Cinque Terre, Italy











When backpacking in our early 20’s before we knew each other, we both visited a special place called Cinque Terre, meaning 5 towns, on the western coast of Italy. The first night we met, bonding over our international travel stories, the question of ‘what was your favorite place you have visited’ was asked.  Cinque Terre and Switzerland were both of our answers.  Long have we wanted to return here together and now appropriately we spent our final days of our RTW trip in this place so dear to our hearts.

Being at the beginning of high season and the newly found popularity of this place didn’t make it cheap so we splurged on an apartment in Riomaggarie in the heart of this little village over looking the bay and densely colored buildings.  With double balconies and the view of the marina, it was well worth the expense. Being our final week we indulged in as much Italian meat, cheese, pasta, wine and gelato that we possible could!  The Cinque Terre towns are positioned on the coastal cliffs connected by hiking trails on the hillside through vineyards and is also connected by train.  They consist of colorful, condensed buildings with each one alternating colors adorned in green shudders.  It is a rocky coastline filled with people cliff jumping and watching sunsets with wine bottles, fried squid or pizza in hand.

Our first day hike was straight up from our town to a church on the hillside continuing to a small town of Teleflora. After our sweaty excursion and a salty dip into the Mediterranean and we collected smooth tiled rock from the beach. Back in the day when these towns were built the builders threw the unused tiles into the ocean and over time these tiles were smoothed out and washed ashore. Zane actually bought Katie a piece of jewelry years ago from someone local in Boulder making necklaces with these very stones from Cinque Terre.

Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso are the 5 towns from south to north in which make up the Cinque Terre National Park. One day we leisurely hiked north stopping in each town enjoying pasta, wine, coffee, gelato and then topped with lemoncello and fresh lemonade from a local man hanging out in his lemon trees along the trail. The hike is indescribable winding through vineyards, up narrow stairs and then down hundreds of more stairs all the while having a costal view and every hour hitting another magical colored town. There is a portion of the coastal trail that is closed from Riomaggorie to Corniglia due to flooding and landslides from 2 years ago but there is a higher alternative route, which encircles an additional town of Volastra. This route is actually better as views are enhanced being higher up. The hike itself took about 5 hours but our day ended at 8 hours with our relaxed stops and then took the train from Monterosso back to Riomaggorie.

P1170930 - Version 2

The view from our balcony through Katie’s eyes.


Reflecting on our life together!!

Little did we know that our swims the first couple of days would be our last in the ocean as a violent storm came through with crazy high winds. A tarp on the building across from us came loose and flapped so loudly throughout the night we had to close the house up, sleep with earplugs and it still sounded as if it was right in our room! The following days the storm passed but the ocean was so rough that the ferry service was suspended and the waves were out of control! The affect of this was hours watching waves and capturing some great shots.

Huge waves!

Huge waves!

Our hikes, sunsets with wine and time people watching from our balcony we reflected on the last year. Many laughs and some tears were shared looking back on the not-so-distance memories made on our RTW trip. It has been the ride of a lifetime and would not trade it for anything. Taking our final train and bus ride to our airport hotel in Rome for an evening we are now headed to the airport for our 25th flight taking us home. See you soon America!

Final morning in Riomaggorie, Cinque Terre

Final morning in Riomaggorie, Cinque Terre

More Pics:

This entry was posted in Italy and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s