We decided to spend a day exploring the region; we took a train in the morning: from Florence to La Spezia, and then another train to the first city in the Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore (check here my Google Maps).
Our idea was to do the complete hike from Riomaggiore to Monteresso, however, due to the bad weather on the previous days, 70% of the path was closed! Bummer!
Sadly enough, you only get this kind of information when you are already there.
But that doesn’t mean we did nothing, we did a lot and I’m about to show you what!
What we did then
Our first stop, so we decided to buy the Cinque Terre Card, which gave us access to the trail and unlimited train travels between the 5 cities and La Spezia.
As the trail was closed here, after exploring a bit of the village we got the train to our next stop, Manarola.
I remember I was super excited when we arrived and took me some time to believe where actually I was.
I simply love history and just imagining that I would be walking through so many historical sites, I just couldn’t believe it was really happening.
In this post, I’ll share with you everything I managed to do during these three days. Or you can go straight to the point and get here my Google Maps with all the places and restaurants conveniently marked for you. 😉
As a general piece of advice: Rome is full of history, as you probably already know, so to make your experience even better, how about studying their history beforehand or use Rick Steve‘s app for that, which I totally recommend.
I’m telling you that, because I think you’d be missing out a lot if you don’t know at least a bit of their history, or simply don’t have any idea what the places used to represent. 😉
Another important note about Rome: WALK!
This is a city to explore, taking the time to wander around (sometimes without destination), just enjoying the city!
Day 1 – Ancient Rome
Colosseum Buy your tickets online as lines are SUPER LONG there! (yes, even if you’re planning to go early in the morning)
Also, download Rick Steve‘s app and use his Colosseum audio tour, which was awesome and totally free.
And below a complete description of everything you can do:
Places to go
It’s a nice example of a medieval castle, built in 1279.
Entrance is paid, costing €6 per adult. 🙂
Well worth the price if you’re interested in this kind of medieval architecture.
Galleria Umberto I
This is such a beautiful building. Take some time to explore the shops, restaurants, and admire its splendid interior.
Royal Palace of Naples
This is another beautiful building to visit.
It also has a museum with ticketed entrance, but most of the external area, including the beautiful gardens, can be explored free of charge!
Basilica Reale Pontificia San Francesco da Paola & Piazza del Plebiscito
These two are right in front of the Royal Palace of Naples, making them a very good area to look around and admire the surrounds.
It’s a very popular street, full of shops and restaurants, ready for you to explore!
I simply loved this castle.
It is the oldest standing fortification in Naples and works today as a place for events and free visitation.
Views from up there are amazing!
Make sure to check it out!
Take some time to walk along Naples Harbour and you will be blessed with amazing views, such as in the photo below.
Not to mention the constant and inviting delicious smells from the restaurants along the way.
When I started planning this day trip to Naples (finding things to do and places to eat) something that I constantly found by reading people’s recommendations was to be aware of the areas you’re planning to visit.
It’s not that the city is totally unsafe. Not like that.
The areas I recommended above are absolutely safe and worth the visit.
However, my original personal itinerary also included things to do around the central station (Stazione di Napoli Centrale) … but yeah, when I got there, I unfortunately had to give up.
Not even the presence of the army on the streets made me safe enough to explore the area. 🙁
But overall, don’t worry too much, 1 day in Naples is more than enough to see the best things and enjoy a delicious pizza!
Make sure to follow my itinerary above and you can’t go wrong. 🙂
Three views walk
Here you have – yep, you guessed right, three easy and relatively short trails to pick from.
In case you are not in a hurry you can do all of them in the morning.
The trails are flat and don’t have much to offer along the way (just a nice walk), but the reward is at the end of each one of them, with breathtaking views.
You can see below photos from each view.
If you have to pick between one or two of the trails, I suggest picking the Shoalhaven River View (the longest trail) and/or Lake Yarrunga View (the shortest one).
Nara is just a bit more than one hour away from Kyoto and totally deserves a visit. In case you are short on time, everything I did can be done in pretty much half a day. You can get here my shared Google maps with what to do/see in Nara – the map has the precise location of all great places we visited in Kyoto and Nara.
Shall we start a tour through Nara?
Places to go
As I said above, we’re originally staying in Kyoto and then decided to take a day trip to Nara. To start we did a short walk to Kofukuji to see the second tallest pagoda in Japan. There is no photo because it was under restoration!
Bummer, can you believe that?
So this post is just a heads up to check things online before going there. 😛
This charming park is right in front of another temple we wanted to visit (see below) and is full of deers! Aw, they are so cute, you can even pet them! If you’re keen to make the deers happy, there are stands selling a special biscuit to feed them.
Curiosly enough, I’ve also seen many tourists trapped in a circle of hungry deers.
So, in case you have kids, watch out for them! Not that the deers would eat them or anything … but 😜
This is one of the most outstanding temples I’ve visited there. You can’t really see how big this place is from the photo below (downsides of a two-dimensional media), it’s unbelievable.
Inside of it you will find a huge Buddha statue that is impressive from every single angle.
Where to it
In case you want a break from the Japanese cuisine, this place makes delicious burgers.
By the way, American style burgers!
If that wasn’t exciting enough, they also make their own bacon!!! We had a beef burger, with homemade bacon, avocado, cheese, salad, and chips.
They are located a stone’s throw away from the train station, so you can stop there either on your way back or to Nara Park.