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Only 30 minutes from Milan, Lake Como is one of the most popular, if not the most, and the deepest lake in Italy. It is shaped in a "Y" fashion and is studded with beautiful little villas and resorts. In the Roman era, it was a popular retreat for the aristocrats  and still serves as a haven for the rich and famous. (Madonna, George Clooney, and Gianni Versace to name a few, all have homes here.) The stunning background of the Alps and the beautiful juxtaposition of the quaint villas among the natural beauty of nature makes this destination of our most memorable. The towns of Como and Lecco sit at the ends of the southwestern and southeastern branches respectively. The small towns of Bellagio, Menaggio and Varenna are situated at the intersection of the three branches of the lake: a triangular boat service operates between them. We stayed in the village of Menaggio, which was a perfect central base for hiking and taking ferries from one small town to another. The picturesque views from any spot in this town was to die for, and it was truly amazing to see the striking mountains jutting out of the beautiful, calm lake. We were so close to Switzerland we had to drive into this neighboring country just to say hello to the Swiss, and 20 minutes later ended up in the town of Lugano . Whether you go for adventure or relaxation, beautiful Lake Como is perfect for both.
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It's hard to believe that these places exist and more people aren't flocking there.
 
 
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The Fontana del Nettuno in the Piazza della Signoria
All artists and those lovers of art have a profound regard for the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. Florence has always been one of my top cities to visit in the world, and I can honestly say that it is certainly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. You can read about it's history here, but the better thing to do is visit for yourself.
 
 
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What a wonderful way to spend a lazy weekend, in a gondola, floating along narrow calli's and dreaming about every romantic notion attached to such a city. But, Venice is much more than just gondolas and canals. There is a deep history that you can read about here, and the beautiful architecture makes this city unforgettable. It's no wonder Venice is deemed an international treasure.
 
 
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Castello Estense di Ferrara
Ferrara as a city dates back around 1300 years when it was a Byzantine military castrum (fortified city). The Este family ruled Ferrara from 1208 to 1598, constructing many of the monuments we see today. Under the Estes, Ferrara became a center of the arts. Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, and Petrarch, among others, spent time under their patronage. But the Estes lacked a male heir. So the Pope claimed Ferrara and it became part of the Papal States, beginning a three decade decline before awakening in the 1900s, seemingly becoming aware of it's own glorious past.
Its city plan, designed by Biagio Rossetti in the XIV century, made it the first modern city in Europe. The main building is the Castello di San Michele (named after the deposition of its first brick on the 29th of September 1385, San Michele day), but it is commonly known as Castello Estense. Built in the center of the city, it is surrounded by a moat fed by the river Po, and it is the only European castle with a moat full of water.

Located on the Interstate A13, between Florence and Venice, Ferrara is the ideal pit stop for trying traditional dishes as cappellacci con la zucca, salama da sugo, pasticcio ferrarese and the local coppia bread . If you are a wine lover, do not miss the Enoteca al Brindisi, which  is known to be the oldest "wine bar" in the world.  

This is Nic's home province in the Emilia Romagna region.
 
 
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Monterosso Al Mare
This is the first or the last of the five villages- depending from which end you are traveling from. Monterosso al mare is an ancient sea village located at the eastern side of the Ligurian Riviera, between the tip of the Punta Mesco and the island of Tinetto. We began our hike here.
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Vernazza
Vernazza is the next fishing village in the Cinque terre-- how beautiful!
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Corniglia
The third village on our hike and the only one situated quite above the sea. Instead, it is on the top of a promontory about 100 meters high, surrounded on three sides by vineyards, olive and lemon trees, with the fourth side descending steeply to the sea.
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Manarola
It is the second smallest of the Cinque Terre, but is considered the oldest of the five villages, having a church that dates back to 1338.
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Riomaggiore
The last town of our hike,but not the least. We caught the boat back from here to Monterosso.