Day three was all about day tripping. Before my arrival in the land of life changing food I had googled my way to Cinque Terre, so when Paige told me she had considered suggesting just this destination as the origin of our day trip, it was a done deal.
Cinque Terre is a part of the Italian Riviere, and is made up of five little fishermen villages; Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosse. All five towns have a unique charicterisic to it, which is part of what makes this place so mindblowingly beautiful.
The five villages together make up a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is something I had actualy never heard of until I researched Cinque Terre. Of course now I am intrigued and would like to see all 1052. Wish me luck…
Cinque Terre isn’t that close to Florence, so with a three hour train trip and three different trains ahead of us, we had decided to leave super early.
I journeyed to Paige’s apartment before the sun had risen, which gave me a beautiful good morning view of the river parting Florence into two.
After our trainride through the Italian landscape, we got into Riomaggiore as the first town. Without taking a single picture of this beautiful little village we quickly started our hike towards Manarola. We had our water bottles and were ready to go! Our initial plan was just to hike to Manarola and spend the whole day there, but that quickly changed as I felt it would be dumb to not see all of the towns now that we were finally here.
What we hadn’t realized was how much of a workout this hike was actually going to be. Apparently Riomaggiore and Manarola are very close, and there is an easy walkway carved out in rock through the mountain that Paige and I had decided to walk above.
The route we did is called The Beccara trail (#531), and for its beautiful views it was worth every step up the mountain and every step down the mountain on the other side again.
Just WOW! When you make it in to Manarola you have no idea of what gorgeousness you’re standing in the middle of. This is when you have to continue your hike up the side of the other mountain to reach the view above. WOW I tell you. We of course had a little bit of Gelato before heading up here.
Minutes after eating our gelato we found this place on the side of the mountain and decided that it was lunch time. This place definitely reaches top 5 of best view of the places I have eaten.
Around this time we made a deal to eat something in every village. Which turned out to be such a great decission.
It is possible to hike through all five villages, but due to laziness and awful choice of clothing we quickly realized that hiking between two villages was more than enough.
We found the Manarola train station, bought a ticket and boarded the train. A few minutes later we reached what might have been the train station in the world with the best location.
To the horror of our tired bodies we realized that even though we had arrived at the Corniglia train station, the only way of actually getting to Corniglia was by conquering a 200+ step stair. I took a deep breath, looked at the couple next to me each carrying a suitcase and felt very blessed that I despise all only had to carry myself up there.
Of course reaching the top turned out to be well worth every step. We celebrated with more gelato (when in Italy….) as we enjoyed the stunning view.
We didn’t spend much time in Corniglia before we once again made our way towards the train. Next stop was Vernazza.
After another train ride that didn’t take much more than three minutes we arrived, and to our surprise Vernazza turned out to be even more gorgeous than the other three villages. Vernazza has a Little bay, which gives it a very different character from its sisters. True to our deal we quickly found a restaurant that could serve us cava and pizza.
After taking endless Picture in Vernazza we were ready for to see the last village the UNESCO World Heritage site had to offer; Monterosse.
Once againg completely different from the other villages, Monterosse turned out to be a beach town. We found a touristy bar that served frozen drinks in very large plastic containers, and both decided on a Piña Colada.
We sat on the cute rocky beach and enjoyed our well deserved frozen Little wonders while listening to the calming sound of the baby waves hitting the shore. We quickly both fell a sleep, and considering the fact that I woke up with drool on my arm, I’ll say it was a pretty good nap.
We had made dinner reservations in the second town, Monarola, so we caught the train back to finish off our day of eating.
As we arrived the sun was starting to set which allowed us to get a beuatiful sight of both the village and the ocean.
I enjoyed another glass of wine along with lasagna and a personal favorite of mine; caprese salad. After dinner we considered getting gelato a third time, but sadly we didn’t end up going for it.
We strolled back to the other side of the mountain to catch a last glimpse of the beauty of the place before we made our wack back to the station to journey on our three our trip back home to Florence.
To finish this post off all I really have to say is GO, GO, GO! This is definitely a place that should be on everyones travel bucket list. Even after having just been, it’s back on mine, simply because I’d like to have more time to explore.
My ideal Cinque Terre trip would be spending one night in each village and actually doing the hike between all five of them. All of the villages are so small that you could see everything they have to offer in just one day, so this would be an ideal way to experience Cinque Terre to the fullest. The cherry on top would be taking a boat ride along the coast also. I can only imagine how beautiful all five town must be when seen from the ocean..