Happy weekend, ladies! I am SO EXCITED to finally share the Italy portion of our Princess Cruise through the Mediterranean coast! These pictures never fail to make me swoon (…and also never fail to make me thoroughly depressed because I miss this trip so much, ha!). We spent our first day in Italy visiting Portofino (which as you can see is the definition of magical) and the second day we ventured to Cinque Terre…and did not quite encounter the stunning cliffside views I had imagined because we got caught in a caa-razy torrential downpour that ended up being a TON of fun with an incredible group of people…but more on that further into this post! 😉
Ps. If you’re on the hunt for a vacation that exceeds all of your wildest Pinterest level expectations, you muuuust go to Italy! It truly was heaven on earth!
We took a small boat to get from our cruise port to Portofino, and once we stepped off the boat my heart pretty much melted…this precious village is SO ROMANTIC and I actually turned to Blake multiple times to ask him if it was real or if I was dreaming…Yep, totally felt like I was on a movie set it looked that perfect. I fell in love with the cobblestone streets, the vibrant color combinations and the flowers and greenery pouring over every window and balcony… so dreamy and beautiful!We stopped at numerous ports throughout our cruise, and at each stop we signed up for different excursions and ventured off the ship to explore a new city/town/village each day (Princess has a TON of amazing excursion options and offerings, this was ours to Portofino here) and there were quite a few days where we were able to meet up with our blogger friends Rob & Christina of New Darlings and enjoy the excursions together! We totally hit it off from day one – this Arizona-based couple is SO sweet, funny and crazy talented, we had so much fun exploring new cities and trying tons of food everywhere we went! Ps. You MUST check out their blog, it’s so so beautiful! ^^See what I mean? Does this not look like a movie set?! We also learned that the buildings here are actually painted to look multi-deminsional. As you get closer, you’ll notice the “trompe l’oeil” which is the art technique that creates the 3d illusion.
^^Feeling accomplished after trekking up the winding, narrow roads to get to this beautiful view! “Hey Blake, will you take my picture?!” 😉 This midi dress and Birkenstocks combo was so perfect in Portofino since we wanted to stroll all over the village. Big fan of comfortable walking sandals, and this pair certainly was one of my trusty go-to’s throughout our time in Europe. ^^Very happy to have pistachio gelato as a pre-lunch snack, ha! 😉 After exploring and walking through the hills of the village for hours, we were in need of a pick-me-up!
^^The food in Portofino was incredible and the pizza in particular was SO GOOD! We stopped into Da I Gemelli for lunch and local beer and it was wonderful – not to mention this restaurant is directly on the water, so the view really topped it all off!
^^My number one right here! Love this handsome man so much!!! Ps. Portofino is known for being a popular spot for yachts and sailboat stops…they were everywhere! I kept wondering when Jay Z & Beyonce were going to step off of one.. so many huge and gorgeous boats, we were basically “boat watching” instead of “people watching” all day, ha.
^^Playing photog for these cuties! Also…y’all, that backdrop!! ^^Headed back to the ship after a wonderful day in Portofino! Ps. Unintentional Ray-Ban ad happening here, ha! Lookin’ good, y’all! 😉
Our second day in Italy, we took a bus from our port to Cinque Terre, a string of seaside cities resting along the cliffs of the Italian Riviera coastline. There are 5 towns that make up Cinque Terre, and each one is filled with brightly colored houses with flowers cascading from balconies and boutiques and restaurants along the first floor of each building. It is truly a sight to see!
Though this was the excursion I was anticipating most of all (if you’re on Pinterest and looking up photos of Italy, you’ll know Cinque Terre has set the bar very high for vacation photos, ha!), we actually got caught in a CRAZY rainstorm that lasted the entire time we were in Cinque Terre…which made it very difficult to 1. use a nice camera when it’s soaking wet outside and 2. see 10 feet in front of us (yep, that’s how hard it was raining!). However, the group of bloggers that day was so fun and everyone was basically delirious and making the most of the weather, and it turned into the absolute “best worst day ever” because the company was so wonderful and we were all in it together. Truly, this day was one of my favorites from the trip because everyone became so silly and we all laughed SO much!
^^Gang’s all here! So chic in our ponchos and rain gear, right? 😉 On the left you have Blake workin’ it in a pink poncho (totally his color, don’t you think?), the duo behind Sugar & Cloth – Ashley in the polka dot scarf and Jared in the blue poncho (being hilarious and ridiculous, as you can see, ha!), Jen of Princess Pinky Girl in the denim jacket and her hubby Adam layered up head-to-toe, and Courtney of Color Me Courtney in the adorable hat and go-pro in hand (seriously can’t wait to see the video she puts together from this day…she was so funny talking to the camera all over town!).
^^Proud to say I’m with this goof! 😉^^True love is taking a picture wearing matching pink ponchos and holding rainbow umbrellas. 🙂We spent a couple of hours trekking through the rain (100% soaked by the end of the day, and totally worth it!) and decided to end the excursion by drowning our sorrows in Italian wine and spaghetti…not the worst thing that could have happened, right? 😉 Though we didn’t quite snap the “Pinterest-worthy” photos we set out to that morning, this was absolutely one of the most magical days from our entire Mediterranean trip! I guess that means we’ll just have to go back to experience Cinque Terre when it’s sunny out, right? 😉
In sum, Italy completely exceeded my very high expectations! The Princess Cruise local tour guides did a wonderful job of sharing interesting details about each place we visited during guided tours, and also allowed for us to explore on our own and really soak in the culture (…and food and wine..) at each destination. I could not have asked for a more incredible visit to Italy!
If you want to read more about our Mediterranean getaway, be sure to check out my “what I wore” wrap up post, our day trip to France and our afternoon spent in Cartagena, Spain. More travel posts to come, too – can’t wait to share these with y’all!
A huge thank you to Princess Cruises for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.