The further you went the more beautiful the view. The harder you climbed the more clear the air. The closer you get to your destination the more anxious you are to continue. It was breathtaking beyond the weather and beyond the tourists, nothing could stand in the way of these cliff side jewels.
Typically, luxuries are nice cars, maybe a private jet or anything with a hefty price tag, but I realized something about myself I never knew before. My idea of luxury is having the time and chance to use my own two feet to travel. Often we are too busy and resort to public transportation, and we forget our physical capacity. Honestly, this is one of the most rewarding experiences as I traveled to Cinque Terre (“Five Towns”), a series of small towns perched atop western Italy’s oceanfront mountain sides. A relatively famous tourist destination, but largely overlooked in comparison to other Italian destinations. We stayed in Corniglia, comparably the most quaint of the five. It is the perfect location if you want to avoid tourists.
From Rome, we took the train to La Spezia because that is the closest and largest train station to Cinque Terre. Because of a Trenitalia strike we were unable to take the regional train into the towns until later in the day, so to avoid any delay we took a taxi into the first town of Riomaggiore. This photo is our first sight of the beautiful waterscape of the towns. The cliffs were towering with the water crashing loudly against it.
After exploring Riomaggiore, we found a train working despite the strike and went to our hostel in Corniglia. From there we took our first hike to Manarola. This is a view of Corniglia after 10 minutes of hiking away from it.
Hiking in Cinque Terre, you start from sea level with palm trees and sand, then reach a high altitude full of evergreen in just 20 minutes. Manarola is pictured above on the edge of that mountain.
Here are some shots on our way to Manarola. As you hike through the red trails you practically walk into the backyard of people’s homes. I felt at times like I was trespassing but as we saw some residents they were completely fine with it. Pictured here are some Christian scenes on the mountain side.
A beautiful view as we rest a bit before heading back to Corniglia.
We get back just in time for the sunset.
Dinner time! We found ourselves a slow food certified restaurant, Cantina de Mananan. Slow food is the way to go around Italy! One of the best restaurants I’ve been to for its price.
From all the places I have tried, this was the best seafood pasta I’ve ever had in my life. Fresh and plentiful for only 15 euro (Pictured above is a serving for three family style)
I forgot what this was called, I’ll have to get back to you on this, but it was warm in the middle with gelato surrounding the outside, I think.
Chestnut honey panna cotta.. do I have to say more?
Next day up and early for our next hike from Monterosso to Levanto
Took the train into Monterosso to hike to Levanto. Awesome mega statue made from the cliff side by the beach.
A great panoramic view of us leaving Monterosso.
Here is Levanto. We had some great foccacia here and found some amazing sea glass and sea tile I have never seen before.
We come back to our beautiful town of Corniglia to find this beautiful view.
I really love this town.
And just one more sunset before we leave!
The last day we spent the whole time in Vernazza which I think had the most awesome beaches. We climbed the cliff adjacent to the beach to get to this awesome view you see here. The moment was truly priceless.
Feeling the beating Mediterranean sun against our skin, our friends had the guts to jump into the ice cold water. Eventually we all jumped off the cliff to the side. It was so freezing but so worth it!
Just one last photo for the great times that were had on this trip with this amazing group of people. This really turned out to be the best trip during my stay in Rome.