Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day 12: Cinque Terre

We had only one day in Cinque Terre (pronounced Cheeng'-kway Tear'-ray)  and we wanted to make the most of the Italian Riveria. Breakfast on our balcony was perfect and then we hoofed down the crooked stairs.

Cinque is relaxed, flavorful, crisp and vibrant.

Cinque Terre's real magic is that the rugged hillside makes it almost impossible for cars.
Meaning: the towns still have their magic.

Vie del Amore was beautiful by daylight. The entire fence lining the path is covered in love locks (lovers put a lock on the bars and throw the key into the water). Those without locks carve their lover's name into anything, including this poor plant.


The towns are the sights in Cinque and we set out for a hike.
A small trail connects the five towns, and get increasingly more challenging as you go.
It was the best of both worlds: sweeping views and quaint towns.

Due to some recent flooding and land slides, we had to take a detour to a trail up above the towns.

Cinque has the most friendly tourists. Each person you pass exclaims, "Bonjourno!" with a huge smile.
The laid-back attitude of Cinque Terre rubs off on you, and suddenly you wish you could throw away your watch, cancel your other hotels and stay there permanently.

The pathway is marked with white and red stripes. We accidentally veered off the path and ended in someone's vineyard. Oops.

It was incredible. Often times you couldn't tell where the water ended and the sky begins.

We stopped for lunch in the third town, Corniglia.
The restaurant was tucked into a small alleyway, which describes every other street in that town.

The Italian Riviera is the birthplace of pesto.
Lunch at Mananan seemed like the best place to eat it. (Plus, it was one of the only restaurants in town.)
I ate incredible pesto with pasta designed to soak up its goodness and Jacob ordered the fish of the day per the recommendation of the French travelers next to us.

Tired from our hiking and seriously lacking on time (Cinque is a delicious time-warp), we took a short train to the next town.
Even the view from the train is perfection.
Vernazza is the poster town for Cinque Terre. It was devastated by a flood last year so visit if you can! They need to keep their economy going.

Instead of hiking back, we cruised back to Riomaggiore by boat.
Oh, Cinque by boat.
My heart is still there. (Too dramatic? The heart wants what it wants...)

The boat dropped us off in the harbor (disembarking was terrifying- the small plank was on wheels that was anything but sturdy) of Riomaggiore. We dangled our feet in the water and met a fun couple from Argentina.

We sauntered back to main street for food and some gelato.
Lorenza was sweet enough to not only store our backpacks all day, but she also brought them to the train station. She is heavenly.

I drowned my tears of leaving Cinque by eating my enormous piece of focaccia bread.
We keep lucking out with fun train companions. This couple was from Chile and they are the travelers of my dreams. They were on a 6-week dream trip with the largest suitcases I have ever seen. (We both could have fit inside.)

The trains through the Italian Riviera weavs through mountains as glimpses of the sea peek through the window.

It was so hard to say goodbye.
I heard that staying in Cinque for less than two days is something you will likely regret.
Oh, I am feeling that regret.

1 comment:

  1. I have been reading all about your trip and I am so completely jealous. Your pictures are fabulous and you guys look like you had such a wonderful time! Again, so jealous! :)


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