City Guide: Cinque Terre

The next stop on our Europe trip was Cinque Terre. It was the most beautiful area filled with multi-colored houses and beautiful ocean views. We took the train in from Florence, which was about 2 hours. We were staying in Riomaggoire, the first of the 5 fishing villages and my absolute favorite. 

We quickly dropped off our bags at our Airbnb and headed to find some lunch. We went to a place called Il Pescato Cucinato. It was recommended by our host and looked delicious from the pictures we saw online. They sell fried seafood mixes in paper cones for a big wapping 5 euros. You can choose from a bunch of different things like anchovies, calamari, vegetables, fish, fries, etc. 

I got the seafood mix filled with a little of everything, including anchovies. I was going to give them a try because Cinque Terre is known for them. I now know that I am definitely not an anchovy fan...gross! But everything else in the mix was absolutely amazing! We grabbed a bottle of wine and enjoyed our lunch down by the water overlooking all the sun tanners and cliff divers. After lunch, we headed to get some groceries for dinner. FYI, most places (other than restaurants) start to close around 3 or 4. After, we still had some time, so we jumped on the train (4 euros) and headed to the next town over, Manarola. 

It was such a beautiful town, filled with picture perfect views. A ton of people were tanning and swimming in the water, enjoying the simple life. There is a scenic walkway that we took that has great views of the city and water. I definitely suggest it if you have the time. After we explored around Manarola, we headed back to our town, where there is a restaurant called A Pie de Ma that has spectacular views of the ocean. 

It is located right next to the train station, so it is easy to find and to go to if you are staying in another town. We ordered the wine flight, which came with 4 different types of wine, focaccia, and olives. They also give you a list with information on each wine you try and where it is coming from (all from the Cinque Terre region). Definitely make a stop here to enjoy some wine, good food, and beautiful scenery. After, we headed home to make our homemade dinner. We had picked up some chicken (very hard to find) and fresh vegetables and enjoyed a perfect evening out on our patio.


For our last day in Cinque Terre, we decided to do one of the 5 hikes (really there were only 2 open). We were going to hike from Corniglia to Vernazza (an hour and a half hike) and then take the train to Monterosso to enjoy the beach. We headed out early (9 am), trying to beat some of the heat. We took the train to Corniglia and then followed the signs for the trail. You walk up a bunch of stairs right from the train station, but don't let that scare you! The rest of the way was not too bad. The trail had many ups and downs, but also many stopping points if you needed a break or to take some beautiful pictures.

town of Corniglia

town of Corniglia

town of Corniglia

coming into Vernazza

The hike was breathtaking, but there was no way I could of done another one right after. The other open hike was from Vernazza to Monterosso and it was 3 and a half hours long (I would die). I'm glad we went with the shorter one! Once we got into the town of Vernazza, we headed to the train station to jump on the next train to Monterosso. 

town of Vernazza

I wish we would of explored Vernazza a little, but we were all hungry and ready to get to the beach. In Monterosso, which was super crowded by the way, we found a little lunch spot on the beach called Nuovo Bar Eden.

We just got sandwiches, so the food was pretty basic, but the views were great. After lunch, we headed down to the beach and right under the restaurant they had chair and umbrella rentals. We rented two chairs, a lounge chair, and an umbrella and it was only 28 euros for everything. We lounged, read our books, and enjoyed the beautiful, chilly water. This water was probably the prettiest water i've ever seen. It was cold, but once you took the plunge it wasn't that bad. The worst part of the beach, was the rocky and hot sand. It hurt so bad to walk on it! Like walking on boiling shards of glass. I would definitely suggest bringing some shoes to wear on the sand. Later in the afternoon, we headed back home to relax and refresh after an exhausting, but fun day. We decided to go out to eat on our last night and picked a place called Enoteca Dau Cila

It was right near the water and had some great food options. We got there right when they opened and snagged one of the remaining outdoor tables. The food was pretty good! We ordered wine and calamari to start and then for our main course we ordered the lobster gnocchi. It was pretty good, but didn't come with much lobster. Other than that, the experience was great and I would recommend going here if you are in the town. Overall, Cinque Terre was a beautiful town frozen in time. You don't see any McDonalds or chains, just small mom and pop stores that are filled with Italian charm. I would love to go back one day and explore more of the beautiful area! 

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