The Italy adventure continued..
Okay this may be my favorite place in Italy yet.. so if you haven’t heard of it you’re in luck! Cinque Terre is a UNESCO protected space along the coast of Italy, and it consists of 5 adorable towns. I highly recommend visiting. Seriously. I really think that everyone would like this place.
After two nights in the Chianti Classico region we made our way to the coast for a few relaxing days.
We stayed in the first town, Riomagiorre. And we lucked out big time. I don’t know what happened, but somehow when we arrived to the leasing office, we discovered that our room had been double booked so we were getting a full apartment instead. Oh and not only did it have A/C but it was overlooking the bay, literally right above where everyone goes to view the sunset. Seriously, the best location probably in all of Cinque Terre. At least I thought so.
I think 3 nights is really a great amount of time for this trip. Less wouldn’t be enough to really enjoy it. Riomaggiore is the northern most of the 5 towns, and there are trains running between all of the towns in addition to beautiful hiking paths. Though I must warn you, when the coastal paths are not functioning you may want to think twice about the other more mountainous trails.. Just a word of advice.
Before traveling we used this blog for advice on the region and I would recommend the tips we used.
We stopped for a drink at A Pie’ de Ma’ the first night. While there was an event going on limiting the space, it was a great view, and we ended up just staying and having dinner there.
We enjoyed some sun on the rocks in Riomaggiore then hiked over to Manorola where we swam. Really great swimming spots in both towns. We wandered around a bit and then headed back before dinner to shower, and trained back again (very short train ride) for an amazing seafood dinner at Trattoria Dal Billy. I don’t think you can be disappointed there. I highly recommend.
The next day we saw the rest of the towns. We trained down to the last town, Monterosso, which is the largest and most resort like. There are actual sandy beaches there, so we enjoyed a few hours in the sun (with covered beach chairs). After enough sun we got some sandwiches and a lot of water at a restaurant overlooking the beach, then wandered through town a bit with some gelato. Because, gelato. The town was nice, and had some really cute shops.
We then followed the signs for the coastal trail, and hiked to the next town, Vernazza. This was a beautiful hike and not too hard. I’d definitely recommend this one.
Vernazza was also a cute town, with a small bay swimming area, surrounded by some and cafes, and the town sort of goes up the hill a bit from there. We had THE BEST focaccia I think I’ve ever tasted in my life here. Just a little spot we walked past as we were entering town. It may have been partially due to being just after the hike, but I swear it was perfect. Salty, olive oil and onion goodness. I think I’m drooling…
So from there we took the train to the one town we had yet to visit, Corniglia. This one is a little tricky in that it’s literally on top of the hill. So you either walk up a million stairs, or you take the shuttle up. If you have the Cinque Terre day pass, then it covers this. We somehow lucked out and exited the train right as it was pulling up. So we took that up, wandered around a bit, then decided to head back and enjoy the sunset from our apartment’s balcony/courtyard. The town was cute, but much quieter than the others. There’s no real access to the ocean from there either, so I wouldn’t choose to stay there, but it was neat to see it.
So we showered and then enjoyed some vino and snacks from our place as the sun set. It was glorious. So perfectly relaxing. It took me a bit to start relaxing after running around so much in Chianti (since we didn’t spend a ton of time there), but by the time we left I was really enjoying myself. It would get really hot in the day here, but would cool off by the evening, so it was really pleasant in comparison to being inland in late June. Anyways, we then had a great late last meal, at Dau Cila.
Sadly we left the next day, but I had found that there was a really cool market (think designer clothes being sold outside at a market along with cheaper ones as well) in a town that we would be driving right past. So of course we had to visit this. Forte dei Marni. It turns out this is a really nice (high end) beach resort town. On Wednesdays there’s this really cool market at Piazza Guglielmo Marconi. I bought a few things, they even have makeshift dressing rooms in some of the “shops”.
Then the roadtrip continued further back into Tuscany..