10 Things to do in Cinque Terre!

cinque-terre-pin-pic-finalAlong the coast of the Italian Rivera just before the French border lie 5 small towns known as the Cinque Terre. These five quaint towns tucked in between luscious hills are called Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corgnilia, Vernazza and Monterosso Al Mare.These towns own a little piece of my heart since this place is by far my favorite place I have ever travelled to! So when you are traveling to Cinque Terre you must experience each little town in its own unique way! Then you will surely find our why I love this place so much! So here is my travel guide to Cinque Terre! 

10 Things You Have to Do in Cinque Terre! 

 1. Eat Seafood with a View!

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Since the towns of Cinque Terre are located right on the sea, many of the restaurants feature spectacular seafood dishes. One of my favorite meals was from a small restaurant in Manarola that served us freshly made crab pasta. It was amazing! If you are as obsessed with seafood as I am, you will not be disappointed with all the seafood these town have to offer! Calamari, calms, crab oh my!

 2.Spend the Day Sun Tanning in Monterosso!

cinque-terre-pic-6The Italian Rivera has the most incredible water! So you must spend a day just relaxing  on the pebble beach in Monterosso Al Mare just watching the turquoise waves hitting the shore.

3. Eat Gelato in Riomaggiore

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Is it even possible to go to Italy and not consume gelato daily? So eating gelato as you walk through the streets of Riomaggiore is just essential!

4. Watch the Sunset Over Looking the Ocean in Manarola! 

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Watching the sun setting over the ocean is absolutely magical! On our first night in Manarola we just sat on our patio and watched the mesmerizing sunset. Also don’t forget to snap a few pics #nofilter !

5. Climb Up the Tower in Vernazza

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This tower has the most incredible panoramic views of  Vernazza!  The climb is truly breath taking! Not only the view itself but the climb as well… nonetheless its worth it! You will see every multicoloured buildings in Vernazza along with the turquoise coast!

6. Admire the Local Shops in Corgnilia!

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Corgnilia is often overlooked since it is the smallest town in Cinque Terre and is tucked up in the hills. However this peaceful town is filled with adorable locally owned shops. Its the perfect place to find a souvenir hand made from a local!

7.  Sip on Limoncello by the Sea in Manarola!

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After a long day of swimming, sun tanning and sight seeing its time to sip on some Limoncello! Manarola is filled with lemon trees so lemons are everywhere! One of my favourite places to have a late afternoon drink is at this little bar above the town of Manarola! It has the most beautiful view of the town and has the best appetizers as well!  It  was also my favourite place to celebrate my 22nd birthday while in Cinque Terre!

8. Indulge in Some Pesto on a Patio! 

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Did you know that pesto was created in the Cinque Terre region? Therefore there is pesto on everything!  Pizza, pasta and even bruschetta! No matter how you eat it the pesto is absolutely delicious!

9. Jump from the Rocks in Manarola!

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One of the craziest things I saw while in Cinque Terre was the rock jumpers in Manarola! The swimmers would climb up the rock and dive into the crystal clear water! So if you are an adrenaline junky I dare you to take the plunge! If you are not into that stuff like me, Manarola still has the best spot to go for a dip! Plus it has picture worthy views!

10. Take a million Instagram worthy pictures in Riomaggiore! 

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Speaking of picture worthy views…every piece of Cinque Terre is instagram worthy!  These multi-coloured towns are so picturesque! I could not put my camera down the entire time I was here!

Thank you so much for reading by Cinque Terre travel guide! I hope you enjoy Cinque Terre as much as I did!

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The Best of Rome

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Rome is a city filled with ancient artifacts, roman history and lots of pasta! There is really so much to see in Rome. People from all over the world travel to Rome to see the Colosseum and throw a coin into the Trevi fountain. However there is so much more to this ancient city. The cobblestone streets are filled with so much history it will truly leave you in awe. After my recent five day trip to Rome I figured out the perfect itinerary to see my favourite spots in Rome. Of course this won’t be perfect for everyone so just use it more as a guide line when planning your trip to Rome! So here is my guide to seeing Rome in 4 days!

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Day one: The Colosseum, The Roman Forum & The Monument of Victor Emmanuel II.

Of course like I said before, no trip to Rome is complete without seeing the Colosseum! I highly suggest booking your tickets in advance or getting the Roma Pass so you can skip the line! There is so much to see in Rome so don’t waste your time in a line! I also recommend going first thing in the morning. There is usually less crowds! When planning your Rome itinerary I would dedicate a whole morning to seeing the Colosseum and exploring the Roman Forum.

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After visiting the Colosseum walk to the Roman Forum. This is not the most breathtaking part of Rome, its more visualizing what Rome use to look like. However the history of the Roman Forum is incredible. To think you are walking through ancient government buildings and even Julius Caesar shallow grave, its pretty amazing. The Roman Forum is quite large so make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes. The ground is very uneven and lots of steps to climb up to get an amazing view of the Forum and city. This area is also very spread out and includes a couple of buildings to explore. If you’re a history enthusiast and enjoy walking among ruins give yourself a few hours here. If not I would still explore the Forum and learn the story about Romulus and Remus and ancient Rome. Between the Colosseum and the Roman Forum I would give myself at least four hours to begin to understand the history of Rome.

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Once you have gotten enough of the Roman Forum walk over to the Monument of Victor Emmanuel II. This massive marble monument was built for the first king of Italy (Victor Emmanuel II) who was said to have unified the country. This building also commemorates the tomb of the unknown soldier. After respectfully snapping pictures at the steps climb up the stairs and into the building where you will find more stairs that will eventually lead you the perfect spot to see all of Rome. 

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After your day exploring the history of Rome it’s time to relax enjoy some dinner and grab some gelato. The best way to enjoy Rome is to not overwhelm yourself too much. Its an extremely busy city and with so much to see and do it can be extremely exhausting. So don’t try and see everything in one day.

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Day Two: The Vatican, St Peter’s Basilica & Trastevere Neighbourhood

You really can’t go all the way to Rome without visiting the Vatican city! Even if you are not religious The Vatican museum is a must see! There is so much history in The Vatican museum you can easily spend all day there. Unfortunately there is so much more to see in Rome so you should probably only spend a couple hours there. Therefore start your day third day off early and visit St. Peter’s Basilica first. If you buy your tickets in advance, which I highly recommend since the lines are crazy, you will have to book your entrance time before hand. We recommend visiting St. Peter’s Basilica first since it takes less time to admire, leaving you more time to roam around the Vatican Museum. When we booked our tickets we gave ourselves two hours to take pictures in the Basilica and take a quick break before entering The Vatican for noon. I also highly recommend going as early in the day as possible to avoid at least some crowds. Plus it takes around 3- 4 hours to walk through everything!

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After spending a few hours in awe of the Sistine Chapel and everything else The Vatican has to offer, begin to stroll down to the river banks of the Tiber. Just down the street from The Vatican is Castel Sant’angelo this cylindrical building towers over the Tiber river. You can head to the top to see panoramic views of Rome or snap a few pictures at the base! After indulging in more Roman history continue your stroll along the Tiber.

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This walk along the river banks is not only beautiful, it will lead you to one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Rome called Trastevere! This area is filled with rustic buildings and adorable shops. After spending hours admiring art, its time to grab some gelato and browse some family owned stores! Trastevere is filled with so many charming streets you could really spend hours just gazing at them! This area is also the perfect spot to grab dinner! Nothing is better than a big plate of pasta after exploring an entire country and part of Rome! Hahaha!

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Day Three: The Trevi Fountain, The Panthenon & The Spanish Steps

Ah the Trevi Fountain. Something on everyones bucket list. They do say if you throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain you will surely come back to Rome. Well I have been to Rome three times so it must be true! HAHA! This is quite the tourist spot so I highly suggest waking up early and getting to the fountain right away. Lucky for us we were staying at an airbnb a minute walk from the Trevi Fountain so we went there at 8 am one day to take pictures! The early morning was sure worth it since we got there before all the tour groups and there was only a handful of people there! We got some of the best pictures since there wasn’t a million tourists photo bombing us!

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Afterwards take a five minute stroll along the cobblestone streets until you reach the Pantheon. The Pantheon is the most preserved and most influential Ancient Roman monument.  This temple also has the largest unsupported dome in the world! The Pantheon is also where the tombs of  Victor Emmanuel II and famous painter Raphael is located. This place was absolutely incredible and it’s so crazy to think it was built in 125 CE!  Also don’t forget to stand in the centre of the Pantheon and look up! rome pic 23.jpg

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While you are at the pantheon you have to try the best gelato place in the entire world Della Palma Gelato! It’s just down the street from the Pantheon and it has over 150 flavours of gelato! All there gelato is fresh and filled with delicious chunks of flavour! I have never seen so many drool worthy flavours in my life! Since our airbnb was a two minute walk from this place we went there every single day while in Rome! I cannot say enough good things about this place! After you grab your gelato grab a seat by the fountain near the Pantheon and people watch!

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After devouring your gelato head down to the Spanish Steps. It’s about a fifteen minute walk from the Pantheon and along the way there is tons of shopping. I’m not going to lie I think the Spanish Steps are completely over hyped. Every single time I go there its under construction and the building is boarded up.I just think there is so many more beautiful places in Rome! Nonetheless the area surrounding the steps is perfect for spending an afternoon shopping! After a busy day of exploring the streets of Rome its time to find a place to eat! One of the best parts of Italy is the food! Not just any food, local, handmade, delicious food! While in Rome I encourage you to try what Rome is famous for. Such as, thin-crust Roman pizza & carbonara pasta! Yes its true, Italian food is region. So the pizza in Naples tastes different than the pizza in Rome! So try out different food in eat region while in Italy!

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Day Four: Cooking Class & Piazza Navona

After spending three days consumed by tourist attractions it’s a good idea to spend a day living like a local and relaxing a bit. If you’re a total foodie you must spend a day wandering around Piazza Navona and try making your own Italian dishes! One of my favourite areas in Rome is Piazza Navona. This historic square has a beautiful fountain with an obelisk in the centre. While admiring the fountain of the four rivers I encourage you to learn about the history of one of the most beautiful squares in Rome! We loved watching the cobbled stone square come to life! Couples kissing by the fountain, families eating dinner on the patio and kids running around with gelato. We enjoyed sitting the centre and simple just soaking up the Italian sun. This area was also our favourite place to eat. Just a block off of Piazza Navona was some of our favourite places to eat in Rome. There was tons of adorable restaurants with amazing homemade pasta. We ate on the patio every night!

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When in Rome we highly recommend taking an Italian cooking class . It was highlight of our trip to Italy forsure! We did the Open Market and Pasta Making Cooking Class by Navona Square through Viator and we were so glad we did! We were welcomed by our lovely chef who took us on a little tour through Piazza Navona before arriving at his family’s home. We loved how he made us feel at home and our class was very hands on since there was round 8 of us. We learned how to make strozzapreti, tagliatelle alla chitarra, cavatelli rigati, tortellini and Ravioli pasta! Then we topped all those pastas with fresh pesto, carbonara and bolognese sauce! Making all those different kinds of pasta from scratch was so much fun! Nevertheless the absolute best part was of course the feast after all of our hard work! SO MUCH PASTA!

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Rome is one magical city. From the rich history to the rich food, there is something for everyone to see in Rome! There is so much to see in Rome it can be extremely overwhelming to see it all! While planning your trip to Rome I highly recommend staying at least four day to see the best of Rome! The more days the better in Rome!

I have been to Rome three times and I still haven’t see everything this city has to offer! So don’t feel the need to see every single thing you read about Rome! Spend more time doing what you actually want to do, not what everyone else tells you to do and you will enjoy your time more!

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Beautiful Burano Italy

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Burano, Italy

Burano is absolutely beautiful. Burano is a small island in the Venetian lagoon about an hour boat ride from Venice. If you have some extra time while visiting Venice I highly recommend spending at least an afternoon exploring the colourful canals of Burano. I was lucky enough to spend a quiet afternoon in Burano during my trip to Venice. This small island was filled with colourful houses, adorable shops and a lot less tourists than Venice! This island is famous for it’s seafood dishes, silk scarves and of course the picturesque canals. We could not help but try some delicious seafood risotto after we peaked through all the shops (we bought some scarves that were made on the island to!) Burano is absolutely one of my favorite places in Italy and I would love to go back one day! My favourite part of Burano was simply just walking around and taking pictures…

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All the buildings are so colorful…

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. . . and each house has its own boat!

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You won’t see any cars on this island . . .

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. . . just some clothes drying in the wind!

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Burano is filled with a lot less tourists. . .

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. . . but there is still so much cuteness!

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The Best of Venice

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Venice is like no other place in the world. Travellers from all over the world visit Venice for its romantic canals, Italian culture and picturesque bridges. This city truly captivates the hearts of everyone who wanders it. Here is my guide to see one of the most beautiful cities in the world!

How to See the Best of Venice…

  1. Get lost wandering the picturesque canals

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2. Eat some delicious gelato while you watch the gondola’s go by

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3. Walk through The Bridge of Sighs to snap a different perspective of the bridge

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4. Search the streets to find “Venice’s hidden gem”

 

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5. Then climb up Scala Contarini del Bovolo to view all the roof tops of Venice

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6. Relax from the tourist crowds on a quintessential gondola ride

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7. Wake up early to experience the less touristy side of Venice. It’s the perfect opportunity to take a picture of The Bridge of Sighs.

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8. Admire the breathtaking art in Dodges Palace

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9. Count the boats passing through the Grand Canal

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10. Get to know the history of Venice by touring St Mark’s Basilica

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11. View St Mark’s square from the water

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12. Enjoy some delicious seafood pasta with a view!

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13. Explore Rialto Market after viewing the famous Rialto Bridge

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14. Fall in love with the city all over again as you watch the sunset

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15. Lastly, capture photos of all the charming buildings around every corner. Venice is such a beautiful place so enjoy every moment.

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Hello!

We are Kadin and Calvin, 22 year old university students who have a passion to explore the world! Being students we are learning how to travel on a budget without limiting our experiences! We haven’t been everywhere but it’s on our list. So join us on our journey to see everything this world has to offer!

How to Plan the Perfect European Vacation!

 

So you are thinking of going on a European adventure?

You are probably wondering where you should begin…How do you plan the perfect adventure of a life time? Well I know when you are first start to plan an adventure it’s extremely intimidating. Planning any trip won’t be easy and it won’t happen over night. There are many aspects to planning your perfect adventure. As overwhelming as trip planning can be, doing it on your own is such a rewarding experience! By doing your own research, budgeting and planning your perfect itinerary it will create the most fitting vacation for you as a traveller. Although no vacation is absolutely perfect, I know from my own experience you can create an unforgettable trip with some effort and lots of planning!

  1. Research

Now that you want to go to Europe you must decide where, for how long and what you want to see. This is one of my favorite parts of trip planning. I spend hours on Pinterest looking at places to go and things to see. Once you get an idea of places you admire you must research. This is my favorite part of trip planning. Call me crazy but I love going to the library and taking out Rick Steves books or spending hours reading travel blogs! The more you educate yourself on a place the more you will know what to expect in the future. It’s so important to know a thing or two about the destinations you are travelling to. There is more to Paris than just the Eiffel Tower. It would be a shame to travel all the way to Paris and only see the Eiffel Tower and not to experience the beautiful Parisian culture and history along the way. The more you learn about a city before hand the more you know what to expect when you get there! Also it would suck to go to a destination and have no clue what to do there or what that city is all about. So learn a little bit about the history and know what you will be looking at! Researching is going to take a lot of effort but trust me its worth it. While you begin your research you should also look up different methods of transportations to travel between places. If you are considering traveling to Portugal and also Norway how are you going to get there? Are you going to travel there by train, plane or car? This is also a great learning experience to see how practical your trip itinerary is. Taking a train from Portugal to Norway is nearly impossible so maybe you shouldn’t go to both countries this trip? Nevertheless the more you research the more you can decide where and what you do on this trip.

  1. Budget

Again, once you start to come up with all the places you want to see and the things you want to do, its important to outline a budget so you know what you realistically can do. This step is different for every traveller. Trying to figure out how much this European vacation is going to cost is a very daunting process. Always remember to consider your flight, living expenses, transportation, food, activities as well as unexpected costs. This again where you need to research. Some travellers spend $200 a night at a hotel while others spend $20 a night at a hostel. Your budget is really up to you but make sure it is realistic. I suggest looking up flights and train tickets before hand to get an idea of the cost. Do a quick search on airbnb or expedia to see how much a night is at one of the cities you want to see. Just to give you an idea, my budget for a night staying in an airbnb ( That was relatively nice, close to major attractions and in awesome neighborhood) during my France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy trip was just under $100 CAD (65 euros for two people including all fees). Budgeting for a trip requires a lot of research. However all the effort will pay off when you learn how to stay within budget and learn how to save some money along the way.

  1. Create the perfect itinerary

Once you have decided where you would like to visit and the cost I then suggest creating your perfect itinerary. This step will make or break your trip. I have heard countless people try to cram in ten European countries in three weeks and absolutely go crazy along the way. So don’t do it. The amount of time you spend at a place will allow you to see more things while actually enjoying your surrounds and the culture. I recommend never spending less than three nights at a destination so you have two full days to explore the place. Small cities or places where there are only a few attractions you want to see (such as Munich, Bern, Venice) I would say minimum three nights but four nights would be best. For larger cities such as Paris and Rome I would say minimum 5 nights so you have at least four full days to explore. Also make a note that travel days are almost always a complete right off. Travelling from city to city is exhausting the last thing you want to do after a five-hour train ride is to quickly drop your stuff off to climb up the Eiffel Tower. It’s so unrealistic to plan activities on the day you arrive in the new city. So always keep that in mind while planning how long you stay at a destination. The biggest tip I have for you is to go to fewer places but spend more time in those places. Again, don’t try and see ten different countries in three weeks. So take your time. The more time you spend in the place the more you get to enrich yourself in the culture and can peacefully explore the city. I am telling you from my own experience, its exhausting travelling to another city every other day. So spend more time in fewer places so you aren’t so GO-GO-GO and you can actually enjoy the places you go and the things you see.

  1. Plan Plan Plan

I cannot say this enough. If you want to have the most perfect trip you must plan for it! Planning for any trip takes lots of research and planning. No matter if your trip is one week or five its best if you start to plan as far in advance as you can. Slowly but surely your trip will come together exactly as you imagined. Research if you need to book your tickets in advanced to get into a museum. Check out different city passes. For example The Paris Pass really paid off during my recent five day trip to Paris. We researched the cost for museums like Le Louvre or Musee d’Orsay and we realized all the activities we wanted to see while in Paris were included in the Paris pass. Not only that it was cheaper for us to buy the Paris pass than buying tickets individually. AND the best part was that with the Paris Pass we skipped the line for every single museum! Just that part alone was worth every single penny! That is why planning in advance is so important! Especially if you want your trip to go smoothly! Find our what tickets you need to buy in advance so you won’t have to wait in line! Trust me it’s worth it!

Starting to plan for your European adventure is extremely intimidating at first! But don’t fret! Slowly start to research your destination and the planning will fall into place. Planning your perfect trip will not happen over night but it will all pay off. Start by browsing Pinterest or travel blogs to get trip inspiration then start to listen to others who have experienced those destinations. The best way to learn is to learn from others! So let the research begin! I hope this helped you start your trip planning process! There is a lot of planning and researching to plan the perfect trip so just take your time! I wish you the best of luck!

So happy trip planning!