When my mom kept telling us about Cinque Terre, Italy, I had no clue what she was really getting at, I also couldn’t pronounce it for the life of me. She told us about hiking from village to village and all I can remember her saying was that you needed to bring your own toilet paper with and squat over a hole…. not really my kind of vacation, but lordy, I have no clue why that was the only thing I remembered about what she had told me. This was our second stop after Rome. We hopped on a train in Rome and then had one transfer before landing at the quaint little station in Monterosso, Cinque Terre in Italy. I kid you not, this place is heaven on earth. As you walk down from the train station, you see the beach, people enjoying beverages on the little board walk, a cool tunnel that connects the two parts of town, and the craziest views of the other villages set on the cliffs overlooking the sea. Seriously, this place was amazing.
We only had one full day there (two nights) and so we strategized and saved the big hike for the full day. The best part about this time of year is that the sun sets rather late, so we still got to enjoy two afternoons on the beach but each of us agreed that if we could re-plan our trip, we would have stayed at least one (if not two) more nights to really soak in all of Cinque Terre. This would be the perfect place to celebrate an anniversary or enjoy a honeymoon and I am already trying to convince Drew to go with me next year on our annual getaway! The best part about this stop is that there really aren’t any major tourist draws, so you actually feel like you are part of their community. I ate the best focaccia bread of my life, enjoyed a few drinks on the beach, soaked in some sunrays, and then we ate dinner on the boardwalk. The hike was amazing, probably the highlight of my entire trip. We walked over 13 miles that day and it wasn’t exactly a flat walk but it was worth every minute. The views throughout the hike were crazy, the people we met while adventuring were so fun to chat with, and it was such a cool way to see the different villages and check out more of Cinque Terre! We could have kept hiking but we wanted to get back and enjoy one last bit of beach before heading to France! You guys, if you have any sort of chance, get to Cinque Terre. You absolutely will not regret it! –
Things we did:
- Enjoy drinks on the beach the moment we arrived
- Walk through the whole village of Monterosso
- Hike from Monterosso to Vernazza to Corniglia
- Ate incredible pasta in Corniglia, still thinking about that pesto
- Spend the evenings on the beach, we closed the beach down one night
- Devoured a giant bowl of seafood cous cous, yum
- Had our first eggs and bacon on the trip
- Took the train back from Corniglia to Monterosso
Tips and Tricks:
– We loved staying in Monterosso because that’s the only village of the five with a beach, our place was two blocks from the water!
– The hike was one of my favorite parts from the entire trip, we left early in the morning and took our time in the villages we visited.
– You used to be able to hike to all five but a flood washed out the trail to the last two villages, there are routes not on the water that can be taken, however, after our long hike, we were good with only going to Corniglia.
– Wear sunscreen on your hike.
– I legit ate the best bread I have ever had in my life at a place called Foccacia Antonia in Monterosso, go there and get the cheesy bread!
– Bring toilet paper or kleenex along on the hike, some of the bathroom stops are not actual toilets, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
– Talk to people on the trail while hiking, we met some amazing people while adventuring, it was so fun and made the uphills a little more bearable.
– You can get a ferry pass that will take you from each village by boat! We wanted to do this but had already bought our train pass. When I got back next time, I’ll totally do the ferry so I can see each village from the water!
– Stay here for as long as you seriously can. This was all of our favorite stops along the way, we had only wished we had saved an extra day or two to spend more time enjoying the beach and the sites of the colorful villages. I could seriously spend a week here alone!
– Just go here. Okay? You may have never heard of it but it’s amazing, it’s calling your name.