I have to first thank my Italian friend who recommended this place to us. Since I almost forgot to mention the facts I find most interesting about this place in the last post, I figured I should get it out at the start instead:
- Cinque Terre (“Five Lands”) consists of five villages: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore
- These villages plus the coastline and the hillside is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
There really isn’t any particular landmark that Cinque Terre is popular for (to my knowledge), but this is really part of its charm. To be able to thoroughly enjoy a place for its scenery, the clear blue sea, the atmosphere, the… the… oh, you know what I’m trying to say.
Sadly, at this time I was not interested in photography, nor was I good at it (as if I’m a pro now, haha). Really, the lack of photos is not because I didn’t find the place beautiful enough. In all honesty all of us went snap-crazy taking pictures here and there and everywhere, but looking back, none of my photos did justice in capturing the beauty of Cinque Terre. I would dearly love to go back and try to take better pictures, but until that happens, please bear with these that really don’t show off Cinque Terre at all…
I think the best way to get around here is by train, which was what we did. From La Spezia Centrale station we rode to the furthest village, Monterosso. It is here that the beach is most accessible for swimming. Quite a few beach umbrellas scattered around, and sunbathers. I remember only one topless woman (which I only noticed due to, ahem, a person or two getting excited at the extra display of skin in public than they’re used to) but since it was a more elderly woman, I still felt confident about myself (evil cackle).
Thinking that the next village, Vernazza, is close to Monterosso, we decided to walk there. Little did we know it is a uphill hiking trail! It was not extremely strenuous, but as we did not expect to be hiking there was some lack of water. The view of the sea is great from the trail though. At the end of the trail the view of Vernazza was visible, which is quite pretty:
The village, lined with cute colourful buildings, was buzzing with activity and people. Some guys pushing a boat up the street, locals going about their daily activities, and tourists like us taking it all in. As we were short on time, we decided to skip Corniglia and took a train to Manarola instead. From this village, we decided took the Love Trail (Via dell’Amore) heading to the nearest village to La Spezia Centrale. The path was nice, perfect for a romantic stroll with someone special, and it was even more romantic as the sun was setting when we were there.
Upon reaching Riomaggiore, there was nothing much to do but to head back via train to Florence. I hope Cinque Terre still retains its charm, and not become too touristy in case I ever get the chance to go there again.