Cinque Terre, Italy
Cinque Terre is one of the most beautiful and picturesque places I’ve ever stepped foot in. Cinque Terre is made up of 5 different towns, something I wasn’t aware of until I got there. Cinque = five and Terre = towns, and Cinque Terre is made up of 5 separate towns north of La Spezia, on the coast of Italy. Each one is just as breathtaking as the one before. The 5 terre’s are Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.
From the La Spezia train station, we took a train to Monterosso, the terre that is furthest North, because that is the terre that our hostel was located on. From all 5 of the terre’s, Monterosso is the more beachy, relaxing one. Lots of sun beds spread out over gorgeous sand. We had about 7 hours until the shuttle to our hostel would arrive to take us. We decided to spend the day doing absolutely nothing – something we hadn’t had the chance to do yet on our busy trip. We spent the entire time laying on the sun beds, tanning, swimming, and napping. It was a really enjoyable day, until we woke from our naps to realize we’d gotten sunburnt. (Wear sunscreen!) We packed up our day things, picked up our backpacks from the bag hold, and went to find our shuttle to the hostel.
We only had one day left in Cinque Terre, something we tried to change after realizing how much we enjoyed being there. Unfortunately, we were unable to change our train ticket, so we had to make the most out of our last day there. We wanted to see each of the 5 Terre’s, so our day would be spent terre – hopping. There are 3 ways to get from one terre to the next. You can take a boat, you can hike, or you can take the train. We took a boat once, just to get the experience, but for the rest, we took the train. I do wish we hiked at least once, because the views would have been amazing, but we were crunched on time, as well as the fact that we were trying to restrict how much we let our sunburns be in the sun. There’s always next time! While passing through Manarola, we noticed people cliff jumping on some large rocks, and we decided we wanted to do that too!
I’ve never seen water as clear as the water in Cinque Terre. It’s almost unreal. With our last few hours in Cinque Terre, we took a dip in the waters of Monterosso, jumped off the small cliffs in Manarola, and even followed part of the hike path to a more hidden area of Manarola to swim some more, then eventually made our way back to Monterosso to pick up our backpacks and get on the train. I didn’t even mind the deep cut I got on my leg when I hit against a rock, because now I have a story to tell whenever anybody asks about my scar.
Cinque Terre is a must see, it is an absolutely picture perfect place, and even the photos I took on my iPhone came out looking like postcards. Join us on our Coastal European tour if you want to spend a few days in this Italian paradise!