Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Italian Vacation: Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre consists of five small villages along the Italian Riviera - Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.  We stayed in Monterosso - the northern most town and the largest of the five villages.  We took the train from Venice to Cinque Terre.  It took us about 4 hours as the train goes from Venice to Milan and then down to Cinque Terre.

All the towns are connected through a series of hiking trails.  Hiking to all five villages was the number one thing on our to do list for Cinque Terre besides getting in a little beach time. Unfortunately while we were there only the trails between Monterosso & Vernazza and Vernazza & Corniglia were open as the others were closed for maintenance but we had a great time hiking what we could.

Monterosso - Vernazza: 2.5 very hilly miles, lots of stairs with gorgeous coastal views, beautiful vineyards and lots of lush greenery.

Monterosso
Vernazza
Once we arrived in Vernazza and after exploring the town we enjoyed gelato before round 2 of our hike.  Gelato = perfect hiking refuel!

Vernazza to Corniglia: 2.1 hilly miles.  Corniglia is perched on a cliff and is the only town without access to the water.

Corniglia

Manarola - From Corniglia we took a local train (a 4 minute ride) to see the town of Manarola since we couldn't hike any further.



More gelato and delicious pesto covered foccacia bread was enjoyed in Manarola.

As much as we wanted to see Riomaggiore we also wanted to spent time at the beach in Monterosso so we made the tough decision to skip it and head back.

Small sampling of the gelato consumed.

We both decided 1.5 days was not enough in Cinque Terre.  We would have liked to see Riomaggiore as well as spent time at the swimming holes in all the little towns.  The water was just so crystal clear, calm and begging to be swam in!  If we could have had just one more day!

Taking advice prior to the trip I opted to leave one of the two (yes, I use two) hair dryers I use at home as everyone promised me all hotels had hair dryers.  I was slightly surprised to find this in our bathroom. 


More like a vacum!

Cinque Terre was a hidden gem and I am so happy our travel agent recommended it as it was not one of the initial places I was considering but all too soon it was time to pack up and catch the train to Florence!
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3 comments:

  1. We're headed that way next spring, so these are great tips!! Anything else that shouldn't be missed?

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  2. Those swimming holes look amazing! I wonder what the weather is like in May?

    I seriously need to pick your brain for like a million hours, maybe on an epic bike ride we can just talk about italy :) haha.

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  3. This brought back so many memories - my BF and I hiked Monterosso to Vernazza years ago and it was wonderful! I hear all the flood damage has cleared up as well, so glad about that. And HA for the hairdryer vacuum hose thing - I can't believe Italy still has those!!

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