Saturday, April 5, 2014

Why you need to go to Cinque Terre, Italy

With the arrival of warm weather, I've been thinking a lot about where I want to go on vacation this summer. I will most definitely be coming home in August, but I also want to spend about a week travelling in Europe. If you have any suggestions, please let me know! I'm thinking Spain.  

Anyway, my goal is to have an equally amazing time as I had in Italy last summer.  I traveled along the Mediterranean coast, and everywhere was absolutely beautiful.  Although I have so many recommendations for the other places we visited, today's post will focus on Cinque Terre.

Cinque Terre is an area of five small villages located on the Mediterranean Sea.  All of them are almost inaccessible by car, so you typically take a train or hike between villages.  Before everyone jumps down my throat for saying that you can't really travel by car, let me clarify and say that you can, but the roads are terrifying.  Most of Cinque Terre is comprised of cliffs, and swerving on windy roads that overlook 600 foot drops is not ideal for most tourists.  I'm sure the locals have mastered it, but not me.  Also, parking's a bitch, so just walk or take the train.

The views are absolutely beautiful and hiking in between cities is a must.  I wasn't as ambitious as most, and we did not hike to each city.  We hiked between two villages and I believe it took an hour an half. However, if you are really into that, I would definitely suggest walking to each of them.

Also, after you've hiked, you will be hot, like really hot, so reward yourself with some of the amazing gelato that Italy is famous for.  I think we ate at least two gelatos a day, and it was awesome.

Then after your gelato, you can go swimming in the sea which is obviously beautiful and really refreshing. You can always find a public beach, just keep a look out.  The only downfall to public, or free, beaches is that you will be laying on sharp, uncomfortable rocks, and you will most likely be discreetly (at least trying) changing behind a towel.  Private beaches feature lounge chairs and changing tents.  We went to the beach in Monterosso although I believe all of the cities have accessible places to swim.

I would suggest going to Cinque Terre in the spring or fall because it was simply just too hot during the summer.  You will be constantly uncomfortable in the summer.  Although this picture was taken in Monaco, you can see that I have finally hit my breaking point and had a minor temper tantrum due to the heat.

One more suggestion: EAT! I ate so much, and I have zero regrets about the few extra pounds I put on. The seafood you will eat was probably caught less than 1km away from the restaurant, and the Buffala mozzarella is a must - they know what they're doing when it comes to mozzarella.  Please eat as much pasta, pizza, seafood and focaccia as you possibly can.  Oh and gelato, definitely eat a lot of gelato. And pesto! I could go on forever.