• BLOG
  • ROADTRIP TO ITALY: CINQUE TERRE

    Tiina Kivelä

    One of the best things about living in Switzerland is how close everything is. The other towns, valleys, mountains, glaciers, countries and cultures, like Italy. And in our series of Instagram-friendly trips mixing adventure and chill I’m now going to introduce you to Cinque Terre. It wasn’t the lightest trip, combined with another one, with many hours in cars and trains, topped with Italian food… But oh boy, it was worth the effort. In all, I was travelling for a week in the beginning of June; first on a real road trip to Italy, after which back to Switzerland to catch a flight to Andalusia, Spain. And let’s start with the Italian story, and the others will follow sooner or later.

    For the trip, friends (including the best trip organiser ever, thanks again M) had booked an Airbnb in a surprisingly nice little Ligurian town called Sarzana. And there we spent few days and nights, mostly on the roof terrace with good friends, ex-colleagues, ex-lovers and new lovers. Yes, with these people it’s kind of complicated, but that’s what makes it fun really. When travelling, better not to take oneself, nor others, too seriously. On a second thought, better not to take oneself too seriously ever. I’m afraid I’ve done that too much myself, and it would be a time to loosen up. Not to care that much about everything… But well, that’s another story. Let’s again get back to the Italian one.

    First day night we arrived after midnight to this sleepy town, a bit surprised for the road and tunnel charges on the way (and noting how one day we have to come back and stop on the way in Arosa Valley for biking). The next day, we started with real Italian breakfast (espresso! cappuccino!) before taking a bus and train to the first village of our Cinque Terre tour, Monterosso, from where we continued after a chill beach day to Vernazza by local boat shuttle. And since we are adventurers, not tourists, we had to rent kayaks for an hour before sunset and drink our aperó’s from plastic cups. And yes, there was pizza and seafood included in that day too. It was Italy and the sea, after all.

    The next and for me also the final Italian day, we drove to Portovenere (or Porto Venere – still not sure how it really goes) and tried to rent a boat to go further to the sea. But as the weather in the sea wasn’t permitting, a friend dug out his inflatable rubber boat and after late lunch, and gelatos, we paddled over from Portovenere to the nearby island. I think it’s called Palmaria but again not 100% sure. Nevertheless, there’s a national park and fewer tourists than on the mainland. In a matter of fact, it might so that the whole Cinque Terre is national park (hands up for nature and outdoor recreation!). It was a fun, a bit crazy trip and like always the island seemed to be something I want to go back to, hiking and finding a bit quieter beach for skinny-dipping, maybe…

    And yes, of course, there was a nice Italian sunset by the sea. And more pizza, wine and frutti di mare. And a bit of Lord Byron too (google Portovenere and Lord Byron to find out more) before,  at 5 am the next morning, heading back to Switzerland through Parma, Milan, catching a beautiful view to Lake Como too, to catch a flight to Andalusia. But that’s another story for another occasion. This was Italy in June 2017.

    Good night now.

    Tiina Kivelä

    There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
    There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
    There is society, where none intrudes,
    By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
    I love not man the less, but Nature more

    ― George Gordon Byron


    Cinque Terre ennen huippusesonkia ja viikon pituisen eteläeuroopan kierrokseni ensimmäinen etappi kesäkuun alussa. Aurinkoa, lämpöä, pastaa ja frutti di mare’a eli mereneläviä; yllättävän kirkas ja suolainen merivesi, kanottireissu ja kumivenereissu. Ihastuttava Airbnb kattoterassilla ja mahtava, hieman vinksahtanut seura How I Met Your Mother tyyliin; entisiä ja uusia pariskuntia, vauva-arjesta lomailijoita ja italialaisia tulkkeja ja melkein paikallisoppaita. Oli hauskaa, vaikkakin raskasta, eikä vähiten taas italialaisen ruoan johdosta.

  • BLOG
  • THIS WAS MILAN SEPTEMBER 2016

    Tiina Kivelä

    EN: My decision to visit Milan few weeks back came last minute, so I didn’t really plan or decide what to do before I was there. But what a good last minute decision it was to go there for a few nights, just in the dawn of Milan Fashion Week 2016. I got some great tips from a girl from Milan (soon to be my colleague) and want to share them with you too (see after pictures). Unfortunately this time I didn’t have the time to try all of the tips I was given, but I’m sure I’ll visit the city many times from now on. That lovely it was, and not the “too busy and too expensive” place, as many of my other acquaintances warned me. Brussels trained me well I guess…

    And if you have visited Milan or other cool places in Northern Italy, free to share your tips in the comments and ask further questions about mine. I’m happy to answer and also hear what to not miss around here, as Italian weekend getaways are so easy to do from Switzerland. But coming back to Milan, I’d especially like to hear your best hotel tips for Milan. This time the accommodation was my weakest link, so next time I really want to try something better. So if you have any good design / boutique hotel tips from there, they are more than welcome.

     

     

    Breakfast
    Lunch

    Afternoon & Apero & Evenings:

     Shopping

    *Edit. As some of you may have noticed, I’ve started to experiment with Instagram stories. While I like to keep my Snapchat at least semi-private (public stories, but only accepting friends I already know in real life, that is) I’m now trying to use Instagram stories to show more of my daily life, less filtered & curated than my basic Instagram feed. Feel free to follow and comment, as there will be more of my travel & daily routines there. 


    FI

    Pari viikkoa sitten vietin ensimmäistä lomaviikkoani yli vuoteen ja loman kunniaksi otin n. kolmen tunnin EC -junan Interlakenista Milanoon. Päätös matkasta syntyi viime hetkillä, joten en oikeastaan suunnitellut mitään muuta kuin nauttia hetken muotiviikkoon valmistautuvasta kaupungista ja sen kahvista, ruoasta ja muodista. Olen onnekseni ehtinyt viimeisen kuukauden aikana kuitenkin tutustua ystävälliseen milanolaiseen, tulevaan kollegaani, jolta sainkin rutkasti vinkkejä kaupunkiin. Tällä kertaa en ehtinyt kokea niistä kuin muutaman, mutta koska jokainen oli todella hyvä kokemus, aion ehdottomasti palata kaupunkiin paremmalla ajalla kokemaan myös muut kaupungin ihmeet.

    Tässä alla myös teille muille jakoon ensimmäiset testatut vihjeeni, millä pitäisi onnistua viettämään ainakin yksi, ellei kaksi, erinomaista päivää Milanossa. Gelatokioskeja tai espressobaareja en sattuneista syistä kirjaa tähän erikseen. Niitä kun löytyy lähes joka kulmalta, ja ainakaan itse en onnistunut vielä törmäämään yhteenkään huonoon kahvikupposeen* tai gelatoannokseen. Lisävinkkejä saa myös kysymällä, maililla tai kommenteissa. Ja mikäli olet jo käynyt Milanossa ja erityisesti mikäli olet onnistunut löytämään kaupungista erinomaisen hotellin, jaathan vinkkisi kommenteissa kiitos. Majoitus oli tällä matkallani heikoin lenkki, ja seuraavalla kerralla haluaisin yöpyä jossakin mukavassa ja tyylikkäässä hotellissa.

    MILANO

    Aamu

    Päivä

    Ilta

    Ostokset


    *Pieni opas italialaiseen kahvilakulttuuriin: maksa kahvi kassalle, pidä kuitti ja esitä se tiskillä. Nauti seisten ja vaihda kenties muutama sana kanssakahvittelijoiden tai henkilökunnan kanssa. Äläkä suostu maksanaan espresso kupista euroa enempää. 

    **Nykyisin matkojani voi seurata mukavasti Instagram Stories’n avulla. Siinä missä pidän edelleen Snapchattini semi-yksityisenä, eli hyväksymällä kavereiksi vain ystäviä, voi Instagramin kautta nyt seurata hieman “arkisempaa” tarinaa päivistäni.