Cinque Terre. Oh Cinque Terre…Just thinking about this hike, the views and our day makes me feel giddy. Cinque Terre, or “Five Towns”, is a series of small towns perched on top of a mountain range in the Italian Riviera. It is a very popular spot for tourists and absolutely breathtaking.
We started our morning in Cinque Terre at the Monterresso train station where we bought our hiking passes (note: don’t attempt to hike without the passes, there are checkpoints!). The views just from the train station were amazing — bright blue skies, crisp turquoise waves and colorful umbrellas all along the beach.
We walked towards the start of the path and fairly quickly the hike turned into a steep stair climb. Periodically, Adam and I would stop on the side of the stairs to catch our breath and enjoy (and photograph) the gorgeous ocean views. I had read somewhere that the hike from Monteresso to Vernazza (the next town over) is over 700 steps, and boy do I believe it!
About 1.5 hours later, we made it to Vernazza and were greeted by a bustling street full of venders selling foccaccia, fresh fish and traditional Italian dishes. Adam spotted something that looked like a cave relatively close to the path exit, so naturally we went into it and ended up on a beautiful beach that was pretty much free of people. We found a big rock to rest on and enjoyed the fresh ocean breeze and beautiful surroundings. When we got hungry, we went to a nearby foccaccia bakery (a specialty of this region- don’t leave without trying it!). I got a foccaccia with black olives and Adam got a caprese sandwich on foccaccia bread. We ate on the beach before training to the rest of the towns where we explored the curving streets full of colorful houses and buildings.
We ate our last dinner on the Italian Riviera in Levanto (a nearby city) at a restaurant called Oue Lune where we shared an amazing dish of oil-poached fish, potatoes, tomatoes and olives. The fish was prepared and served table side and was so incredibly fresh. I would absolutely recommend eating fish along the Italian coast.