Last summer we drove from Tuscany (Cortona) to the small French town of Talloires, at the shores of beautiful Lake Annecy. As the drive was about 8 hours with no traffic, we didn’t have too much time to spare. Before veering inland near Genoa, and after the marble fields of Carrara, we took a short pit stop at the Ligurian Sea to catch our breaths and sip an espresso. We found ourselves just above the top tip of Cinque Terre. Even though the pastel colored houses didn’t grip the cliffs, and the turquoise water wasn’t quite perfectly clear, the beauty of Italy is that a hot, sunny, pit-stop on a long, toll-infused drive, is a joyous thing.