I picked out photos & got them all uploaded before I realized that I forgot to include any pictures of the towns. The Cinque Terre are famous for the piles of small houses built into the hillside, stacked on top of each other in a dozen different colors & here I am putting together a post to share on this place, after radio silence for weeks, & you get none of the classic photos.
I considered adding one or two. Sam advocated for it: “Don’t you need a cover photo?!” but in the end, I decided against it. They’ll come at you in a separate post in a few days or a week (or two). In the meantime, I want to focus on the more important things. I want to share the bits of this place that made it really really special for me. It’s really really pretty & photogenic & the stacked houses are absolutely wonderful, but what I loved most was the proximity to the ocean. & the life.
The views of the Mediterranean are so so magical. Really. The sunsets were absolutely breathtaking. The water was amazing. The boats are so so perfect.
But the pace of life is what makes it really really great. Sure, we were on vacation, but it really does just feel like a place where things are a bit slower. You start the morning with a cappuccino & some pastries & that’s just that. The way it is. The best way to begin a morning. We picked a favorite bar (caffè) first things first on our first day & then promptly supported our friendly barista every single morning. She knew our order by the time we left, which is just the way I like life, ya know? It’s good to get to know the locals, even if it is just for a moment.
Plus, the pastries were delicious. The one with yellow in the middle is basically butter & flower filled with cream, but the cream is more of a custard that a cream. A little more like a danish. Not to sweet. Pretty delicious. The other one that you can’t quite see but that we polished off just the same, is a poofy, delicious thing (again, butter & flour, basically), filled with just enough nutella. omg.
We spent one entire morning in Monterosso, the farthest North of the five villages & the only one with a true honest to goodness beach, just lounging. The sun was out, the sand was warm, & we even worked up to a swim in the freezing water. It was a picnic kind of day, so we pulled out the snacks: Bruschetta with tomato & oregano, really good soft cheese, tangerines, & freshly sliced prosciutto. Life here was really really good.
Rome was absolutely wonderful, but while a day there was full of the “work” of exploring historical places & figuring out how to get around, our week in Cinque Terre was vacation. We definitely hiked the trails between the villages (& then some) & we took a bus down the coast to another village (Porto Venere) one of our days there, but mostly we just hung out. We took the train between the villages on some of our days. We enjoyed a beer & the sunshine in Vernazza, which has one of the most spectacular views I’ve ever seen, we lounged on the beach, we sunbathed on the rocks.
We dove into the cold cold water because it was so teal that you just had to & because who can say no to the Mediterranean?! Not I, that’s for sure. Not I, not one bit.
You need to visit this place. You need to see this part of the ocean & live this life for a little while. It’s one of the vacations that fills you up with sunshine, water, a view of the boats, & some really (really) good food.
VISIT / We stayed at the Ostello Tramonti in Biassa. It’s not one of the five villages that make up the Cinque Terre, but they have a free shuttle that will take you in the morning & bring you back in the evening (it’s about fifteen minutes by shuttle each way). It’s a hostel so expect dormitories, but it’s only four people to a room, it’s clean, & the staff is really great. I recommend it for sure, if you are looking for somewhere cheaper to stay! Book early for a cheaper rate. 🙂