The colours of the Cinque Terre

When I saw a photograph of the clutches of tightly packed houses in their pretty pastel shades clinging onto the steep cliffs above the Mediterranean Sea, I knew that a trip to the Cinque Terre (or ‘Five Towns’) in Liguria, Italy had to have a place on our Europe road trip. The picture in my mind was ridiculously romantic – puttering along the coast in a small fishing boat, pulling into the small harbours each of the villages and strolling around, soaking up the Italian mood and watching village life go on around us. Of course the reality was a…

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Lunch stop in Gandria

Before we left the UK I saw a photograph of a gorgeous-looking village in Ticino, Switzerland called Gandria on Pinterest (where else?). When we looked at our driving route from Locarno to Lake Como and realised that we would drive right past Gandria, it seemed just the place to stop off for a break on our journey. We weren’t disappointed. We parked up and followed the narrow, winding pathways down to the tiny harbour where there was a perfectly-placed bench to eat our picnic and watch the ferries on the sparkling Lake Lugano go past. The village was quiet and…

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Cycling the Medieval walls of Lucca

After visiting Florence earlier this week (beautiful but busy – the throngs of tour groups definitely took the edge off its magic for me although the buildings were breathtaking), we spend yesterday exploring the medieval walled city of Lucca, whose laid-back vibe we absolutely loved. The best way to get a feel for the city is to cycle round the top of its walls (these are so spacious there are parks and playgrounds up there) with a view of the city on one side and views of the surrounding countryside on the other. As soon as we saw these hilarious…

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Magical Corippo

After our time in German-speaking Frutigen, we headed south for a few hours to Locarno, in Ticino, the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland. I’ve already shared the video of our spectacular journey through the mountains, and the change from the alpine feel to a richer, more earthy Italian vibe was almost immediate as we entered the region. Some friends recommended a trip up the valley to a hillside village called Corippo so we braved the steep, winding, single track road up to a village that time forgot. The moss-covered cobbled alleys and steps, weather-worn stone buildings, bright pots of flowers and…

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#1day12pics – a photo an hour in June

I’ve been wanting to join in with Michelle and Emma’s #1day12pics photo day for about three months, but something has always got in the way. This month, the date fell right at the start of our Europe road trip and I was determined to take part. Luckily a tweet from Emma that morning reminded me or I’d have completely forgotten about it. It was a bit of a challenge remembering to take a shot every hour but at least I was in glorious sunshine with time on my hands. I like the idea of a theme, like Michelle has tried,…

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