Monday, June 27, 2011

Cinque Terr(e)ific- 5 fabulous cities along the coast of Italia

Some of you may have heard of Cinque Terre, which is five cities along the North Western coast of Italy.  It's known for pesto and having an amazing hike right along the edge of the coast to see each of the cities.  The hike is supposed to take a total of 5 hours increasing in difficulty from the first town being Riomaggiore to the last being Monterosso. The roommates and I decided to split the hike up into two days so we could take our time in each of the towns and spend the last day at the beach in Monterosso.


Hiking in necklaces of course! ;)

The trail beginning in Riomaggiore is known as the Via dell' Amore or the Road of Love in English.  This part of the hike was the easiest part.  All along the trail there were locks on the fences.  Putting a lock somewhere near a body of water is an old Italian tradition.  The tradition means that if you and your lover lock a lock near the water and throw the key in the water, your love will be everlasting.  I love this tradition because I'm a cheesy hopeless romantic like many girls I suppose.  Once we got to the second city, we had to take a train to the third because there was a landslide in the second town.  After arriving in Corniglia, the third town, we walked around the town for a little while checking things out before continuing on. 



Thanks to my roommate, Kim, and her trusty travel guide books, we had a room booked for us in the fourth city called Vernazza.  This town was the favorite of all of us.  The hike from Corniglia to Vernazza was probably the hardest part of the hike but getting there was totally worth it! There was a little beach in Vernazza that was packed with Italians enjoying the sunshine.  Something that all of us noticed was that when Italians are at the beach, they could care less about anyone else that is around them.  Unlike in the US, people are so consumed in their own fun that they dont take notice to anyone elses bodies or play time.  I would have thought that being practically nude would be trouble with Italian men but I think they ignored us more so than when we are fully clothed.  It was such a relaxing way to end our first day.  I took a little nap on the beach before dinner and it was perfect! At dinner, three of us tried a traditional pasta dish made with pesto and sipped on some vino.  After din we decided to get some gelato by the water and watch the sunset.  It was a great way to end the first day of hiking!

View of Corniglia from the hike to Vernazza

My sisters nickname is "Fanny" so I had to take a pic with the ONLY Fanny sign I have ever seen :)

Yummyyyy Pesto pasta!

The next morning once we were all bright eyed and bushy tailed we decided to make our way on the trail to the final city, Monterosso.  Supposedly this is the hardest part of the hike but Kim, Jennifer and I decided that the hike from Corniglia to Vernazza was more difficult.  The hike from Vernazza to Monterosso had the most beautiful that emulated all of the photos of Cinque Terre that you can see online showing the cute colorful city right along the water.  This part of the hike was a lot more narrow and rural which made it more fun.  The beginning had a lot of stairs going upward that made us feel like we were going to die 15 minutes in but shortly after, it leveled out and was a breeze.  I really enjoyed being out in the sunshine and getting more exercise and raising my heart rate higher than just walking around Florence. When we got the Monterosso, the four of us raced for the beach and laid out in the sun for about 4 hours.  We all got a little more toasty than expected and are now nursing our burns back to recovery. 

View of Vernazza from the trail

Beautiful water!

Before leaving Cinque Terre,  we went back to Vernazza to grab our bags and pick up some souvenirs.  I bought a necklace from a little shop called Storie in Italy.  The shop is owned by a local artist in Cinque Terre who creates artistic prints and different charms of cities in Italy.  I had my necklace made with a charm of Florence, Venice, Rome and Cinque Terre, my favorite cities so far besides Verona.  But I guess those are the only places I have really been so I love it all! :) 

"I dig my toes into the sand"

Prints and necklaces in the shop

More prints in the Storie in Italy shop

American native making my necklace. She was from Monterey, California and moved to Italy 7 years ago to teach English.  She's my new inspiration! :)

Cinque Terre was beautiful!!  

xoxox Ash



1 comments:

Je said...

Haha!! That's Annie McFanny to you!

Cinque Terre was my favorite place in ALLLLL of Itlay! Did you try the Lemoncello?

I love reliving Italy again through your eyes!

xoxo

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