This past weekend was jam-packed with trips headed out to Venice, Wine Tasting in Tuscany, Cinque Terre, French Riviera, and the Amalfi Coast. With students gondola-ing around Venice, tasting the famous Brunello wine in Tuscany, and scuba-diving in the French Riviera, it was quite the fun-filled weekend!
On Thursday off we were to the premier European summer getaway, French Riviera, to roll the dice with the celebrities in the Monte Carlo Casino, and to hi-jack a superyacht. From our home base of Villa St. Exupery in Nice, we launched off to Eze, Monaco, and Antibes. Friday was spent in Nice, the capital of the Cote d’Azur, where some of the group went sailing, some went scuba, and the rest laid on the beach. After a night of dancing on tables at Wayne’s Bar, we hit up the best views of the French Riviera in Eze, then marveled at the sheer lavishness of Monaco, the world’s richest country per capita. The weekend was capped off with a beautiful beach day in Antibes, a marvelous medieval beach town that Picasso even called home.
This weekend Bus2alps also rode down to the Amalfi Coast. We had students from Rome, Florence, and Siena join us for an amazing weekend in the southern Italian sun. Friday we explored the Island of Capri, starting with a boat tour around the island and a trip into the Blue Grotto; trekking up to Anacapri for lunch and limoncello tasting; and then ending out on the beach with the Mediterranean waters lapping up at our feet. Saturday we rode down to Positano for a beautiful day on the beach followed by thrilling cliff jumping and cave swimming. We wrapped up the weekend with a tour of the ancient city of Pompei on Sunday.
Back in Florence, students hopped on a bus to spend Friday in the beautiful city of Venice. Despite a few morning showers, the group got off to a fantastic start with viewing a live demonstration at one of the oldest Venitian glass blowing factories on the island of Murano. Next we jumped on a quick water bus to a smaller island called Burano, famous for its rainbow colored houses. We ended the day with a yummy seafood dinner and of course, gelato! It was a great day had by all.
On Saturday, Rome students couldn’t have asked for a better day to taste wines as the sun shone brightly throughout all of the Tuscan countryside. We started our day off by visiting the Altesino winery just north of Montalcino. It’s here that Sangiovese grapes are used to make Brunello wine. In fact, it is the only place in the world that can make the famous wine! After having a tour of the facilities, the students all sampled the different wines that are made on site and some even purchased bottles to save for later. Next stop, the hill-side town of Pienza. In Pienza, the students strolled around the town and took in the breathtaking views. We then enjoyed a tour of Palazzo Piccolomini which is where Pope Pius II had lived briefly. Our last stop, Montepulciano, was exciting because the students were very eager to see where the Twilight saga New Moon was filmed. We ended our day at the Ercolani winery where we tasted some olive oil, cheese, and of course more wine!
Sunday was spent exploring the five lands of Cinque Terre. After the group trekked the beautiful Via Dell’Amore trail from Riomaggiore to Manarola, we split as some went to hike the rest of the coastline trails and others hopped on a train to Monterosso to relax the day away at the beach. Gorgeous weather and great scenery provided another unforgettable day in Cinque Terre.
After another successful Bus2alps weekend, we want to say thank-you to all of the students who will shortly be returning back the U.S… from cliff-jumping in Amalfi Coast, scuba-diving in French Riviera, island-hopping in Croatia, and so much more it’s been quite the crazy summer and we will truly miss you all!