Cinque Terre Insider

American expat insight into Italy's fabulous "Five Lands"

Italy is one of the best connected countries by train.  Many people travel the entire boot without even touching the seat of a car (including me, 15 years ago). Once you get the hang of it, traveling by train in Italy is pretty easy. However, when you consider that many travelers do not use public transport at …

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I love to hike. It’s ironic that I live in hikers’ paradise yet I don’t get out trekking nearly as much as I’d like. Luckily for me, my collaboration with Randonnée has pushed me to get back out on the trails to rediscover this place I love. I’ve oftentimes been asked what I recommend people …

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I’m a self-professed bookworm at heart. Or, maybe I should use the past tense as my love of reading has taken a backseat since I became a mom 5 1/2 years ago (*sigh*).  Granted, I’ve still managed to sneak in a few books and one of those lucky few happens to be Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter.   …

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It’s funny, because I get a lot of people asking me about the weekly outdoor markets in Vernazza (on Tuesdays), Monterosso (on Thursdays), and La Spezia (on Fridays).  Maybe it’s because they are mentioned in some of the guidebooks?  People seem really excited to go see these markets and I hate to rain on their parade.  But …

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I wasn’t always a mom.  And to be honest, I think lots of things you really and truly don’t understand until you are one.  Like traveling with a baby/toddler/small child.  It’s not a matter of bending your child to fit your itinerary so much as bending your itinerary to fit your child. So this is my …

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I was just asked today what the customs are in Italy regarding mancie (tips) and it inspired this blog post.  So, here I am to give you a crash course on tipping in Italy. Here’s the deal: We don’t tip in Italy.  Wait, I take that back.  We tip only if we’ve had what we consider excellent …

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