Honeymoon Part II: Cinque Terre

The next stop on our adventure was Cinque Terre.  You've probably seen some stunning photos of this enchanting region, but if you don't know much about it, Cinque Terre is five old-world fishing villages separated by only a few meters, set on top of mountains, looking over the Mediterranean.  Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore are the five towns, all of which slope down to sea level, except for Corniglia, which sits on top a cliff.   The main attraction is the beauty of the hike from town to town.  

We stayed in the northern most town, Monterosso.  Monterosso is the most beachy and resorty of the five.  We stayed in a lovely bed and breakfast a little way up the mountain, Il Parco (see view below).  The red building is darling with impeccably kept rooms and grounds and a mountain-top pool, that given a little more time, I would have loved to take advantage of.  Il Parco is a short walk down to the boardwalk and beach and another short walk to the charming old town.  We arrived in the late afternoon, cleaned up and went to dinner in the picturesque old town, with a backdrop of strung lights, al fresco dinning and accordion player.

We woke up early the next morning to begin the hike.  You'll read in the travel books to dress appropriately, head that advice.  The first portion of the hike, from Monterosso to Vernazza and also from Vernazza to Corniglia, is quite intense.  The grueling walk is beyond worth it, as every corner you turn the view is somehow more beautiful than the last.

Vernazza was my favorite of the five towns.

The beach, Italian style.

We found a little trattoria in the southern-most town, Riomaggiore to have a drink and watch the sunset.

If these photos don't sell you, I don't know what will!  Cinque Terre was not only my favorite stop on the trip, I think it has climbed to my favorite spot in the world.  Come back tomorrow for more Italian eye-candy.