Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Exploring Italy // Manarola

My Exploring Italy series has been so much fun to write! I love going through all the incredible photos and remembering just how magical the entire trip was. Renting a car and navigating through the countryside was definitely the way to go for us. It allowed us to really see everything and stop to take photos of some of the gorgeous views. 


We left Florence and headed toward our next location, Manarola! The great part about driving was the ability to make stops. Our first stop on our journey toward Manarola was for lunch at the historic Pisa tower! 

Pisa

We really only drove into Pisa to visit the tower and eat some lunch. There are a ton of little cafes around the famous leaning tower with delicious food. It's super easy to walk on up and grab some yummy pizza. Yep! Pizza at Pisa! The perfect combination! Here are some of our photos from our quick visit.





We had so much fun taking photos around the tower, which is basically what everyone does there. It was a full on scene from thriller looking at the people around us all taking photos. 

Once we were finished with lunch we continued on our way to Manarola. Manarola is a sweet little fishing village among the Cinque Terre, five gorgeous towns on the Italian Riviera. This area is buried deep within the mountains so the ride there had some absolutely gorgeous views. We were able to pull over and take some fantastic photos of the view through the mountains!




After our photo taken excitement, we finished our journey to...

Manarola

Like I just mentioned, Manarola is a town in the Cinque Terre with some of the most beautiful views I have ever seen in the world. It is known for its beautiful mountain hiking, which is something we took full advantage of. But before we get into all that, let's talk about the all important food locations!

Food

Not only were the meals delicious throughout every village we visited in the Cinque Terre, but Manarola had the very best breakfast of the entire trip!

Our first dinner venture was the amazing Ristorante Marina Piccola. The food was so incredibly amazing! I ate the Pasta al Pesto and seriously could not get enough. It was one of the best dinners of the trip. The restaurant is right on the harbor and has an incredible view of the setting sun on the Italian Riviera!


Also on the harbor is the amazing Bar Enrica which not only has delicious gelato but incredible breakfast. We wandered down here in the early morning and devoured yummy eggs, pancakes, and the boys had bacon. It was the perfect energy needed for our busy day of hiking.



Dinner for our second night there was at Trattoria Il Poricciolo, where I had an incredible caprese salad. The food was super fresh and the perfect accent to our adventure packed day!


On our last morning there we stopped off at a local cafe for a delicious breakfast of fresh fruit and yogurt. My hubby ate the fluffiest pancakes with a side of fruit as well. The cafe was beyond adorable and the ambiance was perfect for this romantic little town!




Lodging

As I did for all of the places we stayed, I headed over to Booking.com and found the perfect B&B to make our trip amazing! We stayed at the absolutely beautiful Ca' de Gianchi, the most comfortable and snuggly little B&B I've ever stayed in. There were gorgeous views off of our balcony, the owner was so incredibly helpful, and the bed was the most comfy of our trip. This location was by far my most favorite of our entire trip!


The view from our balcony!

Places to Visit

The Harbor

Local shops and restaurants
Hiking! Hiking is the number one thing to do there and exploring the mountains was a ton of fun. It's the perfect location for an outdoor adventure!


We hiked from this city (up top) to the city down below! 

And just for fun...the store next to our B&B!


Exploring Italy was such an incredible experience. Spending time in Manarola was the absolute most beautiful and picturesque of the trip! The brightly colored buildings were perfectly romantic. Sitting on top of the hill in the evening and watching the lights dance across the mountainside and amid the water was stunning. I loved every minute of our time in Manarola and I could have stayed there forever with my amazing hubby. If you are planning a trip to Italy I could not recommend this place enough. It is a must visit!

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