September 18th, 2006 – by: aysh
The beautiful city
So, on friday after lunch I went on my first traveling experience away from the villa. The first thing I have to say is that I packed too much and that I need a back pack immediately. I used my dance bag and on the way to the train station in Arezzo I realized I was a big idiot for over packing. There is no direct train from Arezzo to Cinque Terre. We had to take four different trains and went from Florence to Pisa to La Spezzia to Cinque Terre. As we left it started to rain, which was really depressing because we were supposed to be going to have a weekend at the beach. When we got to La Spezia our 7 minute train was intensely delayed and so as theater majors we began to sing and dance around the train station.
When we got to Cinque Terra it was dusk. And I swear it was one of the most beautiful views of the ocean I have ever seen. The water was so intensely blue that it shone as the sun set. When we got to the first island of Riommagiore I saw the multi colored houses built into the hills of the island. Then we exited the station to a welcoming procession of terrential rain. We went to find the apartment, which 14 of us were supposed to sleep in. However, as soon as we got there half of the people in our group freaked out and decided that they wanted to spend 40 dollars to get their own apartment. I was too cheap to do it, which was stupid because of the people i was staying with. They are all people from my theater program and though I love them they tend to be clique.
Throughout the weekend, at the apartment, I felt like I was a nerd at a middle school sleepover. It was fine and only for two days, but I dont need to put myself through that with people again. Its just annoying. Then after settling into the apartment all 14 of us went to get dinner at this little bistro uphill on the island. Luckily, by this point it had stopped raining so the hike was not as bad.
Cinque Terra is known for its white wine, fish, and pesto. I cant eat fish, but the wine and pesto I had there was probably the best thing I have ever had in my life. Then after a lovely dinner we went hiking around the church on Rommagiore. This led us back to the area near the hotel where we found a bar.
Me and Kevin near the ocean!
No one in the bar was Italian; they were all American. That was a big theme of the weekend. There were basically tourists everywhere and it made me happy that I live a little bit away from Florence, the American college town in Italy. Then after everyone had some drinks our friends Chris and Andy showed up and decided it was a great idea to go swimming in the ocean. They started drunk cliff diving. By this point it had started raining again and we were all a little concerned, but after taking care of the boys we went back to the apartment and the 8 of us promptly passed out.
The next morning we all went to breakfast at Rommagiore and then started hiking to one of the other islands.
The sky at dusk
However, the rain the night before had closed the path so we waited to take the train to the next city. The train station was right next to the lovers path and it took forever to get a train. Finally, we went to the next city. When we got off we walked around a little and it seemed like this one street band was following us. The group of 14 split up and I went with the group who made me feel the most included: Kevin, Elizabeth, KK, and Jim. We went down to the Mediteranean and jumped into the little area where all the boats were mored. The water was so salty that you didnt even have to swim: it was just like the dead sea. After about a good hour swimming we got out and then it started to rain. The problem this time was that I was in shorts and a little shirt. We decided to go to the last town and then walk around.
Jim, KK, Kevin, Elizabeth and me over the city
Again we had to take the train and there were hordes of American and German tourists crowding everywhere. The whole time to keep ourselves entertained we sang musical theater songs and reenacted saturday night live sketches. It was pretty entertaining. When we got to Monterossa, there was a group of Americans/Italian singing karaoke songs in the middle of the street. They were singing All the Leaves are Brown, which was really strange in the poring rain. We started walking around the city and found thtrr more people from our group Tyler, noelle, and Ryan who had gone on a hike. All of us decided that we needed some warmth so we found a pastry shop. I was sopping wet and just wanted to sit down. I ordered hot chocolate and was amazed at my desert. It was quite possibly the sweetest most refreshing hot chocolate I have ever had.
The city at dusk
Then to kill some time we ducked into one of Monterossa's churches. One bit of advice, never go into any Roman Catholic church in shorts. There were three old ladies giving me the dirties looks.
Later we went back to our apartments and took a little siesta from the rain. Walking around for an entire day in shorts in the rain is definitely exhausting. Later that night we went out to another amazing restaurant and all had dinner togethar. The night was capped by massive drinking games and another attempt by some of my friends to swim in the rainy water. I declined because frankly I wasn't drunk enough to think that it was a good idea.