Cinque Terre-Bellissimo!

Every view is a postcard! Cinque Terre, the area of five hill-side towns on the Italian Rivera, is one of the most beautiful places in the world.

cinque terrre Riomaggiore

Traveling by bus, train and boat, we were able to hike the trails and visit all five towns in one day.  We hiked through vineyards and olive groves.

cinque terre-Deb hike

We hiked up and down steep hills.

cinque terre-Deb hike 2

It was harvest time, and the trails were busy with workers hauling baskets of grapes on their shoulders.

cinque terre grape harvest

Our bus dropped us off in Manarola to begin our visit to the five towns.  Daring swimmers were jumping off tall rocks into the Mediterranean Sea below.

cinque terre paul

Our first short hike led us to Corniglia and lunch.  Sitting on a beautiful outdoor terrace, we dined on all types of local seafood.  Our guide told us that the hike to lunch would be a test to see if we could handle the longer post-lunch hike.  He pointed out our half-way point, a bright pink bar nestled in the hillside where we could get a drink and take a break.

cinque terre bar

We were very hot and very dry when we arrived at the pink bar.  We enjoyed a lemon fizzy made from the abundant local lemons and the gorgeous view of Corniglia in the distance where we started our long hike.

cinque terre view from window

We continued the rest of our hike to Vernazza, and thrilled at the view as we approached the town.

cinque terre view from traile

After a gelato treat and walk around the town, we boarded another train to Monterossa.  The beach here was voted sexiest beach by Forbes magazine.  Cinque Terre is noted for its white wine, so we did a white wine tasting of one wine from each of the five towns.  I got a pan fritto con formaggio,  a pastry with cheese inside that is only made in Monterossa, to go with my wine.  It tasted like an Italian version of something I would eat at the Minnesota State Fair and paired beautifully with my wine.

cinque terre pastry

Taking a boat from Monterosso Riomaggiore, we were able to see the coastline of all five towns.

cinque terre boat view

In Riomaggiore we wandered the lovely street (yes, singlular, there was only one) and sampled a cone of the local fried fish.

cinque terre fish

Fabian, our guide, told us that the mayor of each village chose the house colors.  He also warned us about pickpockets in the train station and would point and yell “pickpocket” when he saw one.

cinque terre guide

A final train ride to La Spezia to catch our bus home and our wonderful day in Cinque Terre was over.  I definitely will return for a longer visit.