From Alba, we’ll be traveling south as we head to the Italian Riviera and the Cinque Terre. We’ll have five days to explore the towns and hopefully enjoy the beautiful azure waters along the coast.
The Cinque Terre consists of five villages which are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park. It is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a popular summer time tourist spot. Luckily, we’re here in September, so it’s not as crowded as it could be.
The five villages of the Cinque Terre are (from South to North):
Riomaggiore – The southern most village which was built in the valley of the Rivus Maior which still runs under the town streets. People like to watch the sunset from the harbor.
Manarola – Often said to be the most picturesque of the five villages due to the colorful houses that sit perched on the cliffs just above the harbor.
Corniglia – The smallest and quietest of the Cinque Terre villages, Corniglia sits high in the cliffs and it is the only one without direct access to the sea, unless you count the 200 stairs.
Vernazza – Probably the most popular of the villages. Many hikers like to walk here from Monterosso as the distance is short.
Monterosso al Mare – The largest of the villages with the only long sandy beach. There is a new town and old town with a tunnel connecting the two and the train station in the middle.
Since we’ll be here for five days, the plan is to visit and explore each of the towns. No room in the luggage for hiking boots, so we’ll just take the train or boat to get around.
Our hotel is the Hotel Pasquale and it is located in the northernmost town of Monterosso al Mare. It’s a small family run hotel in a perfect location.
The rooms are small, but have everything needed, plus an awesome view out over the beach and the sea.
Though we arrived in the sunshine, the weather looks like it might be a factor over the next few days. It’s a bit chilly and a lot overcast with rain predicted. We’ll just go with the flow and see what happens.
La Vita è Bella!