Weekend #4: Cinque Terre

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June 25th 2017
Published: June 25th 2017
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This weekend was our last weekend in Italy. Two friends and I decided to spend our last weekend exploring Cinque Terre, the fisherman towns.

We had an early morning train to La Spezia from Rome. The total ride was about 3.5 hours, and luckily I slept the whole time.

Once we arrived, we needed to get weekend passes that covered trains and bus transportation. With our passes in hand, we boarded another train that took us to Manarola, then a bus to Volastra. I found an Airbnb at a great price with an amazing view of the sea.

We unpacked, took a nap, and then headed to the towns. Our first stop was Riomaggiore. This town starts the chain of towns from the south. Like always, we just walked around and explored the streets and shops. Many people told us about the calamari cones, so of course we had to stop and try some.

Next, we went to a "beach," but it was more rocks than sand. These rocks were very hard to maneuver and we looked like idiots getting in and out of the water. However, once we were in the water, we just floated.

We didn't have any towels, which was a big mistake because we were freezing and walking around wet. bWe headed back to Manarola for a quick dinner and watched the sun fade away over the sea.

We decided to get an early start to our day and headed to Vernazza. It was a cooler day, which felt amazing not to sweat as compared to sweating all of the time in Rome. We found a rental station for kayaks and decided to give it a try. Again, we made idiots of ourselves because the water was very rough and our kayak was filling with a lot of water. However, it was the most picturesque view from the water. We were able to see the whole town from afar.

After our kayak adventure, we decided to treat ourselves with gelato, a granita for me. I had the most amazing mango granita! After eating our delicious treat, we headed to Monterosso, the northernmost town.

This town is known as the "beach town." It isn't as beautiful and iconic as the other towns, but it is still very vibrant and busy. We saw a calamari stand, and yet again had to have one. This stand makes everything fresh to order, so we waited about 15 minutes in line, but it was 100% worth the wait!! It was so fresh and cooked perfectly!

We laid on the beach for about an hour, even though there was no sun. It was nice taking time to relax, even though this whole weekend was calm and relaxing. Again, this beach was not a typical beach in the States. It was smaller rock pebbles (and way easier to maneuver).

After a quick break, we went to the last town on our list, Corniglia. Unlike the rest of the towns, Cornigila was up on a hill, so we needed to go up rather than down. It was 381 steps up to get to the town. Once we made it to the top, we walked around and went into the shops. This town is the smallest of the 5, but it had a lot of character. One of the shop owners showed us perfume she makes from the local lemons and oranges, and it smelled amazing! All of the towns have a lot of lemon soaps and candies, which smelled amazing. We only spent about 15 minutes in Corniglia, then headed back down the 381 steps to the train.

We got back to the apartment and freshened up for dinner. It was one of my friends birthday, so we decided to go to a restaurant, called Marina Piccola, overlooking the water. We all ordered a spritz and the mussel spaghetti. This meal was one of the best meals that I have had in Italy! After dinner, we walked around and enjoyed the sunset.

We checked out of our Airbnb and went to Manarola to get breakfast. We stumbled upon a restaurant called Da Aristide, which had a real breakfast. We ordered omelettes, which is the first time I have had a real breakfast this whole trip.

We went back to explore Riomaggiore, but ended up sitting on the rocks near the water for about 2 hours. But of course, we needed one more order of calamari before we left.

Additional photos below
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26th June 2017

Calamari and Pebbles
Picturesque, and you've developed an affinity for calamari! I hope you'll always remember the beach pebbles and sunsets in these little towns on the cliffs.
27th June 2017

Ohh, the calamari looks like it is to die for! I would live on that. Definitely. The town on the side of the mountain overlooking the beach is reminiscent of a lovely oil painting. If I painted, what a place to retire. I enjoyed hearing about how the perfumes and candles are made from lemons and oranges. I am sure they smelled truly fragrant. All in all, what a beautiful weekend with your friends.

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