Gems of Italy: Swoon-worthy Cinque Terre, +1
When I first discovered we wouldn’t be staying in any of the five dreamy villages of the Italian Riveria region the Cinque Terre, I was a little disappointed. Levanto, a town just north of the “fifth” town, Monterosso al-Mare, isn’t technically part of the Cinque Terre. But, as our trip had gone, and how Italy had not disappointed even one iota, Levanto – I quickly discovered – was the place to stay while visiting this ever growing tourist attracting Italian coast.
Between lazily swimming in the Ligurian Sea, hiking the cliffside trail between Vernazza and Corneglia, and gazing upon cliffs of grapevines and olive trees – oh, and eating the out of this world local seafood/food – our two days in the Cinque Terre and Levanto were utterly magnificent.
As a side note, it’s incredibly difficult to discern which photos to post, as I took so many throughout Italy. Cinque Terre was no exception to this dilemna!
Our first stop, the northern-most of the 5 villages, Monterosso al Mare.
Monterosso al Mare
North of Monterosso al Mare was our town of Levanto. We arrived late in the afternoon, and for dinner had one of the best meals there, a delightful Tuscan feast of local seafoods (and rabbit, and pesto that the chef made for us as a demonstration beforehand!)
Fresh mussels, anchovies, calamari, crab, bruschetta, pasta with pesto, risotto with porcini mushrooms. Profiteroles and limoncello. A very memorable meal.
A few pretty pictures in Vernazza while walking to the trail head entrance (above).
Leaving early gave us the narrow trail mostly to ourselves. We were told it can get quite busy, and my hike mates Paulette and Charlie were early birds like me; we made for pretty decent hiking partners 🙂
Looking back at Vernazza as we ascend the beginning of the trail. Stunning!
Some highlights from our hike (above).
The olive tree nets (sprawled out when harvested) sure looked like hammocks to me!
Corniglia in sight! Fortunately it was mostly downhill from here 🙂