Travel

Cinque Terre

View Story

We left Switzerland and took the train into Italy- a rather interesting, uncomfortable and long journey, which I shall tell you more about in the Venice post. Once in Italy our itinerary looked like this: Venice for 2 nights, Florence for 1 night, Cinque Terre for 1 night, and then Rome for 2 nights.
{Now that you know what our timeline looked like you might be expecting Venice instead of Cinque Terre but I decided to take a break from my chronological storytelling and interrupt the timeline with this highlight destination especially for my friends Gordon and Emma who are in Cinque Terre at the moment.}

Cinque Terre means “the Five lands” and is an area along the Italian Coastline that consists of 5 little towns/villages, namely Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. These towns are only about 5-8 mins apart by train or about 1h30 hours if you hike. Taking a ride on the ferry is nice because then you get a view of all the towns like they are in the map below. {The train rides are through lots of tunnels so you don’t see much of the coast.}
Cinque Terre was by far our favourite destination on our whole trip- and we would go back there at the drop of a hat!

 

Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-1Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-2

 

 

Vernazza and Monterosso are the swimming villages- decorated with bright umbrella’s and lots of sunbathing locals and tourists. Monterosso is the nicest town for chilling on the beach…because it is the only one with a beach. ;) It’s the last stop and you’ll recognise it by all the colourful umbrella’s.

 

Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-3 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-4 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-5 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-6 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-7

 

 

When Kim and I arrived in Monterosso on our first day we went to the beach and put our things down before going for a swim. No sooner had we put our bag down next to the life ring in this picture below, when a lifeguard approached us and asked us if we had paid to be there. Rather confused- we didn’t realise that we were on the private part of the beach (which is depicted by the yellow umbrellas). We were told to move to the public beach- which was on the other side of the line, literally 10 cm to the left. We apologised and moved our bag 10 cm till we were legal again. We just laughed before running into the fabulous Mediterranean water and having the most amazing swim in the history of ever!

 

Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-8 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-9 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-10 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-11

 

 

When Kim and I arrived in Monterosso on our first day we went to the beach and put our things down before going for a swim. No sooner had we put our bag down next to the life ring in this picture below, when a lifeguard approached us and asked us if we had paid to be there. Rather confused- we didn’t realise that we were on the private part of the beach (which is depicted by the yellow umbrellas). We were told to move to the public beach- which was on the other side of the line, literally 10 cm to the left. We apologised and moved our bag 10 cm till we were legal again. We just laughed before running into the fabulous Mediterranean water and having the most amazing swim in the history of ever!

 

Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-8 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-9 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-10 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-11

 

 

Take some slip slops because you’ll need them once you exit the water. The little pebbles on the beach are so hot from baking in the Mediterranean sun they might burn blisters on your feet!

 

Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-12 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-13

 

 

A view of Corniglia from the ferry.

 

Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-14 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-15 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-16

 

 

If you are in Vernazza, visit a little ice cream shop on your left (before you enter the waterfront area) and get yourself a mango gelato ice cream…it is the BEST! Kim and I kept going back for more!

 

Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-17 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-18 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-19

 

 

These 3 old oompies in Vernazza sat and watched everyone as they walked past. Clearly that was “their” spot. Local is lekker!

 

Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-20 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-21 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-22 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-23 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-24

 

 

In 2011 there was a landslide that left the beautiful Vernazza in an awful state. Below one can see the before pictures and all the shop owners who’s stores were destroyed. {The 7th picture from the top on the right hand side of this collage is the picture of the ice cream shop where we bought our mango gelato ice-creams.}

 

Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-25

 

 

There is a lovely hike that one can do from town to town. But due to the landslide the routes between the first 3 towns were washed away, leaving only the portion between Monterosso and Vernazza available for the hike. We set out from Monterosso at a stupidly hot time of the day and 1h30 min later found ourselves looking at the view of Vernazza from above, which left us drooling for a swim and some cold ice cream! Along the way we met a farmer who had set up a stall in the vineyards, selling his home-made wine and Lemoncello. He was incredibly friendly and spoke about 4 or 5 different languages, clearly a talent that came in handy when he needed to sell his goods to the many tourists who walk right past his stall on the hike. I originally thought that Lemoncello was lemonade, and with it looking so cold and fresh I took a massive gulp and much to my surprise, discovered it was not!!! It has a 30% alcohol content and left me breathless. Literally. It was so strong I didn’t feel the pain of walking up all those stairs on the hike- in fact it felt as if I was floating the rest of the trip. So…note to self- sip Lemoncello with caution, not extravagance! :)

As you come down into Vernazza from doing the hike from Monterosso, you see this house that was ripped in half by the landslide and was left as is.

 

Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-26 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-27 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-28 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-30 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-31 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-32

 

 

We stayed in Riamaggiore for our only night in Cinque Terre and what a special little town! Kim and I bought a bottle of wine and some seafood cones before setting out to find a great vantage point to view the sunset from. We wandered up till we found this old castle and the two of us spent the rest of the evening enjoying good food, wine, music and deep meaningful conversation whilst watching THE most amazing sunset. I think this is my favourite memory for both Kim and I of the whole trip, and is one I’ll treasure forever.

 

Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-33 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-34

 

 

These mixed seafood cones are so yummy! You must try one if you are there!

 

Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-35 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-36 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-37 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-38 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-39 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-40 Cinque Terra_Lindy Truter-41

 

 

Travelling tips for Cinque Terre:

1. The trains aren’t very reliable and the last one is just before 22:00. So if you need to get back to your village make sure you leave 2 trains ahead of time so that you don’t get stranded!

2. At one stage you could do the hike from Riamaggiore all the way to the Monterosso which would take about 5-7 hours. But due to the landslide only the hike from Vernazza to Monterosso is now available. Be sure to stop at the friendly farmers stall along this hike and sip (cautiously) some of his Lemoncello- it is actually very nice! :) Take lots of water on this hike and don’t hike it during mid day unless your intention is to sweat all the liquid out of your body. Oh, and you’ll need a permit for the hike which you can purchase at the information centres in each of the towns.

3. If you have limited time in Cinque Terre, give Corniglia a skip. Rather spend more time in Monterosso, Vernazza and Riamaggiore. :)
Check out Cinque Terre’s website for more info on what to see and do: http://www.cinqueterre.eu.com/en/

4. Take the ferry to see the little towns from the sea- be sure to wear some sunscreen here as your chances of getting a seat under the shade is minimal. The ferry leaves at 15:00 if I remember correctly.

5. Get some Mango Gelato! It’s yumminess is overwhelming! :)

6. Go up to El-Castello (the castle I was talking about earlier) with a bottle of wine and those mixed seafood cones, and watch an incredible sunset!

7. Don’t post post cards from Cinque Terre- you’ll pay 2 euro for a stamp. Which is double the price you pay for a post card- and it will arrive 6 weeks after you arrived back in your home country.

8. If you need acommoddation try AirBnb. You can get some really affordable spots. Just note hat wherever you stay there will be A LOT of stairs. So suitcases with little wheels won’t help you much :)

9. Swim for hours, eat too much ice cream, and take lots of pictures!!!

10. Take me with you when you go visit!!! :) :) :)

No Comments

Be the first to start a conversation

Leave a Reply

(will not be published)