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.
Gelateria Il Porticciolo and rested for a bit just watching and taking it all in.
Gianni Franzi. It is actually a little B&B but they have this great balcony jutting out over the water...
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...