When I find myself thinking about my visit to Cinque Terre it all seems like a dream. Even though I was only in Cinque Terre for one day, it was one of my favorite places I visited in my three months abroad. Cinque Terre, literally meaning five villages (Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Riomaggiore and Manarola), sits on the west coast of the Italian Riviera coastline.
A group of us left Florence early in the morning for a day trip to remember. We arrived and it was overcast and a little rainy. Fortunately the weather did not hide the beauty of this place. We started at the second village, hiked to the third, caught a train to the fourth, hiked to the fifth, then took a boat ride back to the first, where our bus would take us back to Florence at the end of the day.
In each of the picturesque towns, colorful houses and vineyards are attached to the steep cliff-like land. Fishing boats sit quietly in harbors and restaurants along the water have such amazing views. Cinque Terre holds so much charm, with trains, paths and boats connecting the five villages, the uniqueness of it is unlike anywhere I have ever been.
One highlight was when we stopped for lunch with the group and were served the region’s most famous dish, pesto. If anyone knows me, they know that I am obsessed with pesto pasta. I couldn’t contain my excitement when I found out that pesto was popular; it was so delicious!
We spent the rest of the day hiking on the small paths along the water’s edge and admiring the quaintness of it all. The trail from Riomaggiore to Manarola is called the Via dell’Amore (love walk) which was filled with love locks from lovers all over the world. The view from here was amazing, all you could see was infinite amount of ocean. Even with the sun hidden on that October day, you could see the true history and beauty of this small Italian gem.
Unfortunately for Cinque Terre (but fortunately for me) the villages were affected by torrential downpours causing floods and mudslides only a few days after we left. Nine people were killed by the floods and damage to the villages was extensive. I really took a step back and counted my blessings and was thankful for health and safety! I will always remember this beautiful place and long to go back some day.