Making it to my last Italian location I thought I’d better make the most of it, visiting 7 villages in two days. This is less impressive than it sounds because everything was super close along the coastline. Using La Spezia as my base, I sprawled left and right to hit up the beaches and getting some pictures of the iconic colourful houses of the fishing villages in Cinque Terre.
Day 1 I kept brief, visiting Lerici and Tellaro. After a very confusing conversation with an Italian about which bus to catch, I eventually made my way out to the villages. Starting at Lerici I skipped past the main busy pebble beaches to the rock edges near the ports for a swim, then people watched as an Italian couple had a heated argument over a boogie board… I think. Onward to Tellaro for another swim off the rocks. Tellaro has been my favourite swimming spot yet, there were hardly any other people around, with next to none of them being English speaking. It gave off a very good authentic Italian vibe and I loved it.
Day 2 took a much different pass, as I headed out to the tourist hotspot and hit up the 5 villages of Cinique Terre. All five towns were individual and beautiful, with scenic hikes in between each. I hiked from Monterosso to Vernazza accidently taking the red track up the mountain including the hours worth of upward stairs, the view and risk of heart attack were both on very high levels. Monterosso was the busiest of all of the villages as it was the ‘beach’ village, although in my opinion some of the other villages had way nicer swimming spots, although I’m not a big fan of sand so that probably sways my opinion of Monterosso. Vernazza was for sure the food stop, with loads of cute cafes, resturants, street food venders lining the main strip. From here I trained the rest of the way, I got to distracted in Vernazza and wasted way too much time to hike the rest.
Making my way through the remainder of the villages it was clear that each village has its own unique charm, despite being so close to its neighbours. Manarola was where I whipped out the bikini for a dip in the port. It was really cool, with super clear blue water and a giant rock in the middle that all the crazy ones were jumping off of. Cornigelia was the least packed of all the villages, which probably had something to do with 400+ stair climb up from the station, although it was very much worth it. Especially since there had been a wedding earlier that day so there were flowers all over the paths from the church to the town centre, and oh my gosh on that note! The church was absolutely stunning! There are loads of amazing churches in Europe but this one blew me away. With a fairly understated exterior, though an amazingly intricate pastel and gold interior, It was sooo gorgeous. Once I dragged myself away from the church I was on to my last stop was through Riomaggiore, where I got the iconic Cinque Terre pic of the loads of colourful houses packed in along the cliff.
as I said this was my last days in Italy.. sad face.. now, I’m not sure if it is really a fair constant as I’ve spent a lot more time in Italy then I have anywhere else and obviously its an extensive list, although Italy is right up towards the top of list of places I need to return to eventually.
- Food: pesto pasta is the dish of the zone… super delicious, I’m so hooked!
- The villages of Cinque Terre are iconic and stunning, although if you’ve got the chance check out the less popular villages around the area. It’s a totally different vibe and much cheaper!
- You can get a train pass for 16 euro to be able to travel between the five villages unlimited for 24hrs… and extra hot tip: it gives you free access to bathrooms through out the stations and villages
Next Stop: Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
Annie Charlotte xx