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When I studied abroad in Italy, there was one splurge I always had money for: gelato. You know why? Because you can get good gelato for a euro or two and that doesn’t break the travel budget. It became custom for one of my roommates and I to cook the cheapest dinners we could before heading out for an evening walk with gelato. One euro. Two euros. Never more than three euros. We believed ourselves to be gelato aficionados, seeking the best of our favorite flavors and venturing all around Florence to find them.

I haven’t changed much. And, when it comes to gelato, that’s not a bad thing.

I set out on this trip to find the best gelato in Cinque Terre. I would happily scour all the villages to find it. After months of a slow carb (no carb?) diet, I was more than happy to take one for the team to find the best gelato in Cinque Terre. I’ll count them down for you with the pros and the cons because there wasn’t a bad gelato, but there were some that were better than others. Sadly, this list is incomplete. Every time I tried to find gelato in Monterosso al Mare, they were closed. Blame the off-season. Blame my inability to get there before sunset (which is truly the most beautiful time of day in Monterosso al Mare), but I could not find a gelateria that could accommodate my wily schedule. I’m sure it’s easier in the summer.

journey of doing - best gelato in cinque terreP I N I T

Best Gelato in Cinque Terre

  1. No name gelateria on Via Colombo just past Bar Centrale (Riomaggiore) – 2 euro, small cone, Bacio (chocolate hazelnut) – After finding fantastic focaccia in Riomaggiore, I wanted the gelato to be good, too. Maybe I wanted it to be good because it was 2 euros. Maybe I wanted it to be good because I didn’t trust the other gelato stand. Maybe I wanted it to be good because it included plenty of hazelnuts. But, it just wasn’t as good as any of the others. It was a little icy. The cone was of the boxed variety and didn’t taste fresh at all.

journey of doing - best gelato in cinque terre; riomaggiore gelatoP I N I T

  1. 5 Terre Gelateria (Manarola) – 2.50 euro, small cone, Canella (cinnamon) and Nocciola (hazelnut) – Oh, I was so excited to see canella. Some 13 years ago, I found canella in a tiny alley in Venice and I’ve found it about three times since that night. It’s one of my favorite flavors. I wanted to love it and tell you it was the best gelato in Cinque Terre. And, the canella was good. The flavor was strong and robust. The nocciola had a rich flavor as well, but it was slightly icy. The cone was fresh, but the serving was skimpy.   Two thirds of my cone did not have any gelato, and that made for a very sad cone.

journey of doing - best gelato in Cinque TerreP I N I T

  1. Gelato Corniglia (Corniglia) – 2 euro, small cup, Miele (honey) – After I finished Alberto’s gelato, it seemed only appropriate to try the gelato from across the street. I sent my husband in with the directive to ask for the most popular flavor. He came back with miele (which included bits of walnuts) and neither one of us were entirely sure about it. Like Alberto, it was creamy but not quite as soft. The wafer pirouette wasn’t quite as fresh as Alberto’s, but overall, it was tasty. Alberto’s freshness allowed me to easily dub him the winner of this Sunday morning challenge, but both are great buys.

journey of doing - best gelato in cinque terre; gelato cornigliaP I N I T

  1. Gelato Alberto (Corniglia) – 2 euro, small cup, Nocciola (hazelnut) – Alberto’s gelato was soft and creamy with a subtle flavor that was not overpowering. The wafer was a nice (and delicious!) touch – fresh, flakey, and a strong taste of vanilla. I sat on the steps across the street and enjoyed watching children play.

journey of doing - best gelato in cinque terre; gelato alberto cornigliaP I N I T

  1. Gelateria Vernazza (Vernazza) – 2.50 euro, small cone, Gandiolo (chocolate with nuts) and Nocciola (hazelnut) – I conducted two separate taste tests on two separate days before I was willing to admit that this was the best gelato in Cinque Terre. The rich chocolate flavor of the gandiolo was the perfect complement to the strong flavor of the nocciola. Neither were overly sweet but both included plenty of nut pieces, which provided a nice texture change against the creamy consistency of the gelato. The generous serving size lasted well into the fresh, brittle cone, and I spent the next day trying to figure out how to get back to Vernazza to enjoy another cone. The best thing about Gelateria Vernazza though? It’s open later than all the other gelaterias along the main street, so you’ll be able to get your fix when you decide you need another one.

journey of doing - best gelato in cinque terre; gelateria vernazzaP I N I T

journey of doing - best gelato in cinque terre; gelato vernazzaP I N I T

Wanderful WednesdayP I N I T

Linking up for #WanderfulWednesday

Isabel, Marcella, Vanessa, Lauren

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  • Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders - I feel that you can tell just by looking at your cone from Gelateria Vernazza that it would be the best! They definitely didn’t skimp you on the gelato, and it looks delicious! That’s one of the things that I loved the most about Italy too, all of the amazing gelato that was all over the place!ReplyCancel

  • Christine - Excuse me while I hop on a plane! Yum.ReplyCancel

  • Mandy - Thanks for all of that hard work you put into taste testing gelato. Next time I go to Cinque Terre, I’ll be sure to refer to this post for where to go! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey - This is crazy but the only place I’ve had gelato is South Africa! This looks delicious!!!ReplyCancel

  • La Brutta Figura - I absolutely love the seriousness with which you have taste tested these gelati, I think you should go professional. Also yum.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Hahah, this post is VERY important. I LOVE gelato, and I also would really like to visit Cinque Terre this summer. I am wondering – how did you get to Cinque Terre? Did you drive or train or fly?ReplyCancel

  • Jane @ Raincity Librarian - Droooooling….

    Taste-testing is serious business! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Katherine - When it comes to gelato, there’s only one flavour for me: melon, rockmelon, cantelope or melone. Depending on where I am.
    It’s the best! #WanderfulWednesdayReplyCancel

  • Christine Keane - Oh man, I ate gelato every day in Italy… and I have the waistline to show for it… or maybe it’s from all the carbs I ate? lol Can’t read more about your time in Cinque Terre!ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa Brune - Awwww I love Italian ice-cream!! That’s basically what I miss about life in Norway most. We don’t have one traditional ice-cream parlour here in Tromso. I’m so spoiled by Germany where you can find Italian gelato in literally every town!!!ReplyCancel

  • Ruth | Tanama Tales - I love, love gelato! Your photos are so good. I do not know why but I have problems taking photos of ice cream and gelato. I am not sure if it is the way I grab it or what. Anyway, when in Italy I ate gelato once or twice daily. I mean, it is inexpensive and so delicious! #wanderfulwednesdayReplyCancel

  • Katie Elizabeth - Well this post is just full of PURE DELICIOUSNESS. It’s 9am and now I neeeed ice cream!ReplyCancel

  • Lolo - OOoh what could possibly be better than gelato AND Cinque Terre! #WanderfulWednesdayReplyCancel

  • Jessi (Two Feet, One World) - MMM gelato, definitely one of the best things about any trip to Italy! Thank you so much for putting in the hard yards to find the best in Cinque Terre, truly an immense public service effort 😉ReplyCancel

  • Nano @ Travel With Nano B. - Sara, first of all, what an indulgence. Sounds like you were on the most perfect mission in the world! My best friend is heading to Cinque Terre in June and I will share this post with her to make sure she checks out all the spots you recommend. Also, I found your web-site via Wanderlust Wednesday link-up and am swooning over your beautiful blog and photos (especially the shots taken in Florence!). Cannot wait to follow along your other travel adventures. xoxo, nano | http://www.travelwithnanob.comReplyCancel

  • Emily @ Martinis & Bikinis - I’ve never had an authentic gelato but it looks delish especially for a warm sunny day! Cinque Terre was on our list of places to visit in Europe which isn’t happening this year but the husband was sold on spending a good portion of the vacation there. It looks beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Marcella ~ WhatAWonderfulWorld - Oh yummm, these all look heavenly! I just wouldn’t know how to choose 🙂 Yummy!ReplyCancel

Though we didn’t get home until late yesterday afternoon, it started to hit me Saturday that we would soon be back in the real world.  For two weeks, my husband and I focused on each other.  We didn’t worry (too much) about work, about nonsense, or anything else.  I surprised my husband with a driving tour (which I read about on Victoria’s blog), and though it turned out to be a little bit of a disaster on our end, it reminded me how this life was worth the wait.

journey of doing - Worth the WaitP I N I T

…in junior high, I always wanted to go on my school’s trip to France.  That wasn’t in the cards financially, so I had to wait until my junior year in college when my summer internship paid for my study abroad semester in Florence, Italy… worth the wait.

…not getting to attend my first choice college out of high school, spending my freshman year at Texas Tech, and transferring to University of Redlands, where I met all of my closest friends, got healthy, and realizing that I could be happy again… worth the wait.

…changing my major numerous times, settling on the most difficult major (for me), and struggling through every minute of it to get my Petroleum Engineering degreeworth the wait.

…my stepdad being willing to wait until I was ready for him to be a part of my life to be the best dad this girl could ask for… worth the wait.

…convincing my students to apply broadly to college and resist the urge to give up at first deferral or rejection… only to see them get into their dream schoolworth the wait.

…living in our tiny apartment to save money so we could buy our first home in the neighborhood where we wanted to live with a short commute… worth the wait.

…all the times when I thought no one would get me and that I wouldn’t get married, only to find the perfect person for me.  Who gets me.  Who understands me.  Who loves me despite my flaws and desperately tries to make me happy every. single. day… worth the wait.

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  • Biana - Everything good in life, is worth the wait!! I love that photo of you guys!! xo, Biana –BlovedBostonReplyCancel

  • Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders - It sounds like this trip was beyond perfect, and I can’t wait to hear all about it! It definitely sucks getting back into the real world after a fun trip though!ReplyCancel

  • cara - Aw I love this post so much! There are so many things in life that are definitely worth the wait. It makes you appreciate it that much more!ReplyCancel

  • Robin - I love that picture of you two. 🙂 I had some bad dating experiences before I met my husband, but everything was worth it.ReplyCancel

  • Mandy - Such an inspiring post! And an adorable picture! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Elizabeth - Yes! I’m so happy you’ve been able to reflect on all these moments in your life and shared them with us! What an inspiring way to start the week. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • SMD @ Life According to Steph - All of those things…worth it!ReplyCancel

  • Olya @ The Siberian American - This is such a lovely post, Sara! All the good things in life are worth the wait. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Amanda Elizabeth - A practice of patience for sure but worth it in the end! I love that capture girl.ReplyCancel

  • Katie Elizabeth - Can we just talk about that picture?!? And love this. If I had gotten into my first choice college, I would have never ended up in Kalamazoo and met Nick! I always think about that!ReplyCancel

  • Emily @ Martinis & Bikinis - Lovely photo of the two of you! Some things are worth the wait even though it may seem painful at the time but it gives us good life lessons right?ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - This post made me smile, I love it. And that photo!!ReplyCancel

Last week was a whirlwind.  It ended with a Cinque Terre weekend though, so I’m not sure I’m allowed want to complain.

I don’t know how everything got done but somehow it did.  It always does, doesn’t it? Some crazytown stuff happened at one of my schools.  Ever seen Gossip Girl?  (It’s a guilty pleasure, don’t judge me.)  ANYWAY, yeah, that -ish is better left on TV.  Thankfully, it worked out but it blew my entire day on Wednesday.  I went to JLD WomenLEAD on Thursday evening.  Our girls did AMAZING and took 1st, 2nd, and 3rd (that’s $30,000 in scholarships right there).   You can (and should) watch the videos on our Facebook page.  I stayed up way too late to finish the work that I should have done on Wednesday.  Friday morning, I got up at 5:00am to pack before meeting with one of my kiddos at 8:00 to finish her graduate school applications.  I spent the day with her before boarding a flight at 7:45 Friday evening.

journey of doing - cinque terre weekend - vernazzaP I N I T

Let the Cinque Terre Weekend Begin!

Two planes, two trains, and a hike later and we found ourselves in Manarola by Saturday evening.  Not to worry, my husband had already located the closest restaurant to our hotel and we had ourselves an enjoyable first meal around 9:30 that evening.

Yesterday, we woke up early and were out the door by 9:00am.  From Manarola to Cornigila to Vernazza to Manarola to Cornigila to Vernazza to Manarola to Vernazza and finally back to Manarola late last night.  (Did you catch all that?  lol)  Our train and hiking passes are being put to good use.

You’ll catch me in the vineyards today.  And, probably continuing my quest for the best gelato in the Cinque Terre along with adding a focaccia quest.  Follow me on the ‘gram for my latest adventures.

Linking up with B for weekending.  Have a fantastic week, mea amies!

journey of doing - cinque terre weekend - manarolaP I N I T

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  • Katie Elizabeth - Have so much fun!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Mandy - Beautiful shot! You’ve been busy! I’m surprised you visited so many of the cities in one day! I can’t wait to hear about the “best gelato” you discover. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • SMD @ Life According to Steph - Fabulous photos!


  • Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders - It sounds like all the chaos was totally worth it for a weekend in Cinque Terre! All the hiking sounds fabulous, but the wine tasting sounds even better! I can’t wait to hear all about your trip!ReplyCancel

  • Biana - I hope your quest to find the best gelato was a fruitful one!! xo, Biana –BlovedBostonReplyCancel

  • Kasie Chelanne - Talk about a whirlwind! I can’t believe you’re still standing after a weekend like that. I haven’t been to Cinque Terre yet but have heard such wonderful things!ReplyCancel

  • Christine Keane - Have such a great time on your trip! Love all the pictures on IG! All that hiking sounds like so much fun (and tiring lol).ReplyCancel

  • Kate @ Green Fashionista - STUNNING! And girl totally not judging you for Gossip Girl… my daughter’s name is Serena 😉ReplyCancel

Thanks for hearing me out last week (and for encouraging me).  It felt good to just be honest in this little space of mine and own up to what was going on in my head.  Once I released those thoughts, things started to look up.

Time for a brief update, no?  Linking up with B for weekending.


We headed to Oklahoma on Wednesday afternoon for my brother-in-law’s change of command ceremony.  We headed to get parking passes as soon as we got into town, grabbed a quick dinner, and I made up for the 4 hours of sleep I got the night before.  Thursday was an early morning at the base, but it was great to celebrate such a joyous promotion.  I was obsessed with my dress, but the only picture anyone snapped of me was one where I was drinking from a water bottle… so #nopictures.  Sigh.  We got back to Dallas around 3:00 and headed back to work.

Yesterday morning, I decided that I wasn’t ready to go to Ohio this week, so I opted out of the trip.  I had a migraine on Saturday, so I didn’t think traveling was going to help.  I was able to get a lot of things done on Sunday morning (like booking our hotels for our trip that we leave for in FOUR DAYS), and I headed to the office yesterday afternoon.  I finished preparing our 2016 NSC data file and worked on some data that our consultants need.  I feel like I was able to be really productive.  It felt REALLY good.

I expect this week will be busy – and the last of the college decisions will trickle out.  It’s been a tough few weeks, and I just need to remember that we do a good job.  We’ll never save all the starfish, but we do make a difference to the ones that we’re able to save.

And then Friday night… I’m off to forget about a lot of things for a little while.  YAY!

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  • cara - Hoping you get to relax some next weekend! It sounds like you could really use some time off to re-charge. Congratulations to your brother-in-law, that’s awesome!ReplyCancel

  • Olya @ The Siberian American - I’m so glad things are starting to look up for you, friend, and that you’re leaving for your trip in just four days! 🙂 I can’t wait to hear all about it.ReplyCancel

  • Kate @ Green Fashionista - Hope this week goes better, and you can catch up on rest and no more headaches! Yay for Friday being about forgetting about all the things. Sending *hugs* <3ReplyCancel

  • Mandy - Glad you were able to get a much-needed break before your 25 days on the road.

    I can’t believe you waited until 4 days before leaving to book your hotels! That’s one of the first things I book!

    I can’t wait to hear all about your busy April when you get back and see images of all that you did and the places you went! I’m so excited for you! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Katie Elizabeth - Friday is coming!!!! I’m so excited for you and for me to live vicariously through your pictures 😉ReplyCancel

  • Jessica Bradshaw - The starfish story is one of my favorites. I have it framed in my counseling office. I am sorry you have had a tough few weeks. I hope they get better for you and it looks brighter next week. 🙂 Chin up, buttercup!ReplyCancel

It’s late.

I’ve got a lot on my mind.

I can’t seem to stay focused these days.

There’s a lot going on and my to do list seems never ending.

I worry that I’m failing a lot of people.

I suppose it’s stress.

The next week and a half is big for my job.  I’ve been on the phone for two weeks trying to get our kiddos placed.  Some things are looking good.  Other things are a little more dicey.  It’s hard.  The newest U.S. budget is devastating for poor kids (among others).  Sometimes I look at what’s going on and I feel like they are trying to erase the poor, the elderly, and the sick.  That terrifies me.

We’re supposed to drive to Oklahoma today to see my brother-in-law’s change of command tomorrow.   My husband has given me an out, but I feel like I need to go.  I’m supposed to go to Ohio Sunday – Wednesday for work.  I want to go.  I need to go.  But, I’m so stressed about everything I need to get done.  I haven’t booked hotels for our trip.  I haven’t booked anything for the wedding I’m in next month.  It’s like I’m stuck and paralyzed with things I need to do.  I think I realized that I’m going to be on the road for 25 days in the next 30 days… and that seems insane right now.


Did I mention my favorite kid is applying to graduate school?  Merp.

Good things, good things, I should tell you good things.

I got nothing.

I’ll be back later in the week.  In the mean time, tell me your best ways to handle your paralyzing to do list.

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  • Katie Elizabeth - Sending you good thoughts!!!! My only advice would be to get more Halotop. Because ice cream helps everything, right?ReplyCancel

  • Olya @ The Siberian American - Oh Sara, I’m so sorry about all the stress! Keep your head up. You are doing great things. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey - I HATE that feeling when you have so much going on that it paralyzes you and you can’t do anything. It’s the worst. When I have that happen, I try to sit down and make a to-do list of actionable items and pick 3 a day to accomplish. I know I can’t tackle it all in one day but if I can just pick 3 and do those then I know I’m making progress.ReplyCancel