Oh sweet, beautiful, unreal Cinque Terre. Yes, Germany was wonderful. Yes, Austria was pretty. Yes, Venice and Florence were so great. But Cinque Terre… there are no words.
I originally wanted to go to the Amalfi Coast but the way we were traveling, Kevin found Cinque Terre and said it made more sense to do a few days here. One Google image search later, and I was ready to fly there immediately.
Cinque Terre literally means five towns and we stayed in Riomaggiore, the southern most town. I’m not quite sure why we picked this one, but I think I remember reading a lot of reviews and thinking this looked the prettiest.
I’m so glad we made Cinque Terre a part of our Italy trip. If you are anywhere near this area, you must incorporate it into your vacation. You must!
So we left Florence early in the morning and two train rides later (we had to connect in La Spezia), we were meeting our AirBnB host at the Riomaggiore train station. I really failed at taking pictures of our apartment, but you can see the listing of where we stayed here.
Our room was the perfect size and had a great balcony overlooking the Italian Riviera coastline. We basically dropped off our luggage, did a bit of laundry in the sink and ventured back down to the main street.
Riomaggiore is built on the sea cliff so there are a ton of hills. Wear your walking shoes!
We also noticed it’s really easy to get lost in these towns so we always tried to remember things like, “turn left at the purple house” to get back to our apartment. The below photo is literally me walking up to our apartment…
We walked around for a bit and decided it was time to eat so we grabbed a late lunch at A Pie’ de Ma’, right along the sea.
Riomaggiore is known for its crisp white wine so we had PLENTY of that.
We shared a cheese plate…
And literally the best panini we’ve ever had…
I mean… can we look at this view?
And this one? This is someone’s house. Somebody gets to live here.
Basically, all we did in Riomaggiore was walk around, drink wine, eat delicious food, sit on the rocks and take photos.
Once I discovered you could get a bottle of wine and sit with your feet in the Ligurian Sea, I realized I was in actual heaven.
We watched the sun set and found ourself walking back up the main road to find dinner. Most every place was packed but while we were waiting to get seated at IL Grottino, we met a really sweet couple from Oklahoma City. We hit it off with them once we found out the girl’s grandparents live in Kirkwood – small world!
The four of us got to chatting, exchanged numbers and planned to hike the next day together.
Oh and dinner was fine. I got pesto pasta and Kevin got fish – both were okay, but nothing to write home about.
We ended the night on our balcony – perfect first day in Cinque Terre!
Our second day was basically just like the first, except we threw a little hike in. And by little, I mean intense and rigorous.
Cinque Terre is known for being able to hike between all five towns but the main path has been closed due to falling rocks, so the only way you can get between them is via train or by hiking the mountains itself. We chose to hike the mountain to Manarola (and ride the train back), but Kevin and I didn’t pack workout clothes. I’ll write another post about what we packed for this trip, but we essentially just brought a carry on and only two pairs of shoes. So we both hiked in real pants and our Tom’s…
Despite not having the right attire, the views were well worth it.
If you look down and to the right, you can see Manarola. Waaaay down there.
View from the top!
So here’s where we made it up to the top. All we had to do next was climb back down…
Here’s a look at the “path” we had to work with.
But like I said, totally worth the views. And I’m glad we got to check out one of the other towns!
In fact, as soon as we got down to Manarola, we found pizza and wine for sustenance.
We explored Manarola for the afternoon and then caught the train back to Riomaggiore.
We went back to our apartment to freshen up and met back up with Jeff and Josie to sit on the rocks and watch the sunset again. All of us grabbed a bottle of wine each (obviously), and just relaxed. Literal perfection.
Jeff and Josie were so fun to spend the day with. It was a breath of fresh air to be able to talk to someone else who spoke English!
But back to this view…
It exists in real life…
Once the sun was down, we packed up our empty bottles and walked to find dinner. I can’t remember where we ate but again, it wasn’t that great. For some reason we weren’t too impressed with the food in Cinque Terre (except for the first place we ate!), but the views in this place made up for any of its faults.
‘Til next time Cinque Terre. I will be back again.