- Leaning Tower to Monte Carlo & the French Riviera -
Day 10 led us from Italy to France. Our first stop after leaving Florence was Pisa. The weather was still HOT, so the day’s attire consisted of a CrOp by David Peck sleeveless top in the “Birds” pattern with red J Brand cutoffs and the sandals I’d just purchased in Florence. (Links to the pieces & similar at the bottom of this post) When I say it was hot, it was almost unbearable just standing there by the Leaning Tower… hence the hair going up!
We saw The Leaning Tower of Pisa and took a few fun pics “holding it up” with whatever ideas popped into our heads. It sits in an area with the cathedral & baptistery. They have the grassy area roped off. If you try to get in the grass to take a picture, a uniformed officer starts blowing his whistle and walking over to make you move. I’m sure it sounds as though we know because we tried, but we only witnessed another tourist doing just that who also waved to the officer as if to say, “Hold on. I’m almost done.” That was not received well by the officer.
The Tuscany scenery was unbelievable! Taking in the gorgeous mountains and quaint villages on the edge of hills, we traveled to Monaco. We traversed a stretch of roadway that has at least 163 tunnels! And, I know for sure because I counted. :) Our guide told us the number & I had to find out for myself. I was just in awe of the picturesque views between tunnels as we journeyed along the Italian riviera (coast). We also could see where marble was being mined from the mountains. I was sad to see it distort a few landscapes, but there were definitely more undisturbed than being mined. At one point, the wooded peaks reminded me of Maui. One rest stop on the drive had nutella for sale in containers bigger than my head (see pic above)!
Arriving in Monaco is quite a sight! We rounded a corner and there was the bay with HUGE yachts & beautiful buildings and waterfront. There’s no way the pictures can do it justice, but we certainly have many of those. We had visited the smallest country in the world previously (the Vatican) and stopped next in the second smallest - Monaco - Home of their royalty - the Grimaldi family. Unlike most of the other european cities, you don’t have a million vendors selling you random bottles shaped like a landmark or country & t-shirts & hats & whatever else they can conjure up. The Grimaldi’s want Monaco to have a clean, safe image, so even if you sat on a corner, put out a hat, and played an instrument, you’d swiftly be escorted out by officers and brought outside the small country. It certainly appeals to the world’s rich & famous. We saw more Maserati’s, Lamborghini’s, Bentley’s, etc in just a few minutes of standing in one spot than probably ever. Not only was it full of those luxury sports cars, but most others were nothing less than a Mercedes, BMW, or Range Rover. These vehicles can all be put to good use on the roads through Monaco that are used for the world famous Grand Prix. We saw where it begins and the path the cars take racing through the wealthy city. We also had some time to check out the infamous Casino Monte Carlo. Neither of us did any gambling, but a few others from our group did who all walking away with extra money in their pockets. We enjoyed a lovely glass of rose in the bar area that overlooks the ocean. The casino is beautiful, but unfortunately, they don’t allow cameras. It is definitely a building to see someday. Monaco is also full of luxury shopping. Chanel, Loro Piana, and more for the wealthy who dock in the amazing country.
More beautiful mountain and ocean views took us 40 minutes from Monaco to the port city of Nice - also on the French Riviera. The water here is so clear & yacht after yacht greeted us in Nice as well. We had to transition from “Ciao” & “Grazie” to “Bonjour” and “Merci”. I did still find myself wanting to say “Grazie”… I mean, we were in Italy for 5 out of 10 days we’d been on vacation.
I can’t wait to share Nice with you! I fell in love with France.
SHOP THE LOOK:
Top: CrOp by David Peck ”Birds” print sleeveless top
Shorts: J Brand Cutoff Shorts in lipstick was $158, on sale $47.40
Sandal: Bought in Florence - similar from Zappos, Christian Michael, and Naturalizer
Handbag: Marc Jacobs Cooper Crossbody Bag (shown in black here), similar from Dorothy Perkins and Kate Spade
Sunglasses: Chanel in nude (similar David Yurman here), more affordable similar tortoise here $9.99