Colorful Cinque Terre

Colorful Cinque Terre

Blue skies. Blue seas. Gelato. Lemon trees.

Those are the first four things I noticed when I got off the train in Monterosso al Mare, one of the five towns that is part of the Cinque Terre (pronounced “chink-e” like 5 in Italian). Cinque Terre means “five lands” in Italian and is composed of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. I chose to stay in this town after reading other blog posts comparing the five towns. Monterosso has much more to offer activities wise. There are shops, restaurants, and bars galore. The beach is significantly larger than Vernazza so there’s lots of room for laying out. I stayed at an adorable hotel called Hotel Souvenir, which was perfect for me for one night. They had a bar open from 0800-2200, great wifi, and an even better breakfast. I highly recommend this hotel if you’re staying in the area. The only problem with the hotel is there is no elevator and while I didn’t have any luggage because I only brought the clothes on my back, it may be hard for those planning to stay a while or carrying lots of luggage.

After settling into my room, I roamed the streets and explored the many shops. There were tons of handcrafted jewelry and clothing, fresh pasta shops, and gelato on every corner. I walked along the beach taking lots of pictures of the opaque blue water. The weather there was perfect, just warm enough for jeans and a light sweater.

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The second day there I checked out of my hotel room, enjoyed an incredible breakfast in the hotel’s breakfast room, and set out on my hike. My original plan was to go from Monterosso to Riomaggiore but the path was closed from Corniglia onward so I decided to only go as far as Vernazza. There were tons of maps posted on each street since hiking is the main attraction there. I also asked the reception at the hotel to point me in the direction to the correct path. The signs are blatantly labeled Monterosso to Vernazza and are marked with red and white paint along the way to keep you on track. This path is much harder going to Vernazza than coming from it, for the reason that there are about a million stairs (okay maybe not that many). The hike was more than worth it though considering the gorgeous views I encountered. I was nervous to go hiking by myself…my luck I’d trip and fall down a mountain and die a slow death or pass out and no one would ever find me….BUT that didn’t happen 🙂 there were actually quite a few people along the path so I always felt safe. I met many Americans along the way which made me feel so much at home! The only downside to the hike was that it cost about 10€ and there is a pay station along the way with an attendant who only accepts cash. Fortunately, I had read this in a previous blog, so I came prepared! After rounding the last curve along my three hour hike and seeing Vernazza for the first time, I was blown away. I never knew places like this actually existed. So full of life and color and happiness. I soaked every ounce of it in.

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If you get the chance, go there. It’s so worth it even for just a short amount of time. Pictures don’t come close to doing this place justice.




Check out my Flickr album for even more pictures: Cinque Terre // April 2017

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