Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Cinqueterre

The Italian means something like 'Heaven on Earth'. I can't quite remember, but oh my goodness was this place beautiful. It's a set of five villages on the Riviera, as in the actual Italian Riviera. Visitors can walk from village to village on a series of walking trails (between 30 minutes and 3 hours per walk) all with spectacular views.
Corniglia, where we stayed.
I loved everything about these villages - the twisting alleyways much too small for cars, perfect for exploring, the cobblestones, the shutters (that people actually use) and all the flowers everywhere.

I also really loved how the villages are right on the water, the boats everywhere just made me happy every time I saw them. For someone who grew up in the Midwest it's a bit strange how happy the water makes me. But just look at that turquoise! What's not to love?

We stayed in the middle village, which I would recommend. Then you can do one direction each day - hike to a village, eat lunch, hike to another, eat dinner, and catch a ride home. Oh, and I should mention that the villages are accessible by train which would be great if you're backpacking in or on a budget and by ferry.

The trails are a little narrow, but not dangerous (in my opinion).

Manarola. Great restaurant here on the water. The seafood here is excellent.

Monterrosa.
Just ridiculous, isn't it?

My favorite village (Vernazza) has the best gelato we ate in Italy.

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