Cinque Terre was the destination of travel this weekend as a large group of us girls (Hayley, Jackie, Caitlin, Sara, Julia, Rachel, and myself) headed off to the coast for a weekend in the sun. Cinque Terre has become more popular due to the small towns lining the coast filled with beautiful colored houses, the small town feel, local restaurants, and swimming holes in each town. We stayed in Riomaggiore which was the closest to the train station and allowed us to travel the entire coast visiting each town. Saturday was an early morning as we headed out at 6 am (this was way too early to be up on a Saturday morning, if I do say so myself) to ride the train following the coast line the entire time.
We were kind of worried about our hostel situation as the reviews were not all good, but it turned out great. After climbing what felt like 200 stairs we reached out humble abode for the night. The view was breathtaking as you looked down over the cliff and saw nothing but water and mountains on either side. All the stairs and hills were worth the climb for one picture of this view (although pictures never seem to do it justice, they allow for the memories to subside in my brain of the real image). Cinque Terre is unique as it is made of 5 (cinque) towns that line the coast. You can either take the train, a boat, or hike from city to city. I had heard from other friends who had recently gone that hiking from a least once city to another was worth it! 6 euros later and we were hiking from Corniglia to Vernazza Now mind you the lady at the ticket office told us it was about an hour hike, well she was quite wrong my friends. After about 2 hours of hills and many, many more stairs, breathtaking views, and good laughs among friends along the way we rejoiced when we hit Vernazza and ran towards food and the beach!
Haley and I decided to venture off to the next town called Monterosso to explore. We were excited to get a bite to eat after swimming and laying in the sun for a couple of hours at Vernazza. We settled for fuchsia from a local bakery and drinks after. Only one problem: small town, means everything closes early. We were disappointed when the bar we wanted to try was closing down at 7:30. What bar has specials (broke college student again) and closes that early? We were disappointed, but that only meant we were on the hunt for a good place to sit and enjoy a glass of vino.
Back in Riomaggiore we decided on a little place and relaxed while each having a glass of Cinque Terre Vino and gnocchi (I had to try, since I have only heard positives reviews). The gnocchi was amazing and the wine was delicious as well. There is something special about a small town and searching out the local restaurants that make all their food from scratch and the flavor is so mouth watering you never want to stop eating. Thank goodness for walking so much to subside for all the food we have been eating.
Sunday was all about relaxation as we headed to Manarola to explore a new town and catch some rays. This was by far my favorite town as it was a bit larger than the others and just gave off good vibes. It was less crowded with people and so it felt more like an Italian town rather then a tourist spot. As the sun was beaming down we all decided to drop out bags and jump straight into the water. The water was clear and refreshing with fish swimming all around. We played in the water before going to grab food and of course gelato to end the trip before catching the train back. We found a little pizza place where a slice was only 1.60 euros, score! and was also good.
What better way to end a weekend in Cinque Terre with good friends, a beautiful sunset on the train ride home and getting yelled at for laughing too loud on the train by an Italian woman.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Courtney is a senior at Pacific Lutheran University in Parkland, Washington majoring in Graphic Design. In her free time she loves to go out and explore new places, never leaving home without her camera and notebook to document those moments. She also loves to play volleyball and do craft projects. She is catching the travel bug after traveling to Dubai earlier this year and is excited to study in Milan and travel around Europe. Photography and writing are a true passion of hers and she hopes to share her adventures and thoughts while in Europe through this blog.</span></p>