CinqueTerre is such a beautiful (not so ) hidden gem. Not the easiest to get to but well worth the hassle. Basically it’s five separate fishing villages set across one of the most gorgeous coastal scenery. Its made up of Corniglia, Manarola, Monterosso al Mare, Riomaggiore and Vernazza. My favourite was Riomaggiore, maybe because it its the one with the massive Hakuna Matata sign cafe (in gallery below). You do get the sense that there truly is no rush in life, and you can just kick back and relax.
I took a train from Florence to Biassa, La Spezia, which got there a bit late so I missed the bus. I took a taxi to my bnb, which just kept going up an up, we were waaay up in the mountains it made me rather queasy . I spent the evening with some cheerful old guy trying to teach me how to eat spaghetti, like never mind the fact that I had been having it my whole life. I suppose the most interesting bit was the lack of communication. He spoke no English what-so-ever and I didn’t have much command of the Italian language at that point. Even though that old man pretty much had most of my meal, it was quite an entertaining evening. People are full of surprises and we’d all be pleasantly surprised if we opening up a little and let new people in, every so often. The very least you can a good barrel of laughs, and if it doesn’t work out, just move on.
The villages were all beautiful and you can hike across five of them or take a train. I hiked from Riomaggiore to Monterosso, but the train would have made it so much easier. It was well worth it for the views.There’s there Via dell’Amore, from Riomaggiore to Manarola, which is cute and kinda of romantic, so be prepared to feel a certain kind of way if travelling alone, ha ha. The villages are close together and small enough to do in a day. It was rather awkward when I got to Corniglia and there was a funeral procession under way. As it was a small village, the whole village seemed involved and lined behind, which left sticking out and looking all awkward and concentrating really hard on the stone wall I had been pressed upon to let the procession through.