest of the way to Pisa in quiet.

1 comment:

  1. It looks beautiful even in November! Looks deserted. Crazy tolls!