I’ve come down with the travel bug again. For the past week or so, my mind has been elsewhere. Walking down Rue des Rosiers in Paris, in search for some falafel or ordering my favorite Strascinati al Pancetta e Tartufo at Ristorante “Al 34” in Rome. I flicked through images from one of my favorite place in the world and I re-lived Cinque Terre all over again.
Back in 2017, I had the pleasure of traveling through Europe with my dad. After spending years apart from him due to work commitments and us moving to Australia, it was the perfect way for us to get to know each other again.
Cinque Terre holds a special place in my heart. It was one of the first places we traveled to after leaving our tour group. At first, I was a little intimidated at the prospect of travelling on our own as I was responsible for organising and navigating the entire trip. After travelling from Paris to Milan, we made our way to Cinque Terre. It was the first place where I felt truly comfortable and at ease with travelling on our own.
Cinque Terre gave me a whole new mindset for the rest of our holiday. I planned less, I let the day take us anywhere and everywhere. It’s the mindset that helped untied my Type-A personality to “travel me” and one I hope to have when Matt and I start to “plan” our Honeymoon next year.
Cinque Terre consists of a beautiful collection of five sea-side villages in the Italian Riviera coastline. Renowned for the colourful houses, stacked in a beautiful organised mess, each village has its own, unique characteristics.
We stayed two nights in Manarola arriving a little late for our first night. During our stay, we made it to 4 of 5 villages. On our only full day in Cinque Terre, we chose to skip Corniglia and focus on the other 4 instead as they are easily accessible and less steep.
Arriving at La Spezia station, we purchase our 2 days Cinque Terre Train Card for € 23. It gave us unlimited use of the train to go between all the villages. The first stop from La Spezia station is Riomaggiore.
We purchased a boat ride from Riomaggiore to the furthest village, Monterosso al Mare. As the boat stopped at each village (except for Corniglia), we got to see the view of each village from out at sea. Despite having slight sea-sickness, I was glad we took our time to do this.
We chose to stay in Manarola purely based on the photography reviews I read online. The view was magnificent and I LOVED being able to walk down to see the town light up at night. What those reviews failed to prepare me for was the steepness of Manarola and lack of luggage access available to get the luggage from the upper platform of the train station to the base of the Manarola village. It was ALOT of huffing and puffing.
We were fortunate enough that our AirBnB provided a pickup service for our luggage from the base of town to our accommodation nestled high up on top of the hill. If I could do it over, I would have stayed in La Spezia and travelled in by train instead. I’m sure there would be accommodations that are more accessible as well as affordable in La Spezia.
Vernazza was definitely a favourite of mine (just see how many images I took here). We spent quite a long time here enjoying the sun, browsing through the shops and eating the best, most memorable milk flavoured gelato (it tasted like frozen custard but better…). There is a walking trail up the hill leading to the view you see above. I definitely recommend you ask one of the locals on how to get up there. We got a little lost but It’s definitely worth the walk!
MONTEROSSO AL MARE
The end of the line and the furthest town from La Spezia is the gorgeous town of Monterosso. I highly recommend you visit this place. I had one of the best Spaghetti Marinara. I wish I could find the photo of it but it came in a large cooking pot and it was SO delicious! This was also where I first tried Limoncello. Oh the memories!
I had so much fun re-living Cinque Terre so you can expect more images from my European trip (yes it took me a while to post but I’m getting there…)! I can’t wait to see you again Cinque Terre, I hope to be back soon!