Lindsay’s Aunt Carol live in a small coastal town in northern Italy called Imperia. It definitely has a small town feel, everyone saying hello to one another, local businesses, everything closes when it rains, and WiFi comes on an internet stick that plugs into your USB drive. They just got a McDonald’s a few months ago! About 40,000 residents, but a quick 30 minute drive to Alassio (a popular Italian tourist town) and an hour train ride to Monte Carlo in Monaco.
This stop on our trip was welcomed as we got to spend time with family and take a short break from the hustle of our travels. Our first day we walked along the beach and grabbed coffee at Altamarea right on the water. We also walked through the marina checking out all the boats.
The next day, Carol drove us to Alassio where we walked around the pier and all the shops. A really nice town on the water if you’re looking for something lesser known and not as busy.
We drove back to Imerpia in hopes to go through Olio Carli, the area’s famous olive oil museum, but it was closed for restoration. We were able to walk through their store and sample some delicious olive oils, balsamics, and spreads. We couldn’t leave without a few tasty treats, so we bought artichoke spread, tuna in olive oil, and crackers. YUM!
From there we went to Uncle Pino’s house where he had prepared an amazing meal of homemade pasta! A real Italian feast. Justin was in heaven as he bonded with a fellow Sicilian. We had a great time talking with Cousin Marco as well. Hoping he and his girlfriend, Alina pay us a visit in Colorado soon!
Up next was a one hour train ride to Monte Carlo. Even though it was raining we were able to see the shops, the royal residence, Grace Kelly’s tomb, the big port, and of course all the yachts. We had a delicious meal at (English restaurant) and walked through their Christmas market. We found our way up to the famous casino as well. It’s a really nice town and we would love to go back in the summer time!
As we departed Imperia, we hopped on a train to Pisa. Since we were in northern Italy it was only fitting to see the Leaning Tower! We had a blast trying to get the best photos and watching everyone else make their best attempts. We paid to go up to the top of the tower, which was an incredible view. We learned that the tower was closed for 11 years for restoration as it was leaning more and more every year. It has since been corrected so no need to be scared walking on it. Although, it does lean so it feels really weird to walk around the top. Lean with it, rock with it. After that we toured the cathedral, which was equally as amazing as the tower.
Stay tuned for the next blog on Florence and Tuscany! Cheers!
Enjoy the Ride,
Justin and Lindsay