Cinque Terre meaning Five Lands is a small portion of the Northern Coast of Italy. The five towns: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore are some of the most stunning places I have ever been. The cities are charmers and the essence of each cannot be replicated or captured in a photograph.
This small region was my favorite part of my past trip. After walking miles a day in large cities, it was so nice to relax on the beach and take a swim in the ocean- I was feeling really deprived of salt water at this point. Seriously, I went into the water at every opportunity I had- even diving in alone when no one else was up for it.
Each town was so cute and filled with hidden gems. I was in awe of every aspect: from the lemon adorned gift shops to the towels and laundry hanging from the cutest balconies lining the streets. The towns kiss the coast and are adjacent to train tracks that can take you in between each one- only about a five minute ride from one city over. Or you can opt for the hiking trail which runs along the coast and connects all 5 lands. My friends and I hiked from Monterosso al Mare to Vernazza and it was absolutely stunning. We were not entirely sure what to expect and definitely ended up with something other than planned. I am not sure why we thought it would be a simple and easy route- it ended up being about two hours of never ending stairs. That being said, the view was incredible and the lookout we were greeted with at the end made the whole adventure instantly worth it. But not gonna lie, I definitely took the train back….
After the hike, we made sure to regain any lost calories by heading to a restaurant, Belforte, in Vernazza. With a 360º ocean view and incredible pasta and seafood, there was nothing to complain about. I ordered Trofie al pesto, a type of local pasta that was delicious and I highly recommend it. But what would be any meal without finishing it with some gelato?! When in Rome(?), right?
One of my favorite moments of this trip was in Manarola. We walked up to a clifftop dining spot, Nessun Dorma, and ate lunch while sipping on Sangria with the most breath-taking view. The afternoon consisted of staring in awe at the houses jutting out of the cliff, laughing at nearly everything, eating too much prosciutto, ordering more sangria, a harmony of us saying “I wanna do this for the rest of my life” and concluded with a dip in the Tyrannean sea just below the restaurant. A perfect day.
As I sat in disbelief at where I was, all I could think was everyone needs to visit this place before they die. And I really hope everyone gets to…