Sunbathing with the Mediterranean Sea at our feet, mingling with the locals and cozying up in blankets to watch the sunset over the water… If that doesn’t sound marvelous, I don’t know what does. I wish I knew where to even begin for my trip to Cinque Terre this weekend. From the views to the people, we were surrounded by beauty everywhere we looked. Not one ounce of my being wanted to come back to Florence on Monday morning, nevermind the lingering fact that I will be facing reality in less than 2 months (where does time go?!). It was the most wonderful weekend and I’d like nothing more than a time travel machine to relive our weekend whenever I please.
After a quick trip to Pisa to capture some corny photos kissing the leaning tower, we headed to Monterosso which is the most northern city of Cinque Terre. As our train exited the tunnels, I turned my head just quick enough to see the endless ocean to my right, highlighted by sunny skies. I could have jumped out of the train right then and there. Each of my roommates and I struck up a conversation with our seat neighbors and by the end of the train, we had already made 5 friends. Our train pulled into Monterosso and it took all I had in me not to run into the ocean fully clothed.
After dipping my toes in the water, we headed to Vernazza and met up with our adorable landlord who showed us to our apartment that was a nearly vertical incline up several steps. Paired with 25 pound suitcases, our legs were screaming at us! It was the most adorable apartment with the quaintest details in the perfect location. Just a short walk down a few stairs and the sea was at our feet… I was in heaven. We marveled at the colors and took in all the sights as we grabbed a bottle of wine and headed for the stone beach where the sun was shining and the water was crystal clear. As we were walking in, a couple boys behind us told us to head to Monterosso that night for his brother’s bar opening. So after a fabulous dinner on a cliff overlooking the water at sunset (seriously my description doesn’t do it justice!), we headed to Monterosso and ended up at the small bar opening where everyone was family and the locals treated us like their own. We made lots of connections and danced the night away with our new friends!
The next morning we put on our swimsuits and headed out to city hop on the train. We started in Rio Maggiore and made our way to Manarola and then Corniglia. After about 400 steps up to Corniglia, we found the quaint town on a hilltop and a sign that said “mare”. We couldn’t help ourselves and headed back down many steps to find the most amazing rock cove where we laid out like mermaids and tried our hand at swimming in the cold Mediterranean Sea… It was marvelous and just like a scene from a movie! After two hours we headed home to Vernazza and made dinner after the sunset.
On Sunday, we awoke to find cloudy skies and although our plan was to cliff jump and kayak, we ended up meeting up with some of the boys Jennie and I knew from Milan. We took their lead on the trail to Monterosso (little did we know the intense incline that was involved) but it was a wonderful hike with an even better view! After a little shopping, we settled at a beach bar where they played country music and specialized in drunk @$$ buckets… How dangerous does that sound?? No worries, everyone stayed safe (and maybe a little happier) before we decided to hike back to our home in Vernazza. We ended our stay with one last sunset dinner and said a very sad goodbye to the town that welcomed us so graciously.
Never before had I felt so at home and happy in a town full of smiling locals. Instead of sleeping our last night there, I spent the night dreaming of ways to come back to this wonderful place. So relaxed, so laid back and so picturesque… I loved every single second. It was most definitely my favorite trip so far and I plan on going back in the near future.
Until next time, start looking into plane tickets to Cinque Terre… You will NOT regret it!