One of our fave locations is one of the gems of the Mediterranean: Italy’s Cinque Terre. Clinging to the rugged coast lies 5 cities: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Each unique village has its own flavor. During our recent trip, we really gained interesting perspectives on travel and relationships. We’ll share a few with you. Please make sure your belts are low and tight and the tray tables are up…
Its harder than it looks
Our trip began fairly uneventful. When we say uneventful, that means we fought like cats and dogs, got lost, and saw some amazing Italian countryside. We drove from Nice, France, through Genoa, Italy to a meek town called Levanto. Levanto is a great place to base your explorations of the coast. We arrived late, in the dark, and luckily found our little bed and breakfast. The next morning we headed out armed with our Rick Steves book, 15 liters of water (see fight #45), and a passion to see some amazing sites. We were not disappointed.
After watching hours of tour programs in preparation for our trip, we “intended” to saunter to each of the villages along the trail that connects all five of the cities. We made it to two. It was tough! We opted to take the easier method of getting to our next destination: the ferry. Relationships are so similar. We all expect things to go smoothly. That’s what we see on TV. Right? Committed relationships take work. Expect the paths to be bumpy. Expect things to not go according to a fairy tale playbook. Roll with it. (or push them over the cliff and collect the insurance money.)
The trail that connects the cities is rugged. There a ton of ups and downs. Ocean mist blows up and the path can get a bit treacherous. We had to rely on each other at times to make a safe passage. It’s the same with our relationships. When one person is on the emotional high ground, we need to lend a helping hand to our sweetheart. We need to be fiercely loyal to each other in the face of rough patches. Sometimes a lifting hand or word means more than we know.
Make Your Own Map
Needless to say, a location as popular and as scenic as Cinque Terre, there was a ton of people. Restaurants were crowded, the tourist shops were a plenty. At one point, we had enough. We struck out to get lost in one of the towns. We did. It became one of the highlights of our visit. We wandered in the narrow allies climbing up, up, up. Sometimes we need to leave the well-intended advice of all our family and friends behind and set out on our own. Be yourself. Make your own map.
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Enjoy the Vistas
Words cannot describe how beautiful the sea is along Cinque Terre. It is breathtaking. The sea breaks against the cliffside of each of the cities. Each city’s zoning requirements must be pretty strict! The colors of the homes create a collage of cool. At one point during our journey, we sat at an eatery perched over the ocean and gorged ourselves on fish. During the lunch, I put down my spoon and just took it all in: beautiful surroundings, sitting next to a gorgeous woman, eating incredible food. The dolce vita! Take those moments, cherish them. You will remember them for the rest of your life. I will.
This is not Germany
At the end of the day, we made it to the last city. Hooray! We elected to take a train back to our car. Italy has given the world much: Italian sodas, spaghetti, square toed men’s shoes, the world’s best fashion designers, and a bunch of other stuff. One of the country’s few weaknesses is punctuality of its trains. They are not what you would call “on time” or “on any kind of schedule”. So, on the platform we sat. And sat. And sat. Being late in the day, we were not exactly … talking to each other. The lesson learned here is patience. The train will come in its own time. In relationships, we want things to improve right now. Each of us is human. Regardless of how we try to change the other person, change takes time. Follow the sage advice of the wise Italian-ish philosopher, Axlito Rosetta of Guns N Roses: Be patient.
So that’s our trip in a nutshell. We truly hope that you found something that was meaningful. We highly recommend Cinque Terre. The water, the rugged coastline and the scrumptious food are not to be missed. Happy fighting & traveling!
- Eating Cinque Terre – Gianni Franzi (all-things-andy-gavin.com)