Monday, January 14, 2013

Italy Part 4: Cinque Terre

We were lucky to have some friends join us for the second half of our trip and it was so fun to share the experience with them! Chris and Emily flew into Milan as well so from Florence, we picked them up at the airport and headed to Cinque Terre on the coast.
We found an awesome little villa to stay at in Levanto and made it to town just in time for the sunset.

We stopped for some focaccia while we waited for the restaurants to open for dinner. The Cinque Terre region is famous for their focaccia and it definitely didn't disappoint!
The villa we stayed at was a B&B and had probably one of the best European breakfasts I've ever tasted. Even the hot chocolate came out with a smiley face!
Levanto is about a 10 minute train ride from the last of the five towns, so it was really convenient to stay overnight there and take the train in (much cheaper, too).
We started the day off in Riomaggiore and then made our way up the coast throughout the day. These little colorful buildings never get old. Always a photo op wherever you look.
Unfortunately because of the heavy flooding last year, all of the walking trails between the towns were closed--including the famous "walk of love." It was a bummer that we couldn't do the trails, but luckily they've done a great job with cleanup after the flood so all of the towns are mostly back to normal now.
Instead of walking we just took the train. It made our tired feet a little less tired.
Next stop was Manarola where we did a fun little vineyard "walk" that turned into more of a hike. Some people say it's been estimated that the walls vineyards in these towns have a combined length that's greater than the Great Wall of China. Not sure how accurate that is, but there are certainly a lot of stone walls!
After Manarola we made a quick stop in Corniglia only to find that my favorite Gelato shop (with honey gelato) was closed for the season. Sad! At least there was a great view from the top. 
We spent a while hanging out at the waterfront in Vernazza.  We learned all about these history of these towns (and the church in the background) thanks to Rick Steves ;). 
 We made a short stop in Monterosso before sunset. The boys spent most of their time skipping rocks. Haha.
We headed back to Levanto for dinner and ordered a classic pesto dish (which Cinque Terre is also famous for). Nick also loved his seafood pasta--probably caught that day!
We absolutely loved our stay in Cinque Terre! It was nice to avoid the crowds during the low season, but next time we'll probably come in the summertime to enjoy the beach!


Johanna said...

Love this town. The pesto also looks amazing!