You maaaay or may not have noticed that our store was on a small hiatus in August. We hope you noticed. We hope you missed us as much as we missed you. To those who sent us emails wondering where we were and when exactly we'll be back - BONGIORNO. That's hello in Italian.
That was our somewhat cheesy attempt at a smooth segway into the topic of this blog post. ITALY.
Yes, friends, we spent our last few weeks of August in the most magical, sunny, place and the whole time we couldn't wait to share it with you! If you're in for a quick read, skip the bottom. If you're a detail-oriented human like us and want the full picture, keep reading.
You see, from September until August we devote ourselves 100% to this company. It's our baby. In fact, if it had diapers, we'd change them with a smile on our faces because we love Parcelly and our customers. They're some of the kindest, most thoughtful humans on the planet. That being said, it's so important for us to go away because it makes it easier to see the bigger picture. We think of new ideas, we get inspired. It's harder, certainly not impossible, but harder to do this when we're doing our day-to-day tasks at the office. (Which, btw, we have a brand, spanking new one, waiting to be decorated and lived in very soon. Updates to come.)
Anywho, this year's choice fell on Cinque Terre in Italy. It's been a dream of ours to go. Once upon a time, I saw a beautiful postcard-worth picturesque view on Pinterest (or was it Instagram? You know the drill) and I knew I needed to see that view with my own eyeballs. Fun fact: Cinque Terre was one of the shooting locations of the movie "The Wolf of Wall Street". The more I researched, the more I learned that Cinque Terre was so much more than a pretty face. Tucked away in the mountainous Italian Riviera in the Liguria Region, it's filled with history, dating back to the 11th Century.
If you're wondering, Cinque Terre, quite literally means 5 Lands. So, if you try to find it on a map, you won't. It's not a city - it's five fishing villages. Cinque Terre consists of La Spezia, Manarola, Riomaggiore, Corniglia, and Monterosso. To navigate between all 5 towns, you can hike, take a train, or a ferry. La Spezia is the only village that allows cars - that's where we stayed.
Among my favourites was Monterosso, a beach town. We swam in the sea, basked in the sun, and ate the most delicious seafood. I'm a big mussels gal (not to be confused with muscles) so I was in my own personal heaven. If you find yourself in the Liguria province of Italy (bordering Tuscany), definitely eat as much seafood as you can because it couldn't be more fresh. Sea to table dining, friends.
I also really enjoyed Manarola. It's what's illustrated on most Cinque Terre postcards for its incredible view. I recently got a new camera lens and was loving taking photos of this town.
An honorable mention goes out to Corniglia - the only city without direct access to water. Our train stopped us at the very bottom of the cliff and we had to climb 365 steps in 30 degree heat to see the town. Was the sweat worth it? Absolutely. It made for an unforgettable adventure since we weren't expecting the mandatory hike whatsoever!
We stayed in La Spezia and by the end of the trip it felt like home. Our Airbnb apartment was cozy and exquisitely decorated and the host's wife baked us a welcome treat. Bellissimo!
- Everyone should visit Cinque Terre at some point because it's breathtaking and such a good vibe.
- You will consume more pizzas than you know. You'll burn them off immediately via heat and the amount of walking. Guilt-free pizza is my idea of a good time. I tried to get kinds I wouldn't be able to normally get elsewhere. Like eggplant + parmesan, delicious.
- You'll be tempted by gelato each cobblestone step that you take. If you're like me, you'll give in every single time. Need flavour inspo? My go-to's were nutella & chocolate orange.
- Italian accents make everyone seem extra charming. Your waiters, the fishermen by the sea, everyone. There's something about ending each word the letter "a", (Mario-style) is extremely endearing.
- Wine will likely be cheaper than water. If that's not an invitation to indulge, I don't know what is.
- On a more serious note, stay hydrated. It's hot! Face mist will also go a long way. My favourite is this one I found on Amazon for less than $10.
- You'll want to take photos of everything. Definitely, do. But don't forget to take in the moment with your own eyes! Lenses are great, but our eyeballs are better.
- Get a book for the plane ride. I read "Crazy Rich Asians" because I knew I wanted to see the movie upon arrival. Highly recommend!
All this to say, we're back from our trip and are excited to decorate and live in our new office space! We welcome all kinds of decor ideas so don't be shy to send us a message or comment below. We'll also be rolling out tons of new products soon so keep your eyes peeled.
If you have any questions about Cinque Terre or are curious about things that weren't covered in this blog post, comment below and we'll be happy to make suggestions and recommendation.