Monday, June 1, 2015

travelogue ~ cinque terre, italy.

As I mentioned before, with Pietrasanta as our home-base, we spent the week making day trips and Cinque Terre was a must-see. We are just south of it and on Sunday we drove to the train station and jumped off at the southern most town, Riomaggiore. Cinque Terre is made up of five towns that run up the coast. They are all pretty close together and there are trains and ferries that run between them - so you can basically town-hop. Driving and parking is a real challenge and not recommended.

We stopped in Riomaggiore first because there is a hiking path that runs between all five towns and in Riomaggiore, one of the most famous and beautiful parts of starts from Riomaggiore, the Via dell'Amore or "lover's walk". Unfortunately, because of rock slides, it was closed indefinitely. We were disappointed, but we jumped on the next train and headed to Manarola.

Manarola is beautiful and a post-card for Cinque Terre. The town is built up on the hills overlooking the water.

We walked the town a little and then stopped for lunch at the Marina Piccola. Food was fine (nothing to write home about). We would actually recommend going to Nessun Dorma - which was the other restaurant on our list but we were so hungry that we didn't look for it when we should have. Ah well, we happened upon it later when we were walking and it looks great!

After lunch, we found another trail with hillside views that winds up above and around the vineyards (Adam and Christina opted for a ferry to jump to another town). It was a gorgeous walk.

Ready for the next town, we trained again to Vernazza. The town has a great main square right on the beach and the Santa Margherita d'Antiocha church - which was built in 1318 - sits right on the edge of the beach on sea rock.

We opted for some afternoon gelato from the Gelateria Il Porticciolo and rested for a bit just watching and taking it all in.

Post-gelato, we hiked up to the Doria Castle which is perched at the very top of the cliffs. The views are 360 degrees and it was a beautiful day. While up there, Ben was looking over one side of the walls and happened to notice a lovely little balcony with tables and a couple having a drink. We both agreed we should find that balcony! So, we wandered down about halfway and meandered through some of the very small paths, and happened upon this total gem, the Gianni Franzi. It is actually a little B&B but they have this great balcony jutting out over the water...

We couldn't believe was the view overlooking one side...

So the four of us ordered some wine (and cheese and charcuterie) and basically camped out for a good hour, enjoying the view and breeze - it was beautiful...

After all of this, we hiked back down and headed to Ristorante Belforte to meet up with Adam and Christina for dinner. The restaurant was wonderful - great food and fantastic views. If ever you do go here, when you make the reservation ask for a table on the top terrace (they have several terraces). We ate dinner over the water with the sun coming down...

The service was great, our food was wonderful and to finish the night off - we realized with 6 minutes to go that if we didn't catch the next train back we would be stuck for two hours. Our waiter doubted we would make it, but all six of us grabbed our bags and literally sprinted through the town and made the train. I will never run that fast again having just eaten so much...but we made it!

1 comment:

  1. Loving all of these travel posts. It looks like you all had a fun trip and ate some AMAZING food!