Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cinque Terre

Sorry for this somewhat-delayed blog post. I've been enjoying the last three days with my family while they're here to visit for the week.

This post will probably be forever long because I took LOTS of pictures on my weekend trip, but I hope you like them:)

So 22 girls in our group decided to take a trip to Cinque Terra, which is actually an Italian National park on the northwestern coast just out of La Spezia. It’s made up of five coastal villages that are mostly accessible by train and hiking trails.

We left EARLY Friday and took about a 4 hour train ride to La Spezia and then another 20 minute train into the first town of Riomaggiore

Our group took up an entire cabin in the train... we got some funny looks.

We started the day off on the “Walk of Love,” which Cinque Terra is famous for. It’s a path along the coast between Riomaggiore and Manarola that has incredible views of the four other villages, but gets its name mostly from the enormous concrete wall covered in “love graffiti.” So of course, we all had to leave our mark
My new addition to the wall... the heart near the top

at the harbor in Manarola

After spending some time in Manarola, we started on the hike to the third city of Corneglia. We found an awesome little lookout spot down some old steps near the water. The view was so amazing that we ended up just laying there for like an hour. We couldn’t get enough of it!
laying on the rocks... had to document it

The hike between Manarola and Corneglia

In the third town of Corneglia I found my found my new favorite gelato flavor… which is definitely saying something because I rarely ever pick favorites. It’s called “Miele” and is made from local honey. Pure bliss! Sad thing is, they only sell it in Corneglia. So if you ever happen to be in Cinque Terra, I definitely recommend trying it.
View of Corneglia

View from Corneglia

We headed back to Riomaggiore for dinner and to wait for the bus to take us to the hostel. I found another new favorite of mine: Foccacia bread with pears and gorgonzola cheese. The Cinque terra area is famous for its Foccacia as well as its pesto.. and I definitely see why! While waiting for the bus we found a great spot on the beach to watch the sunset.

We all stayed in a hostel about 20 minute out of Riomaggiore. It was my first experience in a hostel...let's just say I would prefer a hotel room, but it was fun because all of us were there together.
our lovely bunk beds... complete with sanitized sheets. (we hope)really? who does that?

On Saturday morning we woke up early to start our hike between Cornelia and the next village of Vernazza. It took about 90 minutes and had some pretty steep climbs but amazing views.

Overlooking Vernazza
We took the train to the last village, Monterosso, because we heard the hike was pretty intense. We had gnocci with pesto for lunch and then changed into our swimsuits to hang out at the beach for a while before catching the train back to Siena.

Pretty ironic that I was at the beach... and it was snowing in Utah. ha!


modell said...

Ok, this has officially made it to the top 10 on my MUST SEE list. That place is incredible! How fun that all those girls went with you. Hope you are having fun with the family! I so wish that I could be there with you guys. We're gonna have to find a recipe for that foccacia!

kyndra said...

Sooo beautiful Erika! I love it :)