Day Trip Guide: Cinque Terre

September 19, 2016
Cinque Terre!! Finally, the day has come when I made it to Cinque Terre.  I went in with absolutely no expectations.  I am glad I didn’t know what to expect because it made the scenery that much more beautiful.  There were moments I looked around where I almost wanted to cry from the beauty.

Getting there was really not that bad.  We should have left more time for the train station because we had to run to the train. Other than that, the day went smoothly.  We left S.M. Novella Train Station at 9:53 am headed for La Spezia.  From there, you have to transfer to another train, which takes you to the five towns of Cinque Terre.  We bought the tickets all at once, which included the transfer.  It was a little difficult getting into La Spezia because we had five minutes to get from our train we were on to the next one.  Once you get off, you have to look for the train that says Lovento and go to directly that track.  The trains are listed by their last stop and Lovento is the last stop once it gets through Cinque Terre. 

We finally landed in Riomaggiore, which is the first town of Cinque Terre that is the farthest south.  This was a great first place to stop and get ourselves familiar with the area.  Once you get off the train, there are two directions you can go.  After leaving the platform, you can go right, which brings you through a long tunnel and to Riomaggore’s town.  You can also turn left, which brings you to Via dell’Amore, the pathway that connects Riomaggiore to the next town.  Unfortunately, the weather was horrible the day before in Cinque Terre, so the path was closed and we had to use the trains to go between the towns.  It only cost four euro for one way, so it wasn’t that big of a deal.

We just stopped in Riomaggiore for a quick snack, since we hadn’t eaten all day and it was already 1:30.  We made our way down to the Marina, which is the steps that go down right at the end of the tunnel.  We decided to snap a few quick pics while we were down there.
Then we bought another train ticket and made our way to Manarola.  I didn’t think it was possible to get prettier from one town to the next, but wow.  We went through another tunnel to get to Manarola, and the water was to our left when we got out, so we decided to walk down and find some lunch.  We got to the water and looked right, and there was this adorable restaurant that was up on a cliff overlooking Manarola, so we decided to go up there.  Life filled the town.  There were people everywhere carrying fried calamari, swimming in the water, hiking, and walking to enjoy the views.  Once we got to the water, we took the path to the right, which ran along the water and had another great opportunity for pictures.

The path took us right up to Nessus Dorma, where we ate lunch.  If you ever go to Manarola and do not eat lunch here, you did Manarola wrong.  It undoubtedly has the most fantastic lunch view I have ever experienced.  I was expecting the food to be overpriced because of the view, but it was surprisingly cheap.  For a whole plate of prosciutto and melon and a glass of rose, I paid 15 euro.  The restaurant also has no cover charge.  You sit at a table that overlooks the entire town of Manarola and the Mediterranean Sea.  Everything that we got was absolutely delicious and even though they were busy, there was no rush for us to get up, so we all sat for about two hours and enjoyed our meal and drinks.
Getting back to Florence was super easy.  We went the exact way that we came, but just on the other side of the tracks (When facing North, we came into town on the left, and we left town on the right track).  My only regret out of the whole day was that it was only a day and not the whole weekend.  I would recommend spending a weekend in Cinque Terre so you can get to all of the towns.   The towns are all connected by pathways, and I was so bummed that they were closed while we were there.  Maybe this just means I have to go back.  If my day trips continue to go this well, I am going to need to find a way increase the size of my bank account and the length of my stay.

Continuing to miss family and friends at home but I am definitely living a pretty cool life right now.  Talk to you all soon.


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