For our third weekend excursion, we traveled outside of Tuscany to the nearby region of Liguria, about two hours south of Firenze.  We arrived in La Spezia and took the train to Riomaggiore, the first of five towns that make up Cinque Terre.  Together, our grande famiglia walked the first part of the trail- Via dell’Amore (Lovers Lane) and witnessed breathtaking views of the coastline.  Upon our arrival in Manarola, the second town, our group split into Team Hikers and Team Beach.  I am happy to say that a record breaking twenty-seven students chose to trek- the biggest group we’ve ever had! The hiking crew continued onto Corniglia where they stopped for lunch (pesto is a local specialty!), and then forged on to Vernazza, the fourth town.  After a quick break for water and to catch their breath, they completed the last and most strenuous part of the trail, climbing up and down endless stone stairs.  Luckily, the weather was breezy and not as scorching as usual- plus, studenti got an unbelievable view each time they stopped for a water break.  After almost three hours of trailblazing, the group arrived triumphantly in Monterosso, the final and largest of the five towns, where they were reunited with the rest of our group who had been enjoying a day on the beach.  All were eager to jump into the Ligurian Sea and spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing.  Studenti enjoyed some local specialties (pesto, focaccia, sea food) during dinner, and by evening everyone was satisfied, sun kissed, and smiling after a wonderful adventure. 

Abbey Road does Cinque Terre!

Helen, Brittany & Stuart on Via dell'Amore

Nicki found a shout out to ABBEY ROAD on Via dell'Amore :)

3 members of Team Hike: Jordan, Isabel and Emma 

WE DID IT! Celebrating as they enter Monterosso

Victory pose at the end of the hike

Beach time!

Rare staff photo! Anastasia (our fearless leader), Antonio, and Winnie