Let me preface this article by saying that I love Italy. Every part of it I find absolutely fascinating. I love the food, I love the people, I love the language, I even love driving, I love it all.
So on the long and rather somber drive back to Spain from the Dolomites of the Giro d’italia, it was decided that we should make a pit stop in Cinque Terra, Italy.
It consists of five costal fishing villages, built on the side steeply-terraced cliffs.
My original plan was to check it out in between stages but this plan was quickly aborted once I did a little research. One does not simply “pop in” to Cinque Terra. Cars were banned over a decade ago, this explains why the area is preserved so well. But, there is a 19th century railway along with ferries that transports visitors from town to town. Or you can do I as did and hike the spectacular trails that connect.
We stayed in Monterosso, the oldest village, formed in AD 643. It also the village with the most popular beach. We stayed at Hotel Porta Roca which was exceeded all my expectations. Perched high above the see the views were absolutely stunning.
Everyone spoke English, which never happens. I of course went on speaking my broken Italian, anyways. The food and scenery from the restaurant was so good that we ate dinner there two nights in a row. Not to mention the hiking trails that this area is famous for were right outside the door. So much of the time when traveling we get caught up in having to see everything. But in Italy it’s more important to feel. Eat pesto gnocchi for lunch, order your gelato in Italian, drink espresso by the beach and just live.