Cinque Terre – 5 Lands, 5 Loves

My Italian cheeks hurt.

You can take that whichever way you choose. I shoved my face full of the freshest seafood, home-made pasta, gelato, and vino. Yep, and I’m not even a huge seafood lover. I tried it all. We hiked 35+ miles over the span of a few days walking town to town, challenged by the natural elevation changes. My calves are barking and my backside, is well, tight.

Cinque Terre was the most exciting, surreal vacation. If you like to layout on the beach and have a pool boy bring you drinks, this is not for you. We were constantly moving between the towns, rewarding ourselves with a delicacy at each stop. Andrew now knows how to bribe me to go anywhere.

“The Five Lands” is composed of five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.

Andrew, bless, picked the best of everything. He did his homework. We stayed in Manarola, the most picturesque town in my opinion. I’m going to have to break it down by food, towns, and hiking. I have no idea where to start.

In an Italian pistachio shell:
Riomaggiore -> Manarola – 25 minute paved walk via the Via Dell’Amore (“Love Walk”)

Manarola -> Corniglia – map said 3 hours, we did 1:45, beautiful walk in the vineyards

Corniglia -> Vernazza – OK this is a no-no, but we didn’t know the path was closed, due to the floods last October. It was a gorgeous trek, not bad at all, in an 1:10.

Vernazza -> Monterosso al Mare – a great hike, easiest of them all, but Monterosso was not my favorite. We only visited once; odd as Monterosso is where mostly everyone stays.

Would I have picked this vacation spot, not right away, but after our recent ski trip I’m definitely learning to love a getaway that keeps you moving. Prego, Cinque Terre!

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