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Steve, Katherine, and Norah | profile | all galleries >> Austria and Italy 2014: Stubai Alps, Dolomites, and Cinque Terre >> Italy: Cinque Terre tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Italy: Cinque Terre

I had always been enchanted by the pictures I had seen of the colorful Cinque Terre villages tucked into cliffs on the water but didnít know when I would ever see them in person. So when weather chased us from the mountains of Austria and the Dolomites and we were in search of warmer weather, Cinque Terre seemed like a terrific option. The cooler weather worked to our advantage in Cinque Terre. Normally August can be too hot, but it was cooler than normal and quite pleasant during our stay. I was worried about availability of reasonable lodging during the summer on short notice. Luckily we had the iPad and after a lot of searching and emailing I booked a room in Vernazza for five nights. We stayed in a basic room from Memo Rooms on the main thoroughfare of Vernazza and it worked out really well for convenience and price.

After a long travel day of delayed trains, missed connections, and finally four train rides from Verona we arrived in Vernazza. Immediately we were charmed by the colorful buildings, quaint streets, and gorgeous views. And the food. We ate our fill of fresh seafood, focaccia, and gelato during our stay. It was all delicious! Using the trails, trains, and boats, we saw all five towns (and Porto Venere for Steve): Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. All had their own charms and beauty and it was fun exploring them. We did do some hiking, but not as much as we intended when Steve did not feel well for a few days and Norah was too enamored by the beach to do much of anything else. We relaxed into the slow pace of the villages and really enjoyed our time spent in Cinque Terre. It was a terrific way to finish our vacation.

This is what our days looked like in Cinque Terre:

Day 1: travel from Verona to Vernazza
Day 2: hike from Vernazza to Monterosso on the Coastal Trail, beach time for Norah and me, a run/hike for Steve
Day 3: hike from Vernazza to Corniglia on the Coastal Trail, Monterosso beach for Norah and me, resting in the room for an under the weather Steve
Day 4: beach day in Monterosso
Day 5: train to Manarola and hike to Riomaggiore, Steve continued to hike/run to Porto Venere, Norah and I explored Riomaggiore, spent more time in Monterosso, and rode the boat back to Manarola for dinner and sunset with Steve
Day 6: Pack it up and train back to Milan
:: Vernazza ::
:: Monterosso ::
:: Corniglia ::
:: Riomaggiore ::
Porto Venere
:: Porto Venere ::
:: Manarola ::