3 Countries -1 Day (Italy,Monaco,France)

Best part of a vacation? Waking up to the beat of your own drum. Lying around contemplating the days exotic possibilities is a dream. When heading to Italy for breakfast is on the menu, there's the incentive to clamber out of bed. Italy or bust.

Last minute decisions tend to suit me. Hopping a train from France to an unfamiliar Italian town that hugs the French border...impulse buy. Travel times promised 45 minutes, and by 9am I was on the train bound for Italy.

Ventimigilia is the first town in Italy that greets you, and where I disembarked. I sauntered around with nothing on the agenda except checking out this small seaside town that reminded me of a painting. Warm hued buildings climbed up green hills that overlook the ocean. Ventimiglia comes off as a sleepy town but is buzzing with life. Police cars with non-stop sirens and Vespa's zoomed the narrow streets. Bright umbrellas sprout up from rocky beaches where Speedo's are in abundance. Goats headed down the river bank where swans and pelicans argued over turf. A Breakfast of Campari and pasta solidified that I was in Italy.

Satisfied with the Italian expedition it was time to ride the rails again. Monaco/Monte Carlo was 20 minutes away and my affinity for spontaneity forced me to hop off.  An hour before the next train my stay here was short and sweet. I had to see if the luxurious rumors of this place were true. Perfectly manicured streets climbed up hills that overlooked the yacht filled bay. Bentley's and high end boutiques lined the streets that eventually led me back to the marble covered train station where I hopped back on the train and headed into France.

Alfred Hitchcock is responsible for my decision to bypass my stop in Nice and head into Cannes. Scenes from "To Catch a Thief" played in my mind as the train pulled into Cannes. After a long day of travel it was refreshing to spend the rest of  the day on Croisette Beach with the infamous Hotel Carlton gorgeously looming above. I couldn't miss a quick stroll down the walk of fame to catch a glimpse of the notorious red steps synonymous with the Cannes Film Festival. 

Heather Perry-San Francisco-Travel Photographer 
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