Visions of Sarzana


Sarzana, Italy

After exploring the town of Lucca, my family and I spent a couple hours in the hotel trying to find last minute accommodations somewhere more north, near La Spezia. I was determined to go to the Cinque Terre, and La Spezia is a good spot to take ferries or trains from to visit the Five Lands. After contacting a bunch of people on Airbnb, we finally got someone to accept our last minute request, and they were located in a town called Sarzana, which we had never heard of before. We packed the car back up, and headed north. It wasn’t too bad of a drive, and after getting lost and finding someone who spoke English to help us with directions, we arrived at our new house. We were relieved to have found something and it was nice and spacious, and worked out great. The owners lived downstairs, and they were all very sweet and helpful. There were vineyards across the street, and we were happy to be able to walk into town.

The view from our bedroom window.

The view from our bedroom window.

Sarzana's multi-colored buildings in the center of town.

Sarzana’s multi-colored buildings in the center of town.

IMG_7066  IMG_7069


This place had some of the best gelato we’ve had so far in Italy.



Sarzana was not totally packed with tourists, so it was fun to be in a place where we could see what it really felt like to live in a small town in Italy.

I went on some nice runs too, passing many vineyards and olive groves on the way.




I really wanted to stop and buy some fresh olive oil, but it was too early in the morning.


One day we had a full-day sailing trip to Cinque Terre booked, and I was really looking forward to it. But alas, in the morning when we were supposed to leave to go to La Spezia to catch the sailboat, it was storming so badly that there was no way a boat would go out on the ocean in those conditions. It ended up clearing up in the afternoon, and since I was determined to be by the ocean, we drove to Carrara, in search of a beach to spend the afternoon. After trying a couple different beaches and being told they were all private and members-only, we finally found (what seemed like) the only free beach. The ocean was really rocky due to the storm so I didn’t swim, but at least we enjoyed a couple hours of sunbathing.


Finally got my feet in the Mediterranean!




The rest of our time was spent taking a 4×4 tour of the marble quarries in Carrara (which was SO COOL), and taking a ferry to Portovenere… more on that later!


  1. That’s awesome that you guys found a town that was mostly local and no tourists! I would love to do something like that if we get the chance 🙂 Looks like you got some more beautiful runs in through those vineyards, too! I can’t imagine getting to do that for a few days and weeks!

  2. Just caught up with all your adventures in Italy! So amazing and beautiful…and the food looks to die for!! I love that you are getting to run as well! You mentioned running a half marathon in September, will you be back in the states or will this take place in Europe? 🙂

    1. It’s a good thing I’ve been running to try to counteract some of the delicious food! It should be in Europe… if all goes according to plan. I’ve got my eye on one, and I’m going to register as soon as we book transportation. Fingers crossed!

  3. Gorgeous pictures! I briefly studied abroad over the summery before my senior year of college, but the cities I stopped in were all very touristy (Milan, Florence, Rome, Tuscany, before heading to Switzerland). How nice it must be to enjoy a less crowded area of beautiful Italy 🙂
    I so admire you & your husband for just picking up and moving to Europe!

    1. Thank you so much! Yeah, as much as I enjoyed the big cities, the smaller towns were highlights in our travels for sure. I loved being able to see what it would feel like to live in one!

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