Adventurous Places, Europe

Trailing Beauty along the Cinque Terre

Undoubtedly, one of the most important things about traveling to a new place is knowing exactly how to get there. When Rebecca and I hopped on the La Spezia station train heading for the Cinque Terre, it wasn’t that I didn’t know which train to take. It was really more of a question as to where I needed to get off.  Since men are notorious for never asking directions, my male ego ending up costing us a good two hours and some pretty tired feet. We overshot our stop completely and ended up disembarking a few miles up from our intended target area. With limited time to spare already, our exploration of the Cinque Terre was considerably shorter than we originally planned it to be.

 

Big John at the La Spezia Central Railway Station

The Cinque Terre, meaning “five lands”, is a rugged stretch of coastline situated along the Italian Riviera. The entire area is comprised of five cities that are close enough that one could walk from one to the other. That is if one didn’t mind taking long walks in one of the most beautiful places on God’s green earth. The coastline, hillsides, and five cities are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site. Of the five cities of Cinque Terre, Monterosso al Mare was the only city Rebecca and I got to spend any real time in. For that reason alone, this area is definitely on our “Must Return” list.

 

The Beach at Monterosso al Mare

 

We just walked into town, now where can a thirsty traveler find a cold drink?

 

I believe we found the perfect spot at the Nuovo Eden.

 

When in Italy, there’s nothing better than an ice-cold German wheat beer to quench the thirst! For that job, I always choose Erdinger as my brew of choice (I’ve actually never heard of Erdinger until seeing it here, but the flavor was pretty decent).

 

 

Don’t let her fake smile fool you! Rebecca isn’t all that fond of beer.

 

 

The word of the day is gelateria. That’s Italian for ice-cream parlour.

 

All of the pastel colored buildings really compliment the charm of this place.

 

The town clock at the center of Monterosso.

 

This guy filled the air with the classical sounds of Italy.

 

I just bumped into the sweetest girl in town!

 

Its rugged beauty, crystal-clear water, and relative wind-free environment makes the Cinque Terre a beach-lover’s dream!

I’ve seen a lot of coastlines in my days, but there are very few that can contend with the rugged, natural beauty of the Cinque Terre.

 

Maybe I’ll ask her to lunch since she’s already sheltering outside a Pizzeria.

 

 

A narrow stone pathway carried us up the cliff, past this adorable front door, and offered up some memorable views of the landscape below.

 

 

A visit to the Cinque Terre is to experience grandeur on Italy’s Mediterranean coast.

 

 

We must have strolled past a mile of beach umbrellas before reaching this point!

 

 

There are numerous beaches along the Cinque Terre, but only in Monterosso will you find any with actual sand.

 

I regretted not bringing along something to swim in. I would’ve loved to jump off those rocks into the cool aqua blue waters below!

 

On the cliff overlooking the sea sits the majestic Hotel Porto Roco.

 

There aren’t many hotel swimming pools that offer such a breathtaking view as the one you’ll find here at the Hotel Porto Roco.

 

 

You lead the way, beautiful, and I’ll be certain to follow!

 

 

What an amazing view!

 

I don’t know what she’s looking at, but I can tell you precisely what’s caught my eye!

 

Vineyards inside the Cinque Terre produce a unique wine that served locally but difficult to find elsewhere. 

 

A birds-eye view of Vernazza

There are 5 villages in all that make of the Cinque Terre: Riamaggore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso. The area can be reached easily by train and a walking path hugging the cliff-side and shorelines can carry visitors from one century-old city to the next. While the terrain can be a bit challenging, a person in moderate to good health should be able to trek most of the area in a single day…. well, unless you get off at the wrong train stop and spend half the day trying to find your way back to where you’re supposed to be… Rebecca isn’t going to let me live this down!

 

Happy travels,

Big John

 

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